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: Mar 07, 2008 Tuition Break (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  I began saving for my two sons’ college education 18 years ago...May I ask my older son to share his remaining money with his brother?  My friend wants to run an ad in local weeklies: “Believe in Jesus? Please send $1” with the address of a post-office box where people can reply...Is her plan ethical?
New York Times Mar 02, 2008 A Doctor’s Notes (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  A life-insurance company rejected a patient of mine when it saw on his medical records, read with his consent, that he has used drugs recreationally...Should I include such things in patients’ records...?  At a spa, my girlfriend and I found two unoccupied lounge chairs...with towels and a bag placed on top by people who wished to reserve them...we used them...Was my behavior O.K.?
New York Times Feb 22, 2008 Flight Risk (The Ethicist)
QUOTE: ...One of us posted an electronic copy of [an out-of-print] book and invited others to download it and...send a check to the author. Ethical?  A student of mine mentioned that his father works at a hedge fund and his brother at another financial institution. My husband is seeking employment at similar institutions...May I ask this student for help?
New York Times Feb 15, 2008 Playing With Fire (The Ethicist)
QUOTE: Our small community of perhaps 60 homes lacks adequate fire protection...so some feel we should purchase our own...must we provide this equipment to those who did not share in its purchase?  My medical school makes video recordings of most lectures and puts them online...one professor withheld this useful study aid because attendance at his 8 a.m. lecture was low. Was it fair to deny us this tool meant to enhance our education?
New York Times Feb 09, 2008 Father and Sons
QUOTE:  My aging father needs a kidney transplant. A brother and I are willing donors, but I am a perfect blood match while he is only an acceptable match...Whose needs take precedence?  [I] scooped up someone’s lost flash drive, planning to mail it to its owner. A quick check showed that the drive contains a company’s proprietary information...What to do?
New York Times Feb 01, 2008 The Ethicist: Much About History
QUOTE:  I’m a history professor... — with an M.A. student who wants to pursue a doctorate...Must I [recommend her] if I find her views incongruent with those of historians?  I [bought] a painting at a local art gallery...Days later, the gallery said it was returning my money because [another] prospect had purchased the work. I later learned this buyer wrote a positive review of the exhibition in the local paper. Did the gallery act ethically?
New York Times Jan 25, 2008 Minorities for Money? (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  I teach at a state university that offers financial incentives to hire minority candidates...  What do you think about our setting up a hidden recorder to hear what potential home buyers say about our property?
New York Times Jan 18, 2008 Anonymity Breach
QUOTE: On [an anonymous] evaluation, a student made derogatory comments about a professor’s sexual orientation.... The university claims the student broke the code of conduct, but if anonymity was promised, is this investigation ethical? My boyfriend began extensive renovations on a house...while he was seeing another woman...I’m uncomfortable with this, particularly because she has stated a desire to resume their relationship.
New York Times Jan 11, 2008 The Right Hires
QUOTE:  To afford to start a new business, I must use low-cost foreign manufacturers, some of whom likely maintain unsafe working conditions...Is it wrong to start my business in this way?  I am a graduate student and hire undergraduate field assistants... We only accept people over 5-foot-5...Is height a legitimate job criterion?
New York Times Jan 04, 2008 The Ethicist: Expensive Boo-Boo
QUOTE: [My husband's] physician prescribed the wrong antibiotic. The insurance company, recognizing the mistake, refused to cover the prescription’s $573 cost... I think our doctor should reimburse us...You?  A friend asked me to oversee her small restaurant while she was on vacation, emphasizing my being her eyes and ears. Well, those eyes saw $80 in cash paid to a server who neither put the money in the register nor filed the check. May I settle this with the server discreetly, or must I tell the owner?
New York Times Dec 28, 2007 The Ethicist: Seminal Revelation
QUOTE:  My fiancé received a letter at his office from a woman claiming to be the product of his sperm donation nearly 20 years ago...Was it ethical of her to obtain his name and business address? Must he reply?  My husband’s company provides him with a business-class airplane ticket for trips to China. His 70-year-old father is joining him on his next business trip...Would it be wrong for my husband to give his father his business-class seat?
New York Times Dec 23, 2007 Goes With the Job (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  An A.P. English teacher at a public school, I am inundated with requests for college recommendations...would it be unethical to charge a fee to the parents of these students akin to that charged by outside SAT tutors?  I am a gynecologist...[a new patient] made an assumption [that I do not perform abortions]...Must I correct this misunderstanding?
New York Times Dec 16, 2007 Business and Friends (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  While negotiating the sale of his share of a small shawarma restaurant to a friend of his, my husband learned that a famous shawarma chain is opening a branch near the restaurant. He fears that if he tells the friend, he will back out of the deal. It feels wrong to withhold this information. Must he tell?  A colleague subcontracted to me a freelance writing job composing brochures for two local business...Shouldn’t she tell the clients that the words are not hers (even if she doesn’t reveal my name)?
New York Times Dec 02, 2007 Minding the Store (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  Occasionally we get phone calls [in our liquor store] from distressed people asking us not to sell their loved ones any liquor or wine because of alcohol abuse. How should we respond?  If...nurses believe in [alternative] treatments, may they tell the patient they are effective?
New York Times Nov 18, 2007 Bad Grad, Good Grad (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  One of my grad students copied a term paper from the Internet, cutting and pasting from various uncredited sources...I proposed that she search out the several dozen articles she used to “compose” her paper and write each author an apology... My schooling is paid for, and I receive a salary for my work on which I can get by...would it be ethical to accept the loans for investment?
New York Times Nov 11, 2007 Garden of Vandals (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  Some local fifth graders vandalized our town’s voluntarily financed, old and prestigious organic garden...Do their wealthy parents have an obligation to pay for these repairs?  My [sister] has long received financial help from our parents...May I ask them to make a reckoning of their aid to my sister...so that overall, she and I receive equal amounts?
New York Times Nov 04, 2007 Attack From Beyond (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  If the instructions in her will do not violate the law...her executor is obliged to carry them out.  a group of four students was widely known to cheat on tests...What should I do?
New York Times Oct 28, 2007 Wet Work (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  Is it ethical to order food for delivery during a thunderstorm?  My two college-age daughters [each paid] half the cost [of a trip to France]. Daughter No. 1 used money she earned at a part-time job. Daughter No. 2 used money she received by subletting her apartment, for which her dad and I pay the rent...  My college newspaper ran an opinion article supporting a professor who had not been rehired...the professor asked us to remove the article from our archive for two years. Should we?
New York Times Oct 21, 2007 Milkshake Misdeed? (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  My 71-year-old father lives in a nursing home...and is tube-fed...Now that I see he will eat whatever he wants, I’m inclined to give it to him. Am I more compassionate or less ethical? My son and daughter-in-law paid a rabbi in advance to officiate at their wedding...I say that she did not do the job and so should not collect a fee. Right?
New York Times Oct 14, 2007 Dirty Money? (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  I recently discovered that my ex-roommate had been working as a prostitute and sometimes paid me the rent with money earned that way...Must I accept (and keep) rent money regardless of its source?  My fiancée took three pairs of shoes to the valet service in our building to be sent out to be resoled. The service lost the shoes [and reimbursed us]...the shoes were miraculously found, and the valet service asked us to refund their [money]. Must we?
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