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April 24, 2004

Ethics issues extend beyond boardroom

From: Indianapolis Star - Indianapolis,IN,USA - Apr 24, 2004

Lansing (Mich.) State Journal April 24, 2004

Corporate ethics and standards of morality have been touchy points for ethical debate in recent years.

Here are some other high-profile ethics issues:

The human genome project: A multitude of issues stem from DNA mapping and increasing possibilities for genetic enhancement. "We're going to find ourselves faced with lots of choices about genetic prescreening and things like that," says Lawrence Hinman, director of the Values Institute at the University of San Diego. "There are two questions. Who should decide on these issues? And what should they decide?"

Medical technology: Human fertility enhancement raises issues about whether embryos are alive and who owns them. Cochlear implants allow some deaf people to hear, but does that diminish deaf people who choose not to get them? Are mental and physical enhancements through the use of drugs acceptable?

End-of-life issues: Debate continues on whether people should be kept alive indefinitely, choose to die without mechanical support or end their own lives with doctors' help.

Environmental issues: These range from pollution and the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to use of water and distribution of resources. "You've got a whole host of issues being raised by environmental problems," said Scot Yoder, visiting professor of philosophy at Michigan State University. "Factory farming, use of Great Lakes water, all of those things raise ethical issues."

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