[3], A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.”[4] A concussion is a form of TBI where the blow causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth, bouncing around in the skull and suffering various types of structural damage. Utilitarianism is part of a larger family of consequentialist ethical theories—theories according to which the rightness or wrongness of actions is determined by their tendency to produce good or bad consequences or outcomes. Empirical research supports the notion that allowing children to engage in dangerous forms of play is key to their optimal development. 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. Why or why not? 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. After examining DeGeorge (2010) a utilitarian approach to this case study in handling self-interest is too impractical. 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. [3] Dave Bry, American Football is Too Dangerous, and It Should Be Abolished, The Guardian (UK), Jan. 4, 2016. [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). [55] 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). Our society allows people to voluntarily choose to undertake many risky professions, including coal miners, fire jumpers, soldiers, underwater oil rig welders, and others. What facts would you weigh in making the decision? [59] At the end of the day, the jury still seems to be out on the question of whether you can go to a football game or watch one on television and still feel good about yourself for supporting a sport that seems to cause irreversible traumatic brain injuries. Pamela R. Sailors, Personal Foul: An Evaluation of the Moral Status of Football, Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 42(2): 269-286 (2015). A collection of one-of-a-kind videos that highlight the ethical aspects of various subjects. Explain. Or alternatively: Act so as to cause the least pain to people generally. Preface: The Life of Socrates Section 1: Greek ... Utilitarian Theories. Given the obvious conflict of interest, the studies have been criticized on that ground. happiness or reduces pain. [14] Jesse Mez et al., Clinicopathological Evaluation of Chronic Traumatic Encepahalopathy in Players of American Football, JAMA, 318(4): 360-370 (2017). [47] Ingfei Chen, Exactly How Dangerous Is Football?, The New Yorker, Feb. 1, 2020. All people—all happiness and all misery—count equally, in the eyes of utilitarians. Deontological and utilitarian ethics: a brief introduction in the context of disorders of consciousness . In the wake of the recent pandemic, Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy said “In my opinion, if we have to bring our players back, test them. Dr. Omalu identified abnormal clumps of the protein tau in Webster’s brain, which he believed to be evidence of CTE. Bry believes that this will never happen. [75] Steve Almond, Is It Immoral to Watch the Super Bowl?, New York Times, Jan. 24, 2014. If subconcussive blows are the cause of C.T.E., how much impact is too much? 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. Utilitarian ethics distinguishes between happiness as an intrinsic good and those factors that are instrumental means in achieving happiness. Reducing tackling in practices has reduced overall concussion numbers among high school players, even though the number of concussions in games has risen slightly. It is the only moral … Myanmar is a small southeast Asian country that contains about 130 diverse ethnic groups recognized by the government. 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. 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].”. A utilitarian perspective would focus on outcomes: if more good (more happiness) is created overall by giving a child a job, then it is right to do so, even if we agree that in principle it would be better if the child didn’t need the job. Alan Schwarz et al., N.F.L.’s Flawed Concussion Research and Ties to Tobacco Industry, New York Times, March 24, 2016. The Kachin Independence Army, which includes ethnic minorities who live in the northern Kachin and surrounding regions of Myanmar, has been in armed conflict with the Myanmar government for the restoration of minority ethnic groups’ rights. Why, then, do you think they oppose letting adults choose freely to play football? [45] Eamon T. Campolettano et al., Development of a Concussion Risk Function for a Youth Population Using Heal Linear and Rotational Acceleration, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 48(1): 92 DOI: 10.1007/s10439-019-02382-2. [51] Kevin Seifer, Did the Helmet Rule Actually Work? Russell, The Value of Dangerous Sport, Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 32: 1-19 (2005). 1. 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. [67] Adam M. Finkel & Kevin F. Bieniek, How Public Helath Science Evaluates Evidence, Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, 25(3): 564-589 (2019). Players Hit Back, New York Times, Sept. 26, 2017. [53] Christie Aschwanden, Football’s Concussion Crisis Is Awash with Pseudoscience, Wired.com, Oct. 2, 2019. Consider the question of child labour. 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. But few would consider it an acceptable course of action, let alone the most ethical one. [8] Jeanne Marie Laskas, Concussion (2015). What moral principles would you take into account? What factors go into each side of the equation? This has led some to suggest that the NFL is a modern plantation. If option A will create more happiness (or less misery) overall than option B, then option A is ethically correct. 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? [64] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle. Some of these are high impacts comparable to those experienced in high school and college games. Explain. 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. 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. [56] Christie Aschwanden, Football’s Concussion Crisis Is Awash with Pseudoscience, Wired.com, Oct. 2, 2019 (quoting brain scientists Adnan Hirad). Explain. 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. Do you think that the NFL would make more safety-related changes if white players dominated rosters? How do the tau clumps relate to the clinical syndrome—do the lesions fully explain the mood and memory problems? A 2017 study found CTE in 21% of donated brains of deceased high school football players. Modern philosophers have made several changes in the theory in order for the theory to fit and address the changing needs of the society. That part of his personality that harbours these hostile antisocial feelings must be excluded from membership, and has no claim for a hearing when it comes to defining our concept of social … The reality is that we still don’t know who is most likely to suffer a concussion, who will take longer to recover, how anatomic or genetic differences influence concussions, and who may be at risk of prolonged symptoms or developing cognitive problems later in life.”[34], Furthermore, many of the studies cited by those who would like to abolish tackle football have involved relatively small sample sizes. [54] Marc Siegel, Concussions and Football: New Helmets, New Tools, The Hill, Aug. 19, 2019. The mining of these amber specimens in Myanmar is the center of many legitimate and blackmarket sales to university researchers and private collectors alike. Again, these studies are broken down by league level: Studies such as these provide ammunition for those who defend organized football as an institution. Why or why not? However, many such studies were funded or carried out by the NFL, owners of NFL franchises, universities that earn millions of dollars from football, and other interested parties. [71] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harm_principle. https://dc.law.utah.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1121&context=ulr, Sokol, Joshua, “Troubled Treasure,” Science, May 23, 2019.   https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/05/fossils-burmese-amber-offer-exquisite-view-dinosaur-times-and-ethical-minefield, Thiha, “Myanmar’s New Gold Mine is Dinosaur Amber, July 11, 2018. https://consult-myanmar.com/2018/07/11/myanmars-new-gold-mine-is-dinosaur-amber/, Xing, Linda et al., “A Feathered Dinosaur Tail with Primitive Plumage Trapped in Mid-Cretaceous Amber,” Current Biology, 26: 24, pl. 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. The government then forced more than 5000 inhabitants from their homes and villages, as well as from the amber mines. Comparing consequences can be hard, so some philosophers say that we can’t truly make utilitarian decisions. 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. There is no official state religion but the Myanmar government favors the majority Theravada Buddhism population. [52], On the other hand, while football helmets can prevent fractured skulls, they will likely never be able to prevent concussions. 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