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

Will a COVID-19 Vaccine be Mandatory?

A syringe with a golden liquid inside is held up with two hands by a faceless and blurry doctor with brown skin.

Vaccines in some form or another have existed since the early 1000s, though they are commonly thought to have been brought into vogue by Edward Jenner starting in 1796 with the use of cowpox as a vaccine for smallpox. While laws on the mandatory nature of vaccines have fluctuated over time and vary between jurisdictions,… Continue reading Will a COVID-19 Vaccine be Mandatory?

Warped Western Intentions

A child with blond hair and blue eyes wears a blue facemask.

Normally, I'm not a philosopher who cares a whole ton about intentions. Yes, they can be important, but by themselves I don't think they are enough to make a good action bad, or a bad action good. This is largely because I believe that we have certain duties that are both moral AND epistemological, to… Continue reading Warped Western Intentions

The Mere-Difference View of Disability

A man on forearm crutches kicks a soccer ball while others on a field look on

Disclaimer: *This blog post, like Barnes' book, is only about people with physical disabilities. Since its' harder to convince people we can have reliable testimony from people with neurodiversities and mental disabilities, this is a smaller scoped thing, although there are many people with certain types of neurodiversities that are not hugely debilitating that would… Continue reading The Mere-Difference View of Disability

Ethical Plans, Ethical Choices: Thinking through COVID-19

Dear friends. As you might imagine, today's post is about COVID-19, but I want to assure you that it is also very much not a post about COVID-19. Today's post is about how I think it is largely a mistake to think about ethics as a series of individual actions. The further I go into… Continue reading Ethical Plans, Ethical Choices: Thinking through COVID-19

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?

What Humans Need: Designing Ethical Systems

A wooden hammer is poised to smash a brown egg sitting in a white egg cup. The objects are against a plain black background.

Philosophy at its base cannot emerge from nothing, nor can ethics. Every ethical system is based on some particular understanding of what is most important about the world, and in particular, about humans. They all implicitly have some underlying value¬†that guides the theory as it is built up. For example, Utilitarianism takes its basic important… Continue reading What Humans Need: Designing Ethical Systems

The Ethics of Hating Boomers

A young blonde girl wearing glasses, jeans, and a striped t-shirt, holds a sign in a protest saying "We don't have time", with the planet represented on her sign as a clock.

This post is inspired by a question I got a while back, and it goes like this: "What is the ethics of wanting a whole generation to leave so we can fix the planet?" Obviously, it calls into question generational tensions around consumption and desert, as well as acknowledging the real and pervasive anxiety that… Continue reading The Ethics of Hating Boomers

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

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID): A Primer

A human skeleton from the skull down to the shoulders.

Given the current conversation around physician-assisted-suicide, aka. Medical Assistance in Dying, aka. MAID, in light of this survey promoted by the federal government, I though that as my first Moral Guillotines of 2020 that I would give a little overview on MAID in the Canadian context, and some of the upcoming issues. What is MAID?… Continue reading Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID): A Primer