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Dealing With Disaster

Friday, Nov. 22, 2013

Kenneth Feinberg, the dispute mediator and attorney who directed the victim compesation programs after 9/11, the Boston massacre, the Sandy Hook shooting, and other disasters, talked about the importance of examining the ethical issues behind the difficult decisions he had to make at a recent talk for the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

Praising the Ethics Center for providing a forum for this exploration, Feinberg detailed some of the tough situations he confronted:  Why, for example, did the family of someone who died at the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 get compensated, while another family, whose loved one died at the 1993 bombing at the same location not receive anything?  Should someone who was disabled in a disaster receive more or less money than the family of someone who died?  How do we understand fairness when dealing with the victims of a catastrophe?