Ethics Tute

Question 1 – Prisoner of Paradise…..

Ethics

A journalist is taken as a scientific experiment in Sri Lanka. This is a high-tech endeavor and involves a journalist that the government doesn’t like who is used as a guinea pig for this social experiment. The Sri Lanka Government is helped by a world renowned film maker who and his team provide the technological foundation to this experiment. So the team of scientists start to follow the innocent journalist, using high tech surveillance instruments, hot spot and thermal analysis, mind tracking etc to look at both thoughts and actions of this journalist. The worst part of the experiment, is not just the unveiling of thoughts and actions of the journalist, but spreading them to the broader public using a unique frequency that the journalist can’t hear but everyone else can or through an unforeseen mechanism the journalist is not aware of. This was supposed to be a cutting edge experiment but everything starts falling apart in the social experiment.

With time, the journalist finds out that everything in his surroundings does not make sense. He feels that people are acting around him (wrong body language, repetition of certain words,  odds and probabilities not matching etc) and know everything about him (after all his actions and thoughts are broadcasted real-time). He can’t control his anger at first, knowing that he is a guinea pig in a social experiment with no mental or physical privacy, but as time goes on, he knows he doesn’t have any exit routes or escape plans. He is the quintessential prisoner of paradise and even overseas. After all, the whole world knows him now (even in Antarctica and in Greenland) and the journalists of CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera etc are following him like his shadow, wanting to know more about this enigmatic personality.

Answer the following questions to your best knowledge.

  • Which of the bioethics/ethics laws does this experiment break – elaborate ? If every bioethics principle is broken, please note the circumstances of each.
  • If the journalist, due to the agonizing mental stress of being under surveillance, breaks down or has cancer later on in life due to epigenetic changes resulting from the constant stress, can he sue the Sri Lankan Government and everyone else involved ?
  • What do you understand by justice? And in this case what sort of justice should the journalist be receiving. Elaborate.
  • What is the International Court of Justice? Explain.
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Author: meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, American Journal of Poetry, Kitaab, Eastlit and Ravens Perch. He mixes science with poetry for a living, when what matters is the expression of both DNA and words into something serendipitous. Although an Australian citizen, Dilantha is domiciled in Sri Lanka, his country of birth.

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