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Michigan Ethics Economy Initiative

Our conversation with Don Welch, PhD, President and CEO of Michigan's member-owned Merit Network begins with a lively discussion on a very pressing concern: how to ethically train students and workforce personnel to protect and defend institutional networks against cyberattacks and security breaches. As an early innovator in computer networking services for researchers and educators, Merit is uniquely positioned in this field. 

Dr. Andrew Barnosky, Director of the Adult Clinical Ethics Consultation Service and Chair of the Adult Ethics Committee at the University of Michigan Health System conducts a valuable clinic for us--on the vital role and reasons for the increasing use of ethics consultations in patient care. 

Before A2Ethics talked with Darlene Wahlberg, an IRB administrator for St. Joseph Mercy Health Care System, we had to get her informed consent. We thought it meant getting her to talk with us about her responsibility for managing and documenting the work of one of St. Joseph Mercy's Institutional Review Boards. Institutional Review Boards, more commonly known as IRBs, have been part of the structure of health care and foundations of medical ethics for forty years.

There are many centers doing ethics work and contributing to the growing global "ethics economy." As far as we know, however, there is only one center which combines study of bioethical issues with the social sciences in medicine. Notably, it is in Michigan--at the University of Michigan Medical School--and known as CBSSM, a felicitous acronym for The Center for Bioethics and the Social Sciences in Medicine.  

"If I major in philosophy or ethics, what will I be able to do? Other than teach?"

We didn't pose those questions to distinguished ethics teacher Brian Miller. Such questions would never occur to us. After all, what better life than teaching ethics and philosophy? 

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