Why Ethicists Should Educate Patients on Self-Advocacy

COVID-19 has obviously stirred up a lot of ethical challenges. It has exacerbated issues of inequality, forced hospitals and healthcare practicioners to make difficult decisions and implement very imperfect policies when it comes to the rationing of scarce medical resources, and has created dozens of new public health questions in regards to how best to… Continue reading Why Ethicists Should Educate Patients on Self-Advocacy

Art, AI and Meaning

Lynne stands in a white unitard, black choker, and braid, reaching up to climb a red silk.

Earlier last week, two musicians-programmers generated every conceivable melody, copyrighted it, and released it under a Creative Commons Zero license, which is functionally equivalent to being in the public domain. They did this to help prevent future lawsuits from artists whose melodies are similar,  although its questionable whether or not their endeavors will be considered… Continue reading Art, AI and Meaning

Without a Basic Income is All Work Exploitative?

Three men in shadow work upon what appears to be a roof. The sky is pink.

In the midst of a myriad of protests, strikes, and political action across Ontario (and Canada more broadly), the provincial Conservative government has been quietly moving to contract out employment services to for-profit companies. This move has been criticized by the NDP as potentially leading companies to place job-seekers, including those on ODSP (disability) into… Continue reading Without a Basic Income is All Work Exploitative?

The Ethics of Naming Diseases

Six vials filled with blue liquid are in a stand holding them up.

Amongst all the news that is swirling around the coronavirus, a clear trend of racism has emerged, despite best efforts to halt it. Unfortunately, despite best efforts to stick to simply the name "coronavirus" or 2019-nCov, and despite the fact that it is less deadly than the common flu,  it has been irrevocably associated with… Continue reading The Ethics of Naming Diseases

Nudging and Social Media

A white hand holds a phone with icons illuminated for the following social media networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Pintrest, Tumblr, LinkedIN, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.

In the past, I've talked about "Nudging" and how it relates to paternalism. As a brief rundown, "nudging" (or libertarian paternalism)  is the idea that we can change people's behaviors using "choice architecture" and other psychological tricks to do what we want them to do. In public health, this might look like making healthier choices… Continue reading Nudging and Social Media

On Equality and Equity

Two pictures are side by side, in one, a tall person, a person of medium height, and a short person all stand on one box each to watch a baseball game. In the second, the tall person has no box, the person of medium height has one box and the short person has two boxes, enabling all of them to see over the fence.

Welcome to the final Moral Guillotine of the decade! I will be taking some time off in December and the beginning of January to rest & refresh (but I'll still be taking blog post suggestions during this time if you come across some especially sticky moral debate during the holiday season). Today, I want to… Continue reading On Equality and Equity

Good Things for Bad People

A question that has been coming up a lot in Moral Guillotines requests in various forms these days can boiled down to: when do we have to do good things for bad people? If we ourselves are good people, what are the limits we are allowed to place on our goodness, especially when others take… Continue reading Good Things for Bad People

Sanctions, Social Media, and the Workplace

A person holds a cellphone with many small images on it in front of a computer

As a person who grew up in the burgeoning age of the internet (no, I do not remember AOL, yes, I do remember dial-up and MSN Messenger), I can't remember a point in my life when I wasn't told that the internet was forever. I knew from the moment I got Facebook at 12 (of… Continue reading Sanctions, Social Media, and the Workplace

Microaggressions by the Marginalized

A man and woman argue in a park. The man is angry, the woman seems incredulous. Both are using their hands to express their conflict.

I've written in the past about microaggressions and the types of collective responsibilities they entail. These last few semesters, I've been able to take what I did in that previous blog post and really dig into the philosophy of these things and understand how social epistemologists and ethicists think about microaggressions. One of the really… Continue reading Microaggressions by the Marginalized

Reproduction at the End of the World?

It's election season in Canada. The memory of last year's storms and wildfires are strong. Finally, a young, white climate activist has come to visit us and to tell us that we simply aren't doing enough in regards to climate change. Think-pieces are appearing in the news around individuals who are choosing to not have… Continue reading Reproduction at the End of the World?