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Friday, November 25, 2005

More Ethics

Two articles on the front page of the New York Times were very disturbing. One has to do with an Iraqi detainee set free because a Sargeant failed to notice a small notation in his case file (that called) for the Iraqi to be held indefintely. Small notation? Why wasn't the notation larger? Was the intention that it not be seen? Was the sargeant demoted or at least reprimanded? Should he have been? or should someone suffer consequces who didn't make the notation larger?

And how about that little mention of "indefintely".

The other article was about the stem cell researcher who lied about the sources of the eggs used when a human embryo was cloned
and stem cells extracted. He resigned in public.

Both are lapses in ethical judgement. We have no statements from the American Military and so have no idea of what was really going on, or what if anything happened to those involved in this debacle. Were consequeces suffered because ethics were not adhered to? Were they even an issue? Do we have enough information to know the answers to any of these questions?

The researcher was too "focused on scientific development and may not have seen the ethical issues related to my research". What? He resigned anyway, and appeared to do so because he breached a code of ethics.