Philosophy & Ethics

It was recently revealed that the University of Wollongong has spent around A$20,000 over the past five years on lunches and dinners with politicians, including several fundraising events for the Liberal Party. Usually only one person attended these functions – probably someone at the top, though we don’t know for sure – but the donations themselves were made in the name of the university, thus making the university a sponsor of the Liberal Party.

I have a wife, three children, three dogs, seven cats. I’m not a Franz Kafka, sitting alone and suffering.

So wrote Stanley Kubrick in 1972. And indeed, Kafka and Kubrick may not seem to have a whole lot in common. Kafka is Czech, Kubrick American.

Our belief in evil influences our feelings about capital punishment, according to Donald Saucier, associate professor of psychology at Kansas State University and Russell Webster at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

They drew their conclusion after about 200 participants were given a summary of a case in which a murderer confessed to his crime. They then asked each participant about his or her support for different types of sentences, such as jail time with community service, jail time with the opportunity for parole, jail time without the possibility for parole and other options.

If you have been purchasing Blue Buffalo pet food based on its rather suspicious claims about being "byproduct free", well, that is the power of marketing, no different than organic- and gluten-free manufacturers have created a similar health halo for their customers.

But competitor Purina didn't like marketing claims that its pet food was inferior. On May 6, 2014, Purina filed a lawsuit against Blue Buffalo for false advertising after testing revealed the presence of poultry by-product meal in Blue Buffalo's top selling pet foods. 
Not only that the Theory of Everything cannot be reached by empirical science. Experiment cannot even decide which medium level theory is correct and who was supposedly wrong.

By Lisa Marie Potter, Inside Science — A group of doctors clad in white lab coats smiles beneath the heading: "Standing behind your cancer care with nationally recognized excellence."

The advertisement was part of the 2009 Dartmouth-Hitchcock health care marketing campaign promoting the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, which has locations in Vermont and New Hampshire. The ad focuses on the facility's reputation and backs up its claims by including its awards of recognition.

In America, the saying used to be 'my doctor should decide my medical treatment, not an insurance company'. 

In Netherlands, Dutch doctors do decide, including whether to withhold or withdraw treatment in a substantial proportion of elderly patients. End of life decisions are not made by patients or their families.

Why? It is not ageism, according to a survey in the Journal of Medical Ethics. It may be financial, since long-term care is paid for by the government, but survey respondents say they deny treatment out of respect for patients. Most commonly that means denying simple food and fluids.

Surveying news headlines in recent years, it seems that cheating is rampant.

In the athletic arena, Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for using performance-enhancing drugs.

In business, some of the world’s largest banks have paid nearly $200 billion – the equivalent of the GDP of New Zealand – in fines over the past six years for cheating.

Since it was revealed that Andreas Lubitz – the co-pilot who purposefully crashed Germanwings Flight 9525, killing 150 people – had been treated for psychiatric illness, a debate has ensued over whether privacy laws regarding medical records should be less strict when it comes to professions that carry special responsibilities.

It has been widely argued that Germany’s privacy laws were to blame for the tragedy. The Times, for example, headlined an article: “German obsession with privacy let killer pilot fly.” Similarly, another article published in TIME said “German privacy laws let pilot ‘hide’ his illness from employers.”

There may be unconscious race and social class biases in trauma and acute-care clinicians, according to a survey, but they did not affects clinical decisions finds an analysis in JAMA Surgery.