Self-Destruction Ethics Alarms: A Woman’s Unethical Quest For Fat

Yesterday, the world heard about Donna Simpson, a New Jersey woman who weighs in at about 500 pounds. She sasy she wants to be the fattest woman alive, and is managing her diet and exercise to achieve that lofty goal. Of course, all those Twinkies and pork rinds cost a lot of money—her weekly grocery bill averages more than $800—so she earns extra cash by putting herself on Gluttoncam, or whatever she calls it, where freakophiles can watch her gorge herself online for a reasonable fee. Her partner, the news reports say, is completely supportive. “I think he’d like it if I was bigger,” giggles Donna. “He’s a real belly man and completely supports me.”

Okaaaaay….

Obviously this situation is unusual…at least, I hope it is. Still, it raises many difficult ethics questions, some with broad implications:

  • We are told that it is cruel, greedy and heartless for insurance companies to withhold coverage for “pre-existing conditions,” and should be compelled to insure everyone without regard to special risks. Does this apply to Donna Simpson? Continue reading

Spoiling “Precious”

Courtland Milloy is a Washington Post Metro columnist, which means that his job is to decry racial outrages even where there are none. This time around, he has been offended by “Precious,” the nearly universally acclaimed movie about an abused black teenager, and attacks it with gusto. [Typically I would link to the piece here. I’m not, and you will soon find out why.] Continue reading