Plagiarize, Let no one else’s work evade your eyes

Bioethics is a sub-branch of ethics, so one would expect its practitioners to be ethically exemplary. But one of America’s leading bioethicists has expressed his doubts. Franklin G. Miller, of the Department of Bioethics of the National Institutes of Health, complained this week about plagiarism of his work by other scholars. “If my experience is not unusual, then the field of bioethics scholarship may be in serious trouble. The fact that plagiarism occurs within ethics scholarship is ironic, though particularly deplorable.”

In his brief article in Bioethics Forum, he recalls two instances. In one, another scholar copied 20 or so slides from one of his presentations and failed to acknowledge who created them. In another, a co-authored paper lifted several paragraphs from one of his articles as well as borrowing its central argument. He concludes:

“It is a sad state of affairs if bioethicists of all people can’t adhere scrupulously to the norms of scholarship, especially the most elementary ethical rule of refraining from misappropriating the work of fellow scholars.” ~ Bioethics Forum, Feb 22

" disclosure: headline taken from "Lobachevsky", by Tom Lehrer

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