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PUBLIC SAFETY VS. PRIVATE RIGHTS: BEAUTY AND THE BUILDING Ms. Disher’s sample TOK presentation Spring 2011 Issues at Hand Brazilian Keratin Treatment http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/26/earlysh ow/health/main3414868.shtml Asbestos http://www.mogulite.com/asbestos-mogul-on-daily- show/ Two Sides to Every Story (BKT) Regulate use of potentially harmful chemicals in beauty industry Customers may not fully understand risks of treatment A person at any age can get the treatment, so maturity is a factor Fumes from the treatment can harm others (person performing treatment, other customers/professionals in the salon) Do not regulate use of potentially harmful chemicals Does not guarantee health problems, merely increases likelihood People who opt for the treatment should make themselves aware of the risks—personal responsibility (ignorance=not govt’s problem) Regulation—we don’t strictly regulate chemicals in other products (hair dye, nail polish) Knowledge Issues (BKT) How far can/should government agencies go to protect the individual? Where do we draw the line between a private decision (hairstyle) and public safety (fumes)? Does the government know what’s best for an individual? Moral/ethical responsibility to care for citizens? Where do public/private boundaries lie? Two Sides to Every Story (Asbestos) Regulating Dangerous Substances (construction related) Exploitation of the poor (richer countries regulate asbestos, third world countries generally don’t)—limited finances=no other choice Health risks outside the company selling and the buyer (shipping, packing, unpacking=exposure) Known health problems=higher risk Free Market on Construction Supplies Allows for freedom of choice in supplies (individuals know what is best for them) Lower cost=more homes/buildings Company’s profit benefits employees and shareholders Knowledge Issues (Asbestos) Should American regulations apply in other countries if human life is at risk? Should America intervene in the private practice of selling asbestos as a “safe” material? Is it ethical for a company to sell harmful substances, knowing what the health risks are? How far do individual rights extend when others’ health is concerned? (ex. CEO, shareholders/board of directors, company employees, contractors purchasing materials) Do we have a moral obligation to intervene for people who may be at risk (or “don’t know better”)?