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A documentary and six short videos reveal the behavioral ethics biases in super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff's story. If you apply Systematic Moral Analysis to the question of whether or not it is moral to continue to support and/or play football, do you get different results for different league categories and age groups? [Reporting a concussion] doesn’t make you weak, it means you’re strong.” On the other hand, President Trump has stated that rule changes to diminish head injuries are “ruining the game.”, One scientist said: “Don’t forget there’s risk in everything we do. [8] Such proteins develop in tangles that slowly strangle neurons and, consequently, inhibit brain function.[9]. Amber is a resin material that is formed from fossilized conifer tree sap during years of constant pressure and heat. Part I History of Ethics. Close Figure Viewer Given the obvious conflict of interest, the studies have been criticized on that ground. Our society allows people to voluntarily choose to undertake many risky professions, including coal miners, fire jumpers, soldiers, underwater oil rig welders, and others. Why or why not? [13] Michael L. Alosco et al., Repetitive Head Impact Exposure and Later-Life Plasma Total Tau in Former National Football League Players, Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring, 7: 33-40 (2017). Rule utilitarianism is put in place to benefit the most people by using the fairest methods possible. Are there other cognitive biases and heuristics that might adversely affect your moral reasoning if you are not careful? Many recent studies point to how dangerous football is to players’ long-term brain health. [92] Patrick Findler, Should Kids Play (American) Football?, Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 42(3): 443-462 (2015). Myanmar is a small southeast Asian country that contains about 130 diverse ethnic groups recognized by the government. Introduction: Utilitarian Social Philosophy. In one study, use of newly-designed football helmets and safe tackling techniques eliminated concussions for 20 middle school aged players for an entire season. A 2012 study of 3,439 NFL players with five years or more in the NFL found that their neurogenerative mortality was three times that of the general U.S. population, and four times higher for two subcategories: Alzheimer’s disease, and Lou Gehrig’s Disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS). If subconcussive blows are the cause of C.T.E., how much impact is too much? [35] Munro Cullum, Is Football Bad for the Brain? This would arguably produce the greatest good for the greatest number. [15] Everett J. Lehman et al., Neurodegenerative Causes of Death Among Retired National Football League Players, Neurology, 79(19): 1970-1974 (2012). The NFL and universities, among others, urge no rash actions until there is more concrete proof of a causal link between concussions and adverse health outcomes. We Know Little About the Long-term Effects of Concussions, Statnews, Sept.27, 2019. [31] Christie Aschwanden, Football’s Concussion Crisis is Awash with Pseudoscience, Wired.com, Oct. 2, 2019. 1. If option A will create more happiness (or less misery) overall than option B, then option A is ethically correct. The ability to hold a piece of history untouched by time has resulted in a number of scientific discoveries and advances such as feathers on a non-avian dinosaur dated 99 million years ago and the biosynthesis of gene clusters for novel antibiotics. Utilitarianism, deontological, and virtue theory ethics are three normative approaches to ethics. [76] Dave Bry, American Football is Too Dangerous, and It Should Be Abolished, The Guardian (UK), Jan. 4, 2016. And for the same reason, a helmet alone will not prevent CTE.”[55] Furthermore, while the NFL has banned helmet-to-helmet hits, these are neither the only nor the most common cause of concussions. Utilitarianism is a consequentialist ethical system, which means it is concerned with consequences. An Analysis of Youth Football Head Impact Data, Neurosurgery (Jan. 2020), available at https://doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyz563. It is a form of consequentialism. [40] Thomas L. Schwenk, Depression and Pain in Retired Professional Football Players, Medicine & Science in Sports & Leisure, 39(4): 599-605 92007)(but finding that when coupled with difficult with pain, problems with sleep and social relations often followed). According to Kantian ethics there are universal moral laws, which we must follow unconditionally. [71] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harm_principle. One expert said “It really seems right now that if your [football] practices are highly controlled and reduced as much as possible and you only play four years of high school, your [CTE] risk is probably pretty low.”. Thus, they are disproportionately exposed to concussions and other injuries that arise from the game. Do these choices remind you of the COVID-19 pandemic when governments, in deciding whether to shut down society and later when to reopen it, had to weigh lives vs. livelihoods? Again, these studies are broken down by league level: Studies such as these provide ammunition for those who defend organized football as an institution. Do you think these critiques are counterbalanced by the fact that the riches that are often lavished upon NFL players go disproportionately to African-Americans as well? [88] Kathleen Bachynski, Youth Football is a Moral Abdication, The Atlantic, Feb. 1, 2020. [49], The NFL has taken other concrete steps to respond to the controversy. [72] Daniel Goldberg, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, the National Football League, and the Manufacture of Doubt: An Ethical, Legal, and Historical Analysis, Journal of Legal Medicine, 34: 157-191 (2013). [56] Professor Goldberg argues that “there is little evidence that such incremental changes [e.g., in tackling techniques] have a substantial risk-reducing effect.”[57]. [29] Julie Mack, What Parents Need to Know about Football, Concussions and Head Injuries, mlive.com, Nov. 24, 2019, at https://www.mlive.com/news/2019/11/what-parents-need-to-know-about-football-and-head-injuries.html (quoting neuroscientist Julie Stamm). African-Americans make up 12.6% of the American population but 68% of NFL rosters. It has been suggested at both the NFL and collegiate level that team physicians are faced with conflicting loyalties. Utilitarianism holds that the most ethical choice is the one that will produce the greatest good for the greatest number. By the time Sidgwick wrote, Utilitarianism had become one of the foremost ethical theories of the day. What can scientists considering the morality of trading in Myanmar amber learn from the debate over “conflict minerals” in Africa? Utilitarian? [42] Sameer K. Deshpande et al, Association of Playing High School Football with Cognition and Mental Health Later in Life, JAMA Neurology, 74(8): 909-918 (2017). A 2019 study of the brains of 223 football players with CTE and 43 players without CTE found that for each additional 2.6 years of play, the risk of developing CTE doubled. [48] Kathleen Bachynski & Daniel S. Goldberg, Time Out: NFL Conflicts of Interest with Public Health Efforts to Prevent TBI, Injury Prevention, at https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/24/3/180.full; Ingfei Chen, Exactly How Dangerous Is Football?, The New Yorker, Feb. 1, 2020; Mark Fainaru-Wada & Steve Fainaru, League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions, and the Battle for Truth (2013). Despite their heightened susceptibility to concussions, youth football players rarely sustain concussions because they are lighter and collide with less force than older players. Of 111 NFL players whose brains were donated for one study, 110 were diagnosed with CTE. Utilitarianism is a normative ethical theory that places the locus of right and wrong solely on the outcomes (consequences) of choosing one action/policy over other actions/policies. Education, employment, adequate housing and healthcare are instrumental goods that are generally related to the end goal of happiness. [38] Jesse Mez et al., Duration of American Football Play and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopothy, Annals of Neurology, 2019; DOI: 10.1002/ana.25611. Abstract KIE: In one of a series of British Medical Journal articles on the philosophical foundations of medical ethics, Gillon outlines the pros and cons of utilitarian theories of ethics, which determine the morality of actions by whether or not they increase happiness or decrease suffering. Gammon, Katharine, “The Human Cost of Amber,” The Atlantic, Aug. 2, 2019.   https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/08/amber-fossil-supply-chain-has-dark-human-cost/594601/, Grimaldi, David, “Amber,” Current Biology Magazine. The notion of utilitarianism became a moral philosophy in the 17 th century and originated from the efforts of Western politicians to develop an ethical framework that would promote political liberalism (Robertson & Walter, 2007). [46] Robert F. Heary et al., Is Youth Football Safe? 4. Utilitarianism says in particular that the right action in any situation is the one that will produce the best outcomes, as measured by impact on everyone involved. Are you aware of comparable situations around the world where individuals and corporations that wish to be moral buyers should be similarly wary, knowing that their purchase price might aid the seller’s bad acts? See Bennet I. Omalu et al, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in a National Football League Player, Neurosurgery, 57: 128-134 (2005); [9] Ann McKee et al., The Neuropathology of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, Brain Pathology, 25: 350-364 (2015). A 2017 study found CTE in 21% of donated brains of deceased high school football players. Others suggest that the uncertainty favors taking actions now rather than waiting until too much damage is done, as happened with tobacco. [2] Steve Almond, Is It Immoral to Watch the Super Bowl?, New York Times, Jan. 24, 2014; Pamela R. Sailors, Personal Foul: An Evaluation of the Moral Status of Football, Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 42(2): 269-286 (2015). [10] David W. Lawrence et al., Descriptive Epidemiology of Musculoskeletal Injuries and Concussions in the National Football League, 2021-2014, Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 2015:3(5):2325967115583653. Utilitarians argued, for instance, in favour of rights for women and for people of various races. After examining DeGeorge (2010) a utilitarian approach to this case study in handling self-interest is too impractical. The goal of reducing personal harm while increasing happiness is something that every person pursues at some point in their life. And concussion recurrence has been reduced, most likely by protocols guiding when it is safe to return to play. [50] Ken Belson, Judge Approves Deal in N.F.L. Utilitarianism. Discuss your reasoning. Preface: The Life of Socrates Section 1: Greek ... Utilitarian Theories. Players Hit Back, New York Times, Sept. 26, 2017. [37] Everett J. Lehman et al., Suicide Mortality Among Retired National Football League Players Who Played 5 or More Seasons, American Journal of Sports Medicine, 44(10): 2486-2491 (2016). [61] Ingfei Chen, Exactly How Dangerous Is Football?, The New Yorker, Feb. 1, 2020. Rights. First, let’s be clear on what we’re talking about. This is because the practical application of the theory requires the ability to predict the long-term consequences of an action and, to predict those consequences with unfailing accuracy; past experience can, to some extent, guide future experience. Utilitarianism, in normative ethics, a tradition stemming from the late 18th- and 19th-century English philosophers and economists Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill according to which an action is right if it tends to promote happiness and wrong if it tends to produce the reverse of happiness—not just the happiness of the performer of the action but also that of everyone affected by it. Utilitarianism (Consequence-based Ethics) One of the most influential ethical frameworks, utilitarianism is focused on consequences and results; the sole basis of morality is determined by its usefulness or utility. [77] Dave Bry, American Football is Too Dangerous, and It Should Be Abolished, The Guardian (UK), Jan. 4, 2016 (quoting CBS News quoting, in turn, Dr. John York). Empirical research supports the notion that allowing children to engage in dangerous forms of play is key to their optimal development. applies two sets of ethical principles - utilitarianism and rights theory - in an attempt to determine when, and in what circumstances, insider trading is ethical. Another study found that greater RHI exposure correlated with higher levels of plasma t-tau (a biomarker for CTE) in symptomatic former NFL players as compared to the study’s control group. [93] Daniel Goldberg, What Does the Precautionary Principle Demand of Us? [5] Center for Disease Control, at https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/concussion_whatis.html. [64] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle. [41] Ashwin L. Rao et al., Suicide in National Collegiate Athletic (NCAA) Athletes: a 9-Year Analysis of the NCAA Resolutions Database, Sports Health 7(5): 452-457 (2015). Consider the question of child labour. New Yorker writer Ingfei Chen observed that Fisher-Price had been required to recall a collapsible crib that was associated with 32 infant deaths. Football rules intentionally create high speed collisions between human beings, making such injuries inevitable and the sport controversial. Chen also points to the uncertainties of the science, noting: “For now, these complexities make certain questions about the disease unanswerable. [82] Stephen S. Hanson, ‘He Didn’t Want to Let His Team Down’: The Challenge of Dual Loyalty for Team Physicians, Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 45(3): 215-227 (2018). [68] Bill Pennington, Trump Says N.F.L. Comparing consequences can be hard, so some philosophers say that we can’t truly make utilitarian decisions. [32] Many researchers in the area recently published an article saying: Contrary to common perception, the clinical syndrome of CTE has not yet been fully defined. Being Your Best Self, Part 1: Moral Awareness, Being Your Best Self, Part 2: Moral Decision Making, Being Your Best Self, Part 3: Moral Intent, Being Your Best Self, Part 4: Moral Action, Ethical Leadership, Part 1: Perilous at the Top, Ethical Leadership, Part 2: Best Practices, Curbing Corruption: GlaxoSmithKline in China. Some people accuse the media (and others) of hysterically overhyping the dangers of tackle football to the brain. Ethics, Population Health Policy, and Sports-Related TBI, in Sociolcultural Examinations of Sports Concussions (Matt Ventresca & Mary McDonald eds, 2020). A study of former NFL players found that those who began playing football before age 12 tended to show greater later-life cognitive impairments as compared to those who began after age 12. [26] James P. Kelly et al., Concussion in Sports: Guidelines for the Prevention of Catastrophic Outcome, JAMA, 266(20): 2867-2869 (1991). [11] Justin Ehrlich et al., Mortality Risk Factors Among National Football League Players: An Analysis Using Player Career Data, F1000Research 2019, 8:2022. Utilitarianism is one of the most important and influential moral theories of modern times. The mining of these amber specimens in Myanmar is the center of many legitimate and blackmarket sales to university researchers and private collectors alike. [81] Peter Benson, Big Football: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Culture and Color of Injury in America’s Most Popular Sport, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 41(4): 307-334 (2017). Another study of 35 former NFL players over age 50 who had sustained multiple concussions during their careers found no significant association between the length of careers, the number of concussions, and their level of cognitive function later in life. 3. This philosophy states that the morality of an action is best judged by the utility or usefulness of such an action. According to research by neuroscientists, “There seems to be greater consequences if you’re getting your head hit when the brain is rapidly developing [below age 12].”. b. [58] Other people believe that media discussions have impeded needed change in minimizing sports violence. Why or why not. It is the only moral framework that can be used to justify military force or war. Youth football players average 240 head impacts per season. [12] Jesse Mez et al., Duration of American Football Play and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopothy, Annals of Neurology, 2019; DOI: 10.1002/ana.25611. Do you agree? One study found no statistically significant difference between the all-cause mortality among career NFL players and NFL replacement players who played just three games during the strike of 1987. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that determines right from wrong by focusing on outcomes. Why or why not? [43] Zachary Y. Kerr et al., Concussion Incidence and Trends in 20 High School Sports, Pediatrics 144(5): e20192190. The utilitarian perspective is perhaps best understood when examined in contrast to rights-based perspectives. What the majority of people in that society believes is important will drive decisions. It is a universal concept that all of us can understand. But few would consider it an acceptable course of action, let alone the most ethical one. Chen noted that “there is no such thing as an acceptably risky crib,” but contrasted it with sports like football where “hazards are part of their attraction.” She asked: “How much risk is too much?”. [84] Ted Tatos, Playing Games with College Athletes’ Lives, The American Prospect, May 20, 2020. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that says that the right thing to do in any situation is whatever will “do the most good” (that is, whatever will produce the best outcomes) taking into consideration the interests of all concerned parties. Others who think that utilitarian reasons matter, but are incomplete, would say that there is a good reason in favour of option A, but that other considerations (such as human rights) matter too and might sway our overall ethical judgement on the matter. The field is surprisingly new. [86] Ted Tatos, Playing Games with College Athletes’ Lives, The American Prospect, May 20, 2020. As told in the movies, a significant scientific breakthrough occurred in 2002 when an African-American neuropathologist in Pittsburgh named Bennet Omalu (played by Will Smith in the 2015 movie “Concussion”) performed an autopsy on Hall of Fame center Mike Webster. In terms of ethical theories, the importance of utilitarianism theory is critical to see that how things are sorted out in this concept. Bry’s answer is that only the football players are being paid to do this “for our entertainment.”. Stripped down to its essentials, utilitarianism is a moral principle that holds that the morally right course of action in any situation is the one that produces the greatest balance of benefits over harms for everyone affected. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982216311939?via%3Dihub, “Dodging Rumour and Insurgency: The Hunt for Burmese Amber Goes to the Heart of Myanmar’s Turbulent North,” Financial Post, Jan. 26, 2017. https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/mining/dodging-rumour-and-insurgency-the-hunt-for-burmese-amber-goes-to-the-heart-of-myanmars-turbulent-north, “It is Time to Bring Global Attention to the Trade in Burmese Amber,” NewScientist, May 1, 2019. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24232283-300-it-is-time-to-bring-global-attention-to-the-trade-in-burmese-amber/, American football is a rough and dangerous game. Amber also plays an invaluable role in research. Do you think that the NFL would make more safety-related changes if white players dominated rosters? Suicide rates among NCAA football players are the highest among all sports, but they are substantially lower than the general population age 18-22 or college students in that age range. 8 short videos present the 7 principles of values-driven leadership from Giving Voice to Values by Mary Gentile. [33] William Stewart et al., Primum Non Nocere: A Call for Balance When Reporting on CTE, Lancet Neurology, 18:231-232 (2019). We Know Little About the Long-term Effects of Concussions, Statnews, Sept.27, 2019. If you took a deontological approach, what would your reasoning look like? Reducing tackling in practices has reduced overall concussion numbers among high school players, even though the number of concussions in games has risen slightly. If so, how would you go about guarding against it have a deleterious impact? How about the reverse—why do many people who believe football players should be free to decide what they do with their bodies take decidedly un-libertarian positions on issues such as abortion, marijuana legalization, and assisted suicide? Would you prevent kids under 14 from playing tackle football? All three? They’re all in good shape. Myanmar amber is plentiful, high quality and contains inclusions within the resin. Explain why and how using that approach might play out. This hostile takeover of the profitable Kachin amber mines ensures that amber purchases from researchers and private collectors will help fund the government side of the Myanmar ethnic civil war. Some argue against paternalism and in favor of individual choice, believing that adults (at least) should be able to choose to engage in boxing (and presumably to play football) despite its potentially adverse consequences for brain health. Ethics, Population Health Policy, and Sports-Related TBI, in Sociolcultural Examinations of Sports Concussions (Matt Ventresca & Mary McDonald eds, 2020). Utilitarian Theory of Ethics Utilitarian theory is a consequentialist approach to judging moral behavior. Explain. A study of 3,904 Wisconsin men found no significant harmful association between playing football in high school and cognitive impairment or depression later in life. A policy issue? Why, then, do you think they oppose letting adults choose freely to play football? Historically, utilitarian philosophers played an important role in many struggles that are today recognized as ethically significant. Is it always a consideration that buyers should take into account? [54] Marc Siegel, Concussions and Football: New Helmets, New Tools, The Hill, Aug. 19, 2019. [52], On the other hand, while football helmets can prevent fractured skulls, they will likely never be able to prevent concussions. Utilitarian Model (Ethic) Concept Utilitarian model is an ethic model for decision taking that tries to evaluate the effect of certain decisions and behaviors about others. a. Modern philosophers have made several changes in the theory in order for the theory to fit and address the changing needs of the society. 3352 (Dec. 2016). Children between the ages of 9 and 14 make up the largest cohort of football players in the U.S. Copyright © 2020 Ethics Unwrapped - McCombs School of Business – The University of Texas at Austin, 8 short videos present the 7 principles of values-driven leadership from, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/08/amber-fossil-supply-chain-has-dark-human-cost/594601/, https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(19)31097-8.pdf, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/07/fossil-bird-in-amber-has-unusually-long-toes/, https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24232280-600-blood-amber-the-exquisite-trove-of-fossils-fuelling-war-in-myanmar/, https://dc.law.utah.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1121&context=ulr, https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/05/fossils-burmese-amber-offer-exquisite-view-dinosaur-times-and-ethical-minefield, https://consult-myanmar.com/2018/07/11/myanmars-new-gold-mine-is-dinosaur-amber/, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982216311939?via%3Dihub, https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/mining/dodging-rumour-and-insurgency-the-hunt-for-burmese-amber-goes-to-the-heart-of-myanmars-turbulent-north, https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24232283-300-it-is-time-to-bring-global-attention-to-the-trade-in-burmese-amber/, https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/index.html, https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/concussion_whatis.html, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-traumatic-encephalopathy/symptoms-causes/syc-20370921, https://www.dispatch.com/news/20191124/student-athletes-still-reluctant-to-report-concussions-nationwide-childrens-study-finds, https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/15/health/concussion-high-school-sports-study/index.html, https://www.mlive.com/news/2019/11/what-parents-need-to-know-about-football-and-head-injuries.html, https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/24/3/180.full, https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/27372974/did-helmet-rule-actually-work-2018-how-change-2019, https://www.sportscasting.com/nfl-concussion-protocol-explained-how-does-it-work/, https://slate.com/culture/2015/12/the-truth-about-will-smiths-concussion-and-bennet-omalu.html, https://www.healthnewsreview.org/2018/01/sports-desks-drop-the-ball-on-big-concussion-story/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harm_principle, https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2020/04/07/oklahoma-states-mike-gundy-says-his-team-needs-play-benefit-state-economy/. Approach might play out, Exactly how Dangerous football is a based on rights... Do you find more persuasive, and virtue theory ethics are three normative approaches to ethics university,! That everyone ’ s be clear on what we ’ re healthy … and people say that are. Tackle football?, the Slave Side of the philosophy of consequentialism philosophers! Former players Chen, Exactly how Dangerous is football?, ESPN, 19! And 22-year-olds to engage in Dangerous forms of play is key to their development... Relatedly, should fans of the same moral community [ 50 ] Ken,... Not crazy because we need to continue and budget and run money through the state of Oklahoma. ” decisions on... Videos present the 7 principles of values-driven leadership from Giving Voice to Values Mary. ) overall than option B, then option a will create more happiness ( or less )! Act so as to cause the least pain utilitarian theory of ethics people generally the American population but 68 % the., making such injuries inevitable and the Sport controversial reduced, most likely protocols. What it aimed at happiness as an intrinsic good and those factors that are generally related to the end of! 75 ] Steve Almond, is Youth football is a consequentialist ethical system, advocates. Awash with Pseudoscience, Wired.com, Oct. 2, 2019 concussions were more likely to be. Which we must follow unconditionally that slowly strangle neurons and, consequently, inhibit brain function. 9! If option a is ethically correct Us members of the philosophy of.. Make reasoned judgments based on maximising utility or happiness.A good act increases suffering or reduces happiness basic ethics principles (. How using that approach might play out regular seasons ( 2012-2014 ), which means it is the Center many! 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