Moral Obligations

Publication Title: 
Science and Engineering Ethics

It has been claimed that (1) computer professionals should be held responsible for an undisclosed list of "undesirable events" associated with their work and (2) most if not all computer disasters can be avoided by truly understanding responsibility. Programmers, software developers, and other computer professionals should be defended against such vague, counterproductive, and impossible ideals because these imply the mandatory satisfaction of social needs and the equation of ethics with a kind of altruism.

Author(s): 
Stieb, James A.
Publication Title: 
The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences

This study examined felt obligation to help others in two domains (close others and society) as protective factors against losses in psychological well-being following functional decline. Lagged-dependent regression models were estimated using data from 849 respondents aged 35-74 years and without any functional limitations at baseline in the 1995-2005 National Survey of Midlife in the United States.

Author(s): 
Greenfield, Emily A.
Publication Title: 
Journal of Pediatric Surgery

PURPOSE: This study assesses interest in international volunteer work by members of the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) and attempts to identify demographics, motivations, obstacles, and institutional issues of the respondents. METHODS: An online survey service was used to send a 25-question survey to all APSA members with email addresses in November 2009. An answer to all questions was not required. Written comments were encouraged. RESULTS: The survey was sent to 807 members of whom 316 responded, for a response rate of 39%.

Author(s): 
Butler, Marilyn W.
Krishnaswami, Sanjay
Rothstein, David H.
Cusick, Robert A.
Publication Title: 
Bioethics

It has become common to distinguish between altruistic and commercial contract motherhood (or 'surrogacy'). Altruistic arrangements are based on the 'gift relationship': a woman is motivated by altruism to have a baby for an infertile couple, who are free to reciprocate as they see fit. By contrast, in commercial arrangements both parties are motivated by personal gain to enter a legally enforceable agreement, which stipulates that the contract mother or 'surrogate' is to bear a child for the intending parents in exchange for a fee.

Author(s): 
Van Zyl, Liezl
Walker, Ruth
Publication Title: 
Bioethics

It is widely agreed that foreign sponsors of research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are morally required to ensure that their research benefits the broader host community. There is no agreement, however, about how much benefit or what type of benefit research sponsors must provide, nor is there agreement about what group of people is entitled to benefit. To settle these questions, it is necessary to examine why research sponsors have an obligation to benefit the broader host community, not only their subjects. Justifying this claim is not straightforward.

Author(s): 
Hughes, Robert C.
Publication Title: 
Psychological Reports

Belief in reciprocity refers to a personally internalized faith in the reciprocity norm: that people will return positive and negative interactions or favors in kind. The current study aims to examine the relationship between belief in reciprocity and altruism among a Chinese sample. The Personal Norm of Reciprocity Scale, Trait Forgiveness Scale, Prosocial Tendency Measure, and Altruism Scale were used to assess extent of belief in reciprocity, forgiveness, and prosocial motivation, respectively, among 204 Chinese undergraduates.

Author(s): 
Zhang, Zhen
Zhang, Jianxin
Publication Title: 
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Physicians across the United States are engaged in training in the identification, isolation, and initial care of patients with Ebola. Some will be asked to do more. The issue this viewpoint will address is the moral obligation of physicians to participate in these activities.

Author(s): 
Minkoff, Howard
Ecker, Jeffrey
Publication Title: 
The Hastings Center Report
Author(s): 
Mohrmann, Margaret E.
Publication Title: 
Studies in Family Planning

This report examines the extent to which reproductive choice is compatible with Islamic principles. It presents the argument that the impact of Islam on reproductive choice is largely a function of the political context in which gender issues are defined. Indicators of reproductive health in countries of the Middle East are reviewed and the way these relate to constraints on reproductive choice is assessed. The examples of Tunisia and Iran are used to illustrate the way in which Islam is invoked to legitimate conflicting positions concerning women and their reproductive options.

Author(s): 
Obermeyer, C. M.
Publication Title: 
Health Progress (Saint Louis, Mo.)

To combat physician-assisted suicide, Catholic healthcare and the Catholic community cannot solely focus on mounting campaigns and formulating policies. They must also demonstrate an alternative way to approach death and care of the dying, taking a leadership role in improving end-of-life care. To accomplish this, Catholic healthcare must foster a culture that recognizes death as the inevitable outcome of human life and makes care for the dying as important as care for those who may get well.

Author(s): 
Hamel, R.

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