No Means No: The Medical Exception

Let’s talk about rapist doctors. I’m not talking about doctors who take advantage of anesthetized patients. That’s a problem law enforcement can deal with. What I’m talking about is someone like Dr. Michael Parsa, who works at the University Medical Center of El Paso, and who essentially raped an unidentified woman for the police, according […]

Lance Armstrong: Evil Or the Future of Sports?

I’ve been staying away from the Lance Armstrong mess because I don’t follow sports and I haven’t been paying attention to what’s been happening. However, a few days ago at Ethics Alarms, Jack Marshall tore into a Washington Post op-ed in which Professor Braden Allenby argued that the sporting world should allow performance enhancing drugs. Jack […]

Everybody Does It – Part 2: Relative Judgement

In Jack Marshall’s list of 24 unethical rationalizations for bad behavior, the number one rationalization — the king of all rationalizations — is “Everybody Does It.” Although I agree in principle, I find it interesting to explore the nuances and exceptions. In Part 1 I discussed cultural norms, and how sometimes ethical behavior is defined by what everybody […]

Everybody Does It – Part 1: Cultural Norms

A few weeks ago at the Ethics Alarms blog, Jack Marshall published his list of 24 ways people justify unethical behavior. He starts the list with an old rationalization that is the basis for several others: 1. The Golden Rationalization, or “Everybody does it” This rationalization has been used to excuse ethical misconduct since the […]

More About That Graphic Sin

A couple of days ago, I posted about this silly graph, which shows the wage gap between men and women: The dotted gray line on the graph at first seems to show that “Women’s Wages as a Percentage of Men’s Wages” are dropping, but that turns out to be because the dotted gray line is plotted […]

Graphic Sin From the AFL-CIO

If you know anything about graphic presentation of data, especially if you’ve read Edward Tufte’s Visual Display of Quantitative Information, you know that there are lots of ways to cheat to make the data appear to support your argument more than it really does. But James Parks at the AFL-CIO Now Blog has a post […]

What’s Wrong With Selling Internships?

Some of the lawyers on my blogroll have been poking fun at a guy named Jack Marshall. He calls himself an “ethicist,” runs a consulting firm called ProEthics, and has a blog called Ethics Alarms. I don’t really know anything about him, but I thought his blog might make a good source of stuff for me […]

Eliot Spitzer’s Madam Has a Few Questions

This is priceless: Dear Professor Lessig: I have been informed that you are having former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer speak on ethics this Thursday November 12, 2009. This sounds fascinating and I would love to attend but the restrictions of my probation won’t allow me to travel out side New York City. For nearly […]

I’m not really an expert; I just play one in real life. Maybe.

There’s been an interesting discussion of manufactured apparent expertise over at SJ, which appears to have inspired Bennett to weigh in here.  The spark for the discussion was one of the many blogs that not-quite-promises to generate huge wads of cash for lawyers by gaming social media and them what loves it: The thought of […]

What Does the AMA Say About Forced Catheterization?

A few days ago, when I wrote about a guy who was forcibly catheterized to test if he was driving drunk (he wasn’t) it seemed to me that this violated the requirements of medical ethics that medical procedures should only be done with the consent of the patient and for the benefit of the patient. At […]

What Are the Medical Ethics of Forced Catheterization?

I don’t understand how stuff like this happens: According to the suit, police arrested Jamie Lockard, 53, on suspicion of drunken driving in March. A Breathalyzer test showed he was under the legal limit, but Officer Brian Miller doubted the findings. Lockard and his attorney claim in the suit that police took him to Dearborn […]

Playing Catch Up

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” — Winston Churchill For those of you who didn’t follow it, an amendment to a bill in the US Senate was defeated this week, on a 58-aye, 39 nay vote.  (Yeah, I know that sound strange; another […]

Restitution of Famous Murderers

Is it ethical to sell-off a criminal’s possessions to pay restitution to his victims? You’d certainly think so. After all, he took something from the victims, so he should have to give them back enough money to make up for what they lost. It’s a basic case of making good for the damage done. When […]

Moral Posturing About Richard Paey

My paying job has kept me too busy to blog much, but I’ve been thinking about a particular application of something Fernando Tesón wrote on Tuesday about how to distinguish between moral posturing and genuine moral principles: We propose The Display Test: a position is genuinely moral when the speaker can accept, without embarrassment, its […]

Guns of Brixton

When they kick at your front door How you gonna come? With your hands on your head Or on the trigger of your gun I recently ran across the above lyric somewhere on the web that I can no longer remember. You might think, as I did, that it sounds like a piece of gangsta […]