Philosophy & Ethics

After they die, people are happy to donate their hearts, their eyes, even whole skeletons, without knowing anything at all about what will happen to them.

What about genetic information? 

Under current law, your genetic information is not inherited by default, so a child with a heritable form of cancer can't access their parent's genetic information after death if no consent was ever established. Clearly there needs to be a policy in the post-Human Genome Project age.

A volunteer receives a trial Ebola vaccine at the Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine in Oxford, southern England January 16, 2015. Eddie Keogh/Reuters

Recently, Phase II and III trials of two vaccines for Ebola started in West Africa. The development of possible vaccines is welcome news. Like most vaccine trials, the current Ebola trials are being conducted under ethical guidelines derived from US standards for clinical research in human beings.


Credit: Jon Olav Eikenes, CC-BY-SA

By: Carrie Peyton Dahlberg, Inside Science

(Inside Science) - Brain imaging can already pull bits of information from the minds of willing volunteers in laboratories. What happens when police or lawyers want to use it to pry a key fact from the mind of an unwilling person?

Will your brain be protected under the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment from unreasonable search and seizure?  

There are many good reasons for increasing gender diversity on boards: better decisions, better performance, and better representation of the consumer base.

But the idea, put forward in a variety of research over the past twenty years or so, that women on boards improve the moral and ethical decision-making of those boards has a number of problems for both women and men, in the boardroom and out of it.

Personal information taken from social media, blogs, page views and so on are used to detect disease outbreaks, however, does this violate our privacy and trust if people do not consent to it?


There is confusion about whether immolation is permissible under Islamic law. EPA

By Jon Hoover, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, Faculty of Arts a University of Nottingham

The killing of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh by Islamic State has been explained as an act of retaliation for the air campaign against it. But there have been many questions about whether immolation is a valid form of punishment in Islamic law – and many Muslim scholars have argued that it is not.

Pudgy and recovering from heart surgery, Bill Clinton needed someone to optimize his health. Hillary Clinton knew just the man for the job, and in 2005 introduced him to Dr. Mark Hyman, whose expertise they credit for Mr. Clinton’s current svelte physique.
Apple and Facebook have an odd perquisite for their employees - they will pay for their employees to place oocytes in frozen storage — social freezing, also known as cryopreservation and egg freezing.

Companies may have a mercenary desire to do so, even if it comes across as altruism. By eliminating a biological clock for women, they can keep employees working longer hours, which will close that pay gap between men and women and make them look like noble while they reduce turnover. 

The Discovery of the Child Erichthonius by Peter Paul Rubens 

By Helen King, The Open University

The science and morality of creating a life with DNA from three different individuals is hot news.

The UK parliament has voted in favor of allowing trials of mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT), otherwise also known as three-person IVF, which would allow women with mitochondrial mutations to have healthy children.


Opposing this law change is not anti-feminist. shutterstock

By Pam Lowe, Aston University

A campaign is underway in the United Kingdom to make it illegal to abort a child based on its gender.

Proponents say they are worried about women being coerced into terminating female fetuses and that action needs to be taken to stop discrimination against baby girls.