NY Times Sunday Magazine "The Ethicist" column.
April 2007: Randy Cohen, who writes 'The Ethicist' column for The New York Times, calls it unambiguously unethical and deliberately deceitful. 'There's no such thing as an objective photo unless you take it from all angles. You might photograph the backyard from a particular angle to emphasize the view of the waterfall, and no one would quibble. But if you deliberately remove a bush to get that view, you're definitely crossing the line. Deliberately obscuring the fact that there's a lead-smelting plant across the street is nonethical.http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/real-estate/20070411_real_estate_photos_a1.asp
Role Name Type Last Updated Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) New York Times Source Oct 27, 2009
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Oct 27, 2009 Can We Talk About Religion, Please? (Moral of the Story)
QUOTE: despite the risk of provoking the ire of believers, we should discuss the actions of religious institutions as we would those of all others — courteously and vigorously....it is disheartening that the editorial pages of our most important newspapers did not castigate the Vatican’s invitation to misogyny and homophobia.
New York Times Oct 20, 2009 Should Photos Come With Warning Labels? (Moral of the Story)
QUOTE: Should ads using electronically altered images be banned?
New York Times Jul 20, 2008 A League of Her Own? (The Ethicist)
QUOTE: One of the Lions, a team in our recreational men’s soccer league, approached us officials about a female player on the Dream Center, the team they’d face next. Several of the Lions are Muslim, he said, and their religion forbids contact with a woman in this way, and they wanted to avoid the possibility of injuring her...Change the matchups to avoid the conflict? About a year ago, I purchased a Pomeranian for $1,500 from a friend who said he was moving and had to give up the dog...My children and I love the dog, but must we now try to find the original owners?
New York Times Jul 10, 2008 Lessons Learned at School (The Ethicist)
QUOTE: A large portion of our grade for a course I am taking at a major business school is based upon group projects...Most of us have already turned in our final papers, so telling the professor about this would have no practical purpose, but it might teach this guy a lesson. Rat him out?  In leading a job search for my school, I read many résumés and conducted extensive phone interviews...While I am glad that she had her epiphany before we incurred yet more costs, we’re out the price of the ticket. Mustn’t she reimburse us?
New York Times Jun 29, 2008 Payouts and Payoffs (The Ethicist)
QUOTE: My friend, a young artist at the start of his career, offered to sell me a 1 percent share in him for $9,000. I would receive a portion of his lifetime earnings but would have no say in the sort of work he did. This seems like a good deal for us both, but it does feel a bit like slavery. Is this agreement ethical?...I work for a company that refers patients to doctors...Is it ethical for doctors to develop leads this way? Is our exclusive-territory feature ethical?
New York Times Jun 20, 2008 Don’t Tell When Hiring (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  I am a supervisor at a large corporation...Would it be appropriate to tell this applicant that I am gay?  My brother and I, who live in the U.S...have been asked to pay more. Is that fair?
New York Times Jun 12, 2008 Silence Is Golden. Or Not. (The Ethicist)
ABSTRACT: (1) Can a doctor disclose a patient's fraudulent behavior? (2) Should family members administer baptims or other religious rituals to young children if their families don't?
New York Times Jun 08, 2008 Follow the Rules or the Message? (The Ethicist)
QUOTE: I am the president of the antidrug group at my high school. All members pledged not to use drugs or they would be kicked out, but I know that some of the most passionate and respected members have done so and laughed off their commitment to the group. Is it ethical to “tattle” on these people and basically destroy the existence of the group, or should we continue to preach a message that even some of us don’t believe in? — NAME WITHHELD, NEW YORK
New York Times May 30, 2008 Kicked Out of the Play Group (The Ethicist)
QUOTE: My daughter’s play group consists of children ranging in age from infancy to 4 years old. One mother revealed that she does not vaccinate her son. After much frank but cordial discussion and opinions from pediatricians — some thought she endangered our vaccinated kids; others did not — she felt pressured to leave the group. Did the group behave ethically?
New York Times May 23, 2008 When a Loan Is a Gift (The Ethicist)
QUOTE: My parents graciously offered to lend my wife and me the down payment for a home. While we can easily afford the mortgage payments, the bank wants all of us to sign a statement saying the money from my parents is a gift, not a loan, although the bank representative literally winked as he handed me the statement. I am reluctant to ask my parents to be dishonest, but isn’t everyone better off if this deal goes through?
New York Times May 18, 2008 Paying Off the Refs (The Ethicist)
QUOTE: I officiate youth hockey. In nonleague games, it is the coaches who pay the two officials. At one game, one team’s coach (whom I knew) paid the other official the normal fee but tucked away extra money for me. When my co-official asked if I had gotten the same wage, I said yes so he would not feel cheated. Was it ethical for this coach to pay me extra when the other official and I are the same age, have the same experience and both did the same amount of work?
New York Times May 11, 2008 Foreign Exchanges (The Ethicist)
QUOTE: A young woman wanted to send medicine to a friend in Mali who had malaria. If this woman’s physician father would declare, falsely, that the medicine was for her own use, she could obtain a full course of medicine for $10 through her insurance company rather than spend many times that, the cost to the uninsured, enabling her to send more of it to her friend: clever, altruistic and crooked.
New York Times May 04, 2008 When to Drop Charges (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  I work as a consultant out of my home, doing a variety of research, writing and editing tasks for five or six clients at a time...If I spend a day researching something for Client A and can use the same information for Client B, may I charge both of them the consulting fee? I sit on the board of an international youth organization. Our drug-and-alcohol policy is up for review, and we are considering, in addition to measures we already take when youth participants consume banned substances at our programs, informing the participant’s school of the transgression. May we pass along this information?
New York Times Apr 24, 2008 Singing Falsetto (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  I produced a recording for a singing student’s application to a college’s professional music program. Her singing was passable but not great...Computer technology enables me to make even the worst singer sound professional, but if I employ it, do I defraud the college?  I am a 61-year-old male about to resume dating after a long hiatus...Does integrity require me to divulge this experience of 40 years ago (whether asked or not) to a potential sex partner?
New York Times Apr 19, 2008 Pine Away (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  I’m told it is illegal to propagate and sell [a Wollemi pine] tree because the N.G.S. has exclusive rights to it in the United States, but would I be unethical to do so?  We have had record avalanche fatalities this year from skiers who go outside ski-area boundaries...Should the service close these areas, temporarily or permanently, to protect the rescue teams?
New York Times Apr 11, 2008 Reference for an Ex? (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  My ex-husband is job hunting. I was contacted for a reference/background check...Do I answer all questions truthfully? ...I worked for an insurance company with just one Jewish employee, a good friend. He invented Jewish holidays, taking days off several times a year...I kept silent. Was that the right choice?
New York Times Apr 04, 2008 The Cost of Cures (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  I want [my girlfriend] to deposit $1,000 in escrow, to be forfeited if she makes another false accusation [against me]. She does not like the idea. Is it ethical?  My sister is close to a girl in Mali who contracted malaria. Her family can’t afford the necessary medication, so my sister...wants our father, a doctor, to prescribe the medication to her...Who is right?
New York Times Mar 28, 2008 Doctor, Bully (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  The gynecologist I’ve seen for seven years has begun requiring patients to waive their right to a day in court...Is this policy ethical?  [A junior colleague] is deeply enamored of our supervisor, a happily married man. Do I factor in her unrequited emotions, a potential detriment to the course, or reply solely on her merits as a teacher?
New York Times Mar 21, 2008 The Ethicist: A Failing Grade
QUOTE:  Sometimes at the end of a semester a student asks me to raise a grade. Typically it is a student with children, who receives financial aid,...and risks losing these benefits if she receives the F she earned rather than the D I could bestow...Should I raise the grade?  I drive for an independent [limo] company. We tip the bell staff to call us if the contract company has no car handy...after all, it’s the contract company’s responsibility to have a car available. Right?
New York Times Mar 16, 2008 Too Much Homework (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  I serve on my neighborhood homeowners’ association. Recently we discussed a woman who provides day care for 6 to 10 kids, contrary to our covenants against running a home business...Is it ethical of us to close this woman’s business?  [During a triathlon] I was overtaken by a large group of cyclists riding together. I had two choices: slow down and let them pass me...or ride with them and break the rules. I chose the latter, and none of us were disqualified. Was this the right decision?
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