The NFL is one of the most popular entities in the United States and around the world, providing professional entertainment in the form of a head to head (if you will) perspective. The game of football has been a source of many positives in the lives of many, however, concussions have proven to be a burden; especially as of late. I chose this link to be the highlight of my first blog post because I wanted to focus not so much on the research that is involved within it, but more so the ethics of whether or not research - and then action - was necessary.
As the article states, "the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released a study that showed that a disproportionate number of men who played in the N.F.L. at least five seasons from 1959 to 1988 developed Alzheimer's disease or Lou Gehrig's disease. Players in "speed" positions, who are more prone to high-speed collisions, were three times more likely to have died as a result of a neurodegenerative disease, the study showed."
With this in mind, I want to ask one question. From an ethical standpoint, where do you draw the line between whether research should be done, and what should be done with the research that's been done? In the case of the NFL, I believe that ethics (and safety) have played an important role in the decisions to research and ultimately change the culture and ruling. As our book states, "Ethics is the study of right and wrong, responsibility, or, in the context of this chapter, appropriate behavior toward research participants." The ethical dilemma that is being faced with the NFL and concussions is whether or not the players should - have to be - subjected to concussion testing, medical rests, and/or loss of ability to play.
As the NFL would argue, their research is being done to prevent concussions and create a safer league; but that doesn't change the fact that players are no longer given the right to decline letting a concussion affect their play or stop their play. Another question I would ask is this: Is the research of concussions infringing on the players choice whether or not to play if he feels he's able to? This is an ethical dilemma - now, as we've see in the case of Alex Smith being replaced by his backup QB for appropriately reporting concussion symptoms - will become even more of an ethical question regarding safety, research, concussions, and the future of the NFL.