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Friday, June 24, 2016

Areas of Ethical Conversation


Philosophy 301 students will find this glossary of Ethics helpful.

Bioethics: concerns the ethical controversies brought about by advances in biology and medicine. Public attention was drawn to these questions by abuses of human subjects in biomedical experiments, especially during the Second World War, but with recent advances in bio-technology, bioethics has become a fast-growing academic and professional area of inquiry. Issues include consideration of cloning, stem cell research, transplant trade, genetically modified food, human genetic engineering, genomics, infertility treatment, etc.

Business Ethics: examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that can arise in a business environment. This includes Corporate Social Responsibility, a concept whereby organizations consider the interests of society by taking responsibility for the impact of their activities and operations on customers, employees, shareholders, communities and the environment, over and above the statutory obligation to comply with legislation.

Environmental Ethics: considers the ethical relationship between human beings and the natural environment. It addresses questions like "Should we continue to clear cut forests for the sake of human consumption?", :Should we continue to make gasoline powered vehicles, depleting fossil fuel resources while the technology exists to create zero-emission vehicles?", :What environmental obligations do we need to keep for future generations?", "Is it right for humans to knowingly cause the extinction of a species for the (perceived or real) convenience of humanity?"

Legal Ethics: an ethical code governing the conduct of people engaged in the practice of law. Model rules usually address the client-lawyer relationship, duties of a lawyer as advocate in adversary proceedings, dealings with persons other than clients, law firms and associations, public service, advertising and maintaining the integrity of the profession. Respect of client confidences, truthfulness in statements to others, and professional independence are some of the defining features of legal ethics.

Media Ethics: deals with the specific ethical principles and standards of media in general, including the ethical issues relating to journalism, advertising and marketing, and entertainment media.

Medical Ethics: the study of moral values and judgments as they apply to medicine. Historically, Western medical ethics may be traced to guidelines on the duty of physicians in antiquity, such as the Hippocratic Oath (at its simplest, "to practice and prescribe to the best of my ability for the good of my patients, and to try to avoid harming them"), and early rabbinic, Muslim and Christian teachings. Six of the values that commonly apply to medical ethics discussions are: Beneficence (a practitioner should act in the best interest of the patient, Non-maleficence ("first, do no harm"), Autonomy (the patient has the right to refuse or choose their treatment), Justice (concerning the distribution of scarce health resources, and the decision of who gets what treatment), Dignity (both the patient and the practitioner have the right to dignity), Honesty (truthfulness and respect for the concept of informed consent).
Information Ethics: investigates the ethical issues arising from the development and application of computers and information technologies. It is concerned with issues like the privacy of information, whether artificial agents may be moral, cyber ethics, how to behave in the infosphere, and ownership and copyright problems arising from the creation, collection, recording, distribution, processing, etc, of information.

Virtue Ethics (or Virtue Theory) is an approach to Ethics that emphasizes an individual's character as the key element of ethical thinking, rather than rules about the acts themselves (Deontology) or their consequences (Consequentialism).



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