FASPE is presenting a series of Webinars that focus on Professional Ethics and Ethical Leadership. We begin with several that discuss these questions within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these webinars are discipline-specific, others will focus on interdisciplinary problems.


Upcoming Webinars


Tuesday, June 9, 2020
5:00PM EDT / 2:00PM PDT

The Ethics of Reopening


Tuesday, June 23, 2020
1:00PM EDT / 10:00AM PDT

What COVID-19 is Teaching Us About Leadership


Recent Webinars


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Breaking News: The Ethical Pitfalls of Covering a Pandemic

Featuring: Dustin Volz, Kathleen Culver, Catherine Lucey and Dylan Scott

The needs of the public and policymakers for accurate, reliable information have seldom been more urgent, yet journalists have rarely faced more challenges. How can journalists inform about public health risks without causing undo panic or alarm, and maintain the trust of the audiences despite so much misinformation, distrust, and uncertainty? What is the responsibility of reporters to educate about the need for behavioral and societal adjustments necessary to reduce human suffering while maintaining objectivity and applying scrutiny to government policies? How should conspiracies or falsehoods being promoted by those in power or protesting on the streets be covered, if at all? And what obligation do reporters have to get the story if it presents great personal risk to them, their families or their sources?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Fear, Heroism, Betrayal: COVID-19 as the Ultimate Test of Medical Ethics

Featuring: FASPE Medical Faculty Member Jay R. Malone, MD, PhD; Rhea Boyd MD, MPH, FAAP; Colleen M. Farrell, MD; Abraar Karan MD, MPH, DTM&H

The COVID-19 pandemic is defined by the antiheroic hero. Glib heroization does not sit well with many doctors and health care workers, who would prefer to be treated with simple respect and provided with sufficient equipment, instead of being praised as the self-sacrificing fighters on the frontline. But a broken commercialized health care system and a recurring failure of political and administrative leadership have only exacerbated the ethical quagmires of fighting a pandemic of this magnitude, forcing healthcare workers to make increasingly difficult decisions.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The Pandemic as Prism: Revisiting the American Criminal Justice System in Times of Crisis

Featuring: Professor Eric Muller, Nila Bala, Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer and Jennifer Toon

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to police officers making fewer criminal arrests and prosecutors pursuing fewer cases. Criminal court hearings that used to take place in a courtroom now take place by means of Zoom video conferences. Prisoners are being released for fear of the health risks inside our prisons. Long established criminal justice procedures are being modified in order to accommodate the realities of social distancing.

Who are making these ad hoc decisions? How are police officers, prosecutors, prison officials, and judges making what are ultimately ethical decisions, often on a case by case basis? What can the pandemic tell us about our criminal justice system?

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Disparities and Death: Why Are America’s Communities of Color Particularly Vulnerable?

Featuring: Astead Herndon, John Eligon, Diana Hernandez and Ese Olumhense

The disproportionate deadly impact of COVID-19 on America’s communities of color is obvious and is being widely reported. The inequalities inherent in American systems have long been a feature of society, and the current pandemic is vividly displaying the impact of these flaws, revealing fractures that clearly threaten our entire society and force us to think about who we are and who we think we are.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Ethics in the Time of Crisis: Sacrificing Basic Freedoms and Rights

Featuring: Trevor Morrison & Valerie Hopkins

Honorable and well-intentioned Public Health officials and not so well-intentioned autocrats are asking that we give up fundamental freedoms and compromise fundamental ethical behavior—in the name of fighting the COVID-19 Virus. Restrictions on travel, invasions of privacy, attacks on the press, increased power in the hands of national leaders, limitations on access to places of prayer, the suspension of judicial systems and more. Are the rule of law and the bill of rights in the United States and analogous constitutional provisions elsewhere being threatened? How should we think about the intersection of interests of public health vs. our hard-earned rights and our demand for ethical behavior?

April 21, 2020

COVID-19: What is Ethical Business Leadership?

Panelists: Brian Hathaway (Moderator), Shira Beery, Yodit Beyene, & Mary Gentile

COVID-19 has thrown the economy into turmoil, with 16 million Americans newly unemployed and entire industries facing possible insolvency. Many companies are now publicly grappling with an issue at the heart of the FASPE Business program: how to navigate loyalties to multiple stakeholder groups, such as shareholders, employees, customers, and the general public. 


April 15, 2020

Mengele: Unmasking The Angel of Death

Featuring Author, David Marwell and Chairman, David Goldman
Hosted by Labyrinth Bookstore

Who was Mengele?  FASPE Board Member and Faculty, David Marwell, has recently authored what many are calling the definitive account of Josef Mengele, Mengele: Unmasking The Angel of Death. Marwell and FASPE Chairman, David Goldman discuss Mengele—the doctor/scientist who became a symbol of Nazi evil, of the absolute failure of medical ethics.


April 7, 2020

The Scientist Within an Anti-Science Administration: The Fauci Question

Featuring: David Luban and Martine Powers

Since his election, President Trump has decried the “deep state,” he has minimized the scientists and he has attacked the professional bureaucrats. This has raised the question for mid-level and senior professionals within various departments whether they should stay or leave. Are they complicit if they stay? Are they avoiding their responsibility as professionals if they leave? Can they accomplish more by staying or leaving?


March 30, 2020

COVID-19: A Question of Faith

Panelists: Daniel Headrick (moderator), Cate Anthony, Nicholas Collura, & Michael Rozier

The series begins with issues facing our professions during the coronavirus crisis, as the pandemic is both causing new ethical challenges and exacerbating existing ones. The first topic is: COVID-19: A Question of Faith.

Most religious traditions are built around the communal experience and the fellowship of ritual - what happens when COVID-19 makes this impossible?  How can clerics comfort and project hope, and yet communicate honestly in a situation of overwhelming fear, anxiety and grief? And how can I be chaplain and pastor, assisting the medical professionals at the frontline of the battle?