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Ethics of Emerging Technologies. Scientific Facts and Moral Challenges

  • ID: 2215298
  • Book
  • May 2006
  • 512 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
An insightful guide to understanding and navigating the ethical issues faced by anyone affected by the ethical dilemmas associated with current and emerging technologies

Ethics of Emerging Technologies provides the background, insight, and tools for approaching and solving ethical dilemmas across a broad range of topics. The text discusses ethical problems, using examples and reasoning tools that will aid engineers, scientists, managers, administrators, and the public who wish to understand risks, benefits, and possible approaches to resolving conflicts associated with new technologies in the context of the global community.

Solutions we choose to ethical dilemmas accompanying new technologies will profoundly affect future generations. Scientific facts and guides to decision–making for all associated with emerging technologies are presented. Some of the topics are:

  • Human health and environmental effects of alternative energy production methods
  • Communications and privacy
  • Plagiarism and authorship
  • Genetic modification of organisms
  • Human and animal experimentation
  • Synthetic biology and bioterrorism
  • Confidentiality in science, engineering, and business communications
  • Risks and consequences of enhancing human beings through new technologies
  • Cloning of human beings and stem cell research
  • Brain modifications
  • Space exploration
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1. Ethical Principles, Reasoning, and Decision Making.


Designing Solutions to Ethical dilemmas.

Evolution of Ethical Principles.

Virtue Ethics.

Justice Ethics.

Rules Ethics.

Rights Ethics.

Duty Ethics.

Modern Duty Ethics and Ross s Prima Facie Duties.


Analysis of Duty Ethics vs. Utilitarianism.

Autonomy vs. Utilitarianism.

Utilitarianism vs. Justice: Allocation of Limited Resources.

Other Moral Theories.

Cultural Relativism.




Minimum Conception of Morality.

Other Conception and Ideologies.

Principles That Guide Human Experimentation.

Dangers of Expediency and the Slippery Slope Theory.

Learning Values and Cheating in Life.

Synopsis of Tools for Resolving Ethical Dilemmas.

Chapter Summary.


Additional reading.

Problem Set.

2. Ethics in Scientific Research.


Definition of Scientific Misconduct.

Categories of Scientific Misconduct.

Unethical Conduct by researchers.

Ethical Transgressions by Authors.

Ethical Transgressions by Reviewers.

Example of Scientific Misconduct.

Responsible Authorship.

Guidelines for Authorship for Bioscience Journals.

National Academy of Sciences Guidance on responsible Authorship.

Practical Guidelines for Assigning Authorship.

Ranking of Authors.

Stealing and copyright.


Motives for Scientific Misconduct and Whistleblowing.

Criteria for Whistleblowing.

Consequences of Being Accused of Scientific Misconduct, and Protection When Accused of Scientific Misconduct.

Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA).

Approaches to Scientific Misconduct: What Should Be Done?

Responsibilities of Individual Researchers.

Responsibilities of Government, Universities, and Research Institutions.

Conflict of Interest as a Category of Scientific Misconduct.

Managing Conflicts of Interest.

Conflicts between Goals of Commercialism and the Tenets of Academia.

Chapter Summary.


Additional Reading.


Appendix 2.1: Federal Policy on Research Misconduct.

Problem Set.

3. Information Technology Ethics.


The Benefits and Problems Generated by the Information Technologies.


Problems Associated with IT.

Invasion of Privacy Due to faulty Engineering of Computer Systems and Software Programs.

Risks to Privacy by Outsourcing Private Information to Other Countries.

Collection, Storage, Selling, and Unauthorized Use of Personal Information.

Loss of Privacy by Monitoring.

Ethics of Camera Surveillance in Public Places.

Unauthorized Use of Intellectual Property (IP).

Hacking and Hoaxes.


Journalism on the Internet.

Theft, Deception, and Fraud on the Internet.

Censorship in Internet Communications.


Availability of Information Technologies.

Chapter Summary.


Additional Reading.


Appendix 3.1: Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects: Security of Research Subjects Personally Identifiable Data Held by Researchers (Excerpts from [external URL]

Problem Set.

4. Business Ethics.


Historical Background.

Design Strategy for Corporate Ethical Dilemmas.

Corporate Practices Challenge Ethical Theories.

Differences in Corporate Tactics.

Credo vs. Vision Statement.

Guidelines and Pitfalls of Corporate Strategies.

Conflicts in Ethical Theories.

Beneficence to the Community vs. Duty to the Stockholders.

Utilitarianism vs. Justice.

Duty vs. Justice and Virtue.

Non–Malfeasane vs. Utilitarianism.

Virtue vs. Duty.

Corporate Responsibilities.

Responsibilities to Employees.

Ethnic. Religious, and Sexual Harassment Issues in the Workplace.

Responsibilities to the Public.

Responsibilities in Business with a foreign country.

Responsibilities to the Ecosystem.

The Ethics of the Professional Employee.


Confidentiality When Changing Jobs.

Loyalty vs. Duty to Report Misdeeds.

Whistleblower Responsibility of Corporate Employees.

Obligations to Report Safety Violations or Threats to the Public.

Conflicts of Interest.

Federal Reaction to Corporate Fraud.

Chapter Summary.


Additional Reading.

Web Sites Helpful for Business Ethics Issues.


Appendix 4.1: Some Strategic Rules from Sun Tzu (Michaelson 2001).

Problem Set.

5. Environmental Ethics.


Current Energy Production and Use.

Predicted Energy Needs for the Future.

Transportation: the Greatest Consumer of Fossil Fuels.

Energy use by Communications technologies.

Alternative Energy Technologies.

Fuel Cells.

Nuclear reactors.

Nuclear fusion as a Source of Energy.

Wind Production of Energy.

Hydroelectric Production and Storage of Energy.

Solar Source of Electricity and Fuel.

Moral, Spiritual, and Ideological Perspectives on the Environment.

Using vs. Saving the Environment.

The Dimensions of the Moral Community.

Moral Theories and the Environment.

Religious or Spiritual Approaches to the Environment.

Ideological Approaches to the Environment.




Deep Ecology.

Ecofeminist Approach to the Environment.

Modern Pantheist Approach.

A Conceptual Structure for Environmental Ethics Based on Relative Value.

The Global Environment.

Responsibility for Technologies We Create.

The Tragedy of the Commons.

Where We Go from Here.

Societal Efforts to Prevent Environment Degradation and Promote Sustainability.

Summary of International Conferences to Protect and Sustain the Environment.

The Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer, Vienna, Austria, 1985, and the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, Montreal, Canada, 1987.

U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 1992.

U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto, Japan, 1997.

United Nations Millennium Summit, New York, New York, 2000.

United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, South Africa 2002.

U.N. World Environment Conference of Mayors, San Francisco, California, June 2005.

The G8 Annual Conferences.

Chapter Summary.


Additional reading.


Appendix 5.1: Physical Dimensions and Units.

Problem Set.

6. Ethics of genetically Modified Organisms.


Processes Involved in genetics Engineering of Plans and Animals.

Genetics Modification of Plants without the Introduction of Foreign DNA.

Stimulation of Transposons to Induce Changes in the Plant Genome by Stress.

In Situ Microsurgery to Stimulate Transposon–Induced Changes in Plants and Animals.

Genetic Modification of Plants and Animals by Transfer of Foreign DNA.

Genetic Modification by Microinjection of DNA into Cells.

Genetic Modification by Gene Transfer Using Plasmids and Bacteria.

Biolistic Impaction Method of gene Transfer into Plants.

Growth in the Use of GMO Products.

Benefits and Risks of GMOs.


Risks of Genetically Modified Organisms.

Concerns about Physical Escape of GMOs into the Wild.

Concerns about the Biology of Horizontal Gene Transfer.

Concerns about Biodiversity and Perturbations in Biologic Evolution.

Concerns about Marker Genes and Other Modifications.

Concerns about Genetically Modified Animals.

Concerns about Who Will Benefit.

Concerns about GMO Labeling.

Cumulative Effect of Concerns about GMOs.

Ongoing Efforts to Evaluate and Provide Information on GMOs.

U.S. Government Oversight and Regulations.

FDA s Biotechnology Policy.

USDA/APHIS Regulation of Bioengineered Plants.

Environmental Protection Agency Functions.

Involvement of the U.S. Congress.

The United States vs. the European Union Stance on GMOs.

International Regulatory Approach to GMOs: U.N. Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

Ethical Issues.

Chapter Summary.


Additional Reading.


Appendix 6.1: Estimating the Future Increases in World Population.

Appendix 6.2: Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: Risk Assessment.

Problem Set.

7. Medical Ethics.


General Medical Ethics.

Codes of Professional Conduct.

Patients Rights to Information.


Responsibilities of the Physician Regarding Disclosure of Patient Information.

Ownership of Medical Information.

Refusal of Treatment.

Ethics of Rendering Medical Aid.

When Options for Continuing Care Conflict with a Physician s Ethics.

Ethics of Medical Mistakes.

Physician Conflicts of Interest.

The Ethics of Futile Care.

Use of Medical Marijuana.

The Ethics of Dying.

Who Decides on Life Support and Death?

Advance Health Care Directives.

Arguments against Advance Health Care Directives.

Sacrifice of One Life to Save Another.

Physician–Assisted Suicide.

Summary of the Ethics of Physician–Assisted Suicide.

Resource Allocation and Organ Transplantation.

Ways to Maximize the Availability of Scarce Resources.

Ethical Consideration of Organ Transplantation.

Use of Fetal Tissues.

Transplantation Procedures for Prisoners Buying and Selling of Body Tissues and Organs.

Distribution of Care When Resources Are Limited.

Treatment in Situations of Extreme Illness.

Human Experimentation and Animal Experimentation.

Chapter Summary.



Appendix 7.1: California Advance Health care Directive.

Appendix 7.2: Organ Transplantation Evaluation by Institute of Medicine.

Appendix 7.3: AMA Section E–2.03 Allocation of Limited Medical Resources.

Problem Set.

8. Ethics of Human and Animal Experimentation.

Ethics of Human Experimentation.


Current Guidelines for Research on Human beings.

IRB Duties.

IRB Composition.

Guidelines for IRB Activities.

Informed Consent Procedures.

Variety of Human Experiments.

Proposed Modifications of Regulations on Protection for Human Subjects Involved in Medical Research.

Noted Examples of Human Experimentation.

Summary of Human Experimentation.

Ethics of Animal Experimentation.

Cultural Attitudes toward Animals.

Animal Malfeasance vs. Medical Benefits.

Federal Regulations.

Reduction in the Need for Animals.

Mircoarray and Phage Array Technologies.

Animal Imaging Technologies.

Transgenic Animals.

Summary of Issues in Animal Experimentation.

Chapter Summary.


Additional Reading.


Appendix 8.1: Office of Human research Protection (OHRP) Informed Consent Checklist Basic and Additional Elements of the Consent Form for research Subjects.

Problem Set.

9. Ethics of Assisted Reproductive Technologies.


Types of ART.

In Vitro Fertilization.

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD).

Polar Body Analysis.

Embryo Biopsy.

Success Rates of ART.

Risks of ART.

Regulation of ART in the United States.

Ethical Concerns about ART.

The Ethics of IVF.

Ethical Issues of PGD.


Reproductive Cloning.

Reproductive and Therapeutic Cloning Differences.

Experience with Reproductive Cloning in Animals.

Ethical Issues Surrounding Reproductive and Therapeutic Cloning.

Ethical Issues Surrounding Reproductive Cloning.

Arguments for Reproductive Cloning.

Arguments against Reproductive Cloning.

Justice and Fairness in the Cloning Debate.

Chapter Summary.


Additional Reading.


Problem Set.

10. Ethics of Stem Cell Technologies.



Types of Stem Cells and Their Organs.

Embryonic Stem (ES) Cells.

Alternative Sources of Embryonic Stem Cells.

Embryonic Germ (EG) Cells.

Adult Stem Cells.

Hematopoietic Stem Cells.

Cord–Blood Stem Cells.

Current Status of Embryonic Stem Cells Research.

Hematopoietic Stem Cell transplantation.



Heart Muscle Regeneration.

Liver Regeneration.

Pancreas Regeneration.

Lung renewal.

Summary of Technical Status of Adult Stem Cell Research.

Ethical Issues in Embryonic Stem Cell research and Therapy.

Chapter Summary.


Additional Reading.

Problem Set.

11. Ethics of Enhancement Technologies.


Preimplantation Genetic diagnosis.

Ethical Implications of PGD.

Gene Therapy.

Overview of Uses for Enhancement and Methodology.

Somatic Gene Therapy.

Gene Therapy for Severe combined Immunodeficiency with Adenosine Deaminase Deficiency (ADA–SCID).

Children Undergoing Gene Therapy for X–Linked SCID.

History of Gene Therapy.

Gene Therapy for Parkinson s Disease.

Gene Therapy for Hemophilia.

Somatic Gene Therapy for Human Enhancement.

Gene Therapy to enhance Muscle Strength.

In Utero Somatic Gene Therapy.

Regulation of Somatic Gene Therapy.

Current Status and Future Plans for Human Gene Therapy.

Ethical Issues of somatic Gene Therapy for Enhancement.

Germline Gene Therapy.

Methodology of Proposed Germline Gene Therapy.

Ethical Issues of Germline Gene Therapy.

Arguments for Germline Gene Therapy.

Arguments against Germline Gene Therapy.

Oversight for Germline Engineering.

Enhancement by Drugs or Other Means.

Drug Use to Enhance Performance in Sport.


History of Drug Use in Modern Sport.

Substances Used to Enhance Performance (Doping).


Ephedrien, Phenylephrine, Epinephrine, and Ephedra and Other Alpha–Adrenergic Drugs.

Amphetamines and Methylphenidate (Ritalin).

Growth Hormone.


Erythroprotein (EPO).

Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG).

Creatine and Androstenidione.

Reasons Athletes Use Drugs.

Prevalence of Doping.

Enhancement f Behavior through Drugs.

Body Enhancement and Physical enhancements.

Ethical Duties of the Medical Practitioner.

Chapter Summary.


Additional Reading.


Problem Set.

12. Ethics of Emerging Technologies.


Risk: Analysis and Cost–Benefit Analysis.

Cost–Benefit Analysis (CBA).


Synthetic Biology.

Ethics of Emerging Threats of Terrorism.

Neuroenhancements and Neuroengineering.

Deep Brain Stimulation.

Brain–Computer Stimulation.

Regenerative and Rehabilitative Neurology.

Brain Imaging.


Ethics of Human Space Exploration.

Ethics in colonization of the Moon and Mars.

The role of Government in Evaluating the Risks of New Technologies.

Chapter Summary.


Additional Reading.

Problem Set.



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"While Ethics of Emerging Technologies is written as a text, it also is valuable and enjoyable reading for any scientific professional and especially for scientific leaders in their institution." (
Science Direct, September 2006)
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