This month a huge story played out regarding the ethical tensions over the Summer Olympics, Zika, and its risks to women in their reproductive years.
Over 150 experts, including physicians, researchers, and bioethicists sent an open letter to the WHO to urge postponing or moving the Rio games. See: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/05/27/125-experts-say-olympics-must-be-moved-or-postponed-because-of-zika/?postshare=9471464365992776&tid=ss_tw
The letter proposes there are serious conflicts of interest between the WHO and the IOC: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/28/who-and-ioc-accused-of-cover-up-over-zika-virus-threat-to-rio-ol/
But then there was push-back from the CDC, which argued that there was no scientific basis for cancelling or postponing the games. See: http://in.reuters.com/article/us-health-zika-idINKCN0YH2IT?feedType=RSS&feedName=health&utm_content=buffer21e3d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
There was also the official response from the WHO and the IOC, stating that the Games will go on as planned: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/zika-olympics-who
But the Director of the CDC expressed shock and moral distress at a different kind postponement: funding for fighting Zika. The U.S. Congress has refused to consider funding at this time. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/25/us/politics/political-battles-color-congressional-feud-over-zika-funding.html?_r=0
What is really playing out here are organizational ethics games, in which decision-making is affected by multiple conflicts of interest at every segment of this story.
If you’re interested in signing this letter, you can do so at this link:
And by all means, pass the torch by sending the link to this letter on.