This remarkable book--the fruit of almost two decades of study--traces in compelling fashion the changes in Western attitudes toward death and dying from the earliest Christian times to the present day. A truly landmark study, The Hour of Our Death reveals a pattern of gradually developing evolutionary stages in our perceptions of life in relation to death, each stage representing a virtual redefinition of human nature. Starting at the very foundations of Western culture, the eminent historian Phillipe Aries shows (...) how, from Graeco-Roman times through the first ten centuries of the Common Era, death was too common to be frightening; each life was quietly subordinated to the community, which paid its respects and then moved on. Aries identifies the first major shift in attitude with the turn of the eleventh century when a sense of individuality began to rise and with it, profound consequences: death no longer meant merely the weakening of community, but rather the destruction of self. Hence the growing fear of the afterlife, new conceptions of the Last Judgment, and the first attempts (by Masses and other rituals) to guarantee a better life in the next world. In the 1500s attention shifted from the demise of the self to that of the loved one (as family supplants community), and by the nineteenth century death comes to be viewed as simply a staging post toward reunion in the hereafter. Finally, Aries shows why death has become such an unendurable truth in our own century--how it has been nearly banished from our daily lives--and points out what may be done to "re-tame" this secret terror. The richness of Aries's source material and investigative work is breathtaking. While exploring everything from churches, religious rituals, and graveyards (with their often macabre headstones and monuments), to wills and testaments, love letters, literature, paintings, diaries, town plans, crime and sanitation reports, and grave robbing complaints, Aries ranges across Europe to Russia on the one hand and to England and America on the other. As he sorts out the tangled mysteries of our accumulated terrors and beliefs, we come to understand the history--indeed the pathology--of our intellectual and psychological tensions in the face of death. (shrink)
The dominant debate on Islam and democracy continues to operate in the realm of normativity. This article engages with key literature showing limits of such a line of inquiry. Through the case study of India’s Islamist organization, Jamaat-e-Islami, I aim at shifting the debate from textual normativity to demotic praxis. I demonstrate how Islam and democracy work in practice, and in so doing offer a fresh perspective to enhance our understandings of both Islam and democracy. A key proposition of this (...) article is that rather than discussing the cliché if Islam is compatible with democracy, or Islam should be democratized, we study the ‘hows’ of de-democratization in Muslim societies. (shrink)
Using patients as teaching tools raise many ethical issues like informed consent, privacy, confidentiality and beneficence. The current study highlights issues on respecting patient’s choice and acquiring informed consent with its spirit rather than as mere formality. The study was conducted in out-patient department of The Kidney Center Postgraduate Training Institute Karachi Pakistan in May 2008 to July 2008. All patients who had come for the first time to see the author were included in the study. The said study explored (...) the willingness of patients to allow medical students to be present during history taking and physical examination by the consultant. There were 18 male and 03 female patients. Age ranging from 22 to 73 years with mean age of 53.5 ± 13.7 years. There were total of 21 patient–students encounters out of which two encounters were with male students only and two with female students only. So in 17 Patient–students encounters, students of both genders were present. All patients permitted history taking in the presence of medical students except one who had a history of extramarital sexual contact and signs and symptoms suggestive of sexually transmitted disease. Of the male patients 50% (9/18) did not allow intimate examination before medical students. Out of these nine patients who refused, four consented earlier but when enquired again about their true willingness, they expressed their preference not to have medical students in the room while undergoing digital rectal and external genital examinations. Physicians need to develop sensitivity to acquire informed consent in its true essence rather than just as a formality by exploring actual willingness of the patient. One should refrain from being judgmental on the basis of gender, looks, religion or norms. (shrink)
The purpose of this work is to elaborate an empirically grounded mathematical model of the magnitude of consequences component of “moral intensity” (Jones, Academy of Management Review 16 (2),366, 1991) that can be used to evaluate different ethical situations. The model is built using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) (Saaty, The Analytic Hierarchy Process , 1980) and empirical data from the legal profession. One contribution of our work is that it illustrates how AHP can be applied in the field of (...) ethics. Following a review of the literature, we discuss the development of the model. We then illustrate how the model can be used to rank-order three well-known ethical reasoning cases in terms of the magnitude of consequences. The work concludes with implications for theory, practice, and future research. Specifically we discuss how this work extends the previous work by Collins ( Journal of Business Ethics 8 , 1, 1989) regarding the nature of harm variable. We also discuss the contribution this work makes in the development of ethical scenarios used to test hypotheses in the field of business ethics. Finally, we discuss how the model can be used for after-action review, contribute to organizational learning, train employees in ethical reasoning, and aid in the design and development of decision support systems that support ethical reasoning. (shrink)
The rise in ethical and social responsibility awareness in contemporary businesses has led to assumptions that the associated behaviours would enable competitive advantage to be attained as a firm distinguishes itself from its competitors through such practices. This paper reports on a study conducted on the prevalence of such practices among entrepreneurial ventures in an emerging economy (Malaysia), and the effect of such practices on both financial and non-financial performance. A sequential inter-method mixing design was employed in which during stage (...) 1, a series of semi-structured interviews with ten Malaysian SME founder-owners were conducted. Stage 2 involved a survey in which a total of 212 usable questionnaires were received. The results of the first phase of the research (qualitative) found evidence that entrepreneurial ventures in Malaysia do generally engage in both ethical and socially responsible practices. The subsequent model testing using SEM, however, revealed that while ethical practices were positively associated with venture performance, socially responsible practices were not. This may indicate that while entrepreneurial ventures in emerging economies like Malaysia become quickly aware of the more serious consequences of not adopting ethical practices, the concern for social issues may still be lacking, i.e., in terms of motivations, they may be closer to the profitable end of the philanthropy versus profitability spectrum. While the findings may be equivocal, we believe that the paper makes the following two significant contributions: (1) it provides an empirical test of the importance of ethical and socially responsible practices to entrepreneurial venture performance and (2) it furthers understanding of how and why this may be different in an emerging economy context. (shrink)
A democratic ethics of biological technology must engage the public. This is not easy to do in a way that satisfies the demands of democratic ethics, or meets the pace of rapidly changing, complex technology. This paper describes a solution proposed by the University of British Columbia’s Norms Evolving in Response to Dilemmas interdisciplinary research group. The solution, the NERD web survey, has three distinct advantages over other methods: it is Deep—the survey provides deep data, particularly when compared to alternatives (...) such as polls and focus groups; Cheap—our survey is cost effective, which is important for a truly democratic tool; and Improvable—the NERD survey is a work in progress, improvable by design. (shrink)
Whilst there have been serious attempts to locate the practice of male circumcision for religious motives in the context of the (respective) religion's narrative and community, the debate, when referring to a clinical context, is often more nuanced. This article will contribute further to the debate by contextualising the Islamic practice of male circumcision within the clinical setting typical of a contemporary hospital. It specifically develops an additional complication; namely, the child has a pre-existing blood disorder. As an approach to (...) contributing to the circumcision debate further, the ethics of a conscientious objection for secular motives towards a religiously-motivated clinical intervention will be explored. Overall, the discussion will provide relevance for such debates within the value-systems of a multi-cultural society. This article replicates several approaches to deconstructing a request for conscientious refusal of non-therapeutic circumcision by a Clinical Ethics Committee (CEC), bringing to light certain contradictions that occur in normatively categorizing motives for performing the circumcision. (shrink)
OBJECTIVES: The level of evidence-based practice (EBP) and awareness has not been previously assessed among primary care physicians in Kuwait. The objectives of this study were to quantify the level of EBP and awareness in Kuwait and identify the factors related to EBP. METHOD: We used a cross sectional study that enrolled 332 primary care physicians in 57 primary care centres randomly chosen in Kuwait. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data with a response rate of about 93%. (...) RESULTS: Although half of the physicians self reported that they use EBP most of the time, further analysis revealed that only about 24% of this group had a reasonable understanding of EBP. Most of the clinical practice in the Kuwaiti primary care system seems to be based on the clinician's own judgment or what they learned in the medical school and traditional text books, rather than evidence-based sources. None of the physicians had an Internet connection at their work place and a vast majority of them had no access to international journals nor were confident about critical appraisal of published evidence. CONCLUSION: Overall level of awareness of evidence-based medicine (EBM) among primary care physicians in Kuwait was considerably low. Training in the areas of EBM as well as making sure the Kuwaiti primary care centres have access to evidence-based sources are critically important if primary care in Kuwait were to become evidence based. (shrink)
The stress-induced phase transformation characteristics of unirradiated and proton beam irradiated NiTi alloy were investigated at different tests temperatures. The wire-shaped NiTi specimens were irradiated by 2?MeV proton beam for 30?min at room temperature to a flux of 1019 protons/m2 s. Engineering stress?strain (S-S) curves of both unirradiated and irradiated specimens were obtained using a materials testing machine at 25, 50, 75 and 100°C. The results indicate a single-stage phase transformation from austenite to martensite (B2?B19?) in unirraidated specimens at all (...) the test temperatures. In contrast, in the case of the irradiated specimens, a two-stage austenite?rhombohedral?martensite (B2?R?B19?) phase transformation is observed at 25 and 50°C. The B2?R?B19? phase transformation, however, is found to change into B2?B19? transformation at 75 and 100°C. The stress required to initiate the B19? phase transformation (σMS) and the plateau range are found to be lower in irradiated specimens compared with those of the unirradiated specimens. The results obtained are discussed on the basis of the formation of Ni4Ti3 precipitates in irradiated specimens and their consequences on the phase transformations. (shrink)
Introduction Future HIV vaccine efficacy trials with adolescents will need to ensure that participants comprehend study concepts in order to confer true informed assent. A Hepatitis B vaccine trial with adolescents offers valuable opportunity to test youth understanding of vaccine trial requirements in general. Methods Youth reviewed a simplified assent form with study investigators and then completed a comprehension questionnaire. Once enrolled, all youth were tested for HIV and confirmed to be HIV-negative. Results 123 youth completed the questionnaire (mean age=15 (...) years; 63% male; 70% Hispanic). Overall, only 69 (56%) youth answered all six questions correctly. Conclusions Youth enrolled in a Hepatitis B vaccine trial demonstrated variable comprehension of the study design and various methodological concepts, such as treatment group masking. (shrink)
Recruiting nurses from other countries is a long-standing practice. In recent years many countries in the developed world have more frequently recruited nurses from the developing world, causing an imbalance in the health services in often already impoverished countries. Despite guidelines and promises by developed countries that the practice should cease, it has largely failed to do so. A consortium of authors from countries that have experienced significant nurse poaching consider the ethical aspects behind this continuing practice.
Two sample populations, one refugee and one resident, were studied. The frequencies of consanguineous marriages came out to be 49·8% and 55·4%, respectively, for the refugees and the residents. Caste endogamy was dominant both in the residents and the refugees. The mean coefficient of inbreeding was calculated to be 0·0303 for the refugee population and 0·0332 for the resident population samples. First cousin marriage was the dominant type of marriage in both samples; fathers daughter (FBD) marriage was more frequent among (...) the refugees while mothers daughter (MBD) marriage was more frequent among the residents. Education has no decreasing effect on the incidence of consanguineous marriages. A significant difference in the pattern of marriages in the refugees is observed after the Saur Revolution of 1979. (shrink)
This article proposes an analysis of changes implemented during Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's administration (20032003), which displayed bias against changes and introduced schemes to justify the systems it upheld. Transmutations wrought during Abdullah's tenure may have been neither substantial nor totalizing, but within the conservative paradigm which had long gripped national politics, Abdullah's deviations were significant nevertheless.
This paper examines the political and executive leadership in Malaysia, with reference to the fifth Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The Prime Minister is an important autonomous actor, a leader of the government party who also manages public bureaucracy and utmost, Abdullah is seen as the leader of the people. Policy agenda depends on the Prime Minister’s authority to either make an impact or bring changes. This paper will address the leadership style of Abdullah in the executive and (...) policy-making and what kind of influence does he provide in policy-making and its implications in Malaysia’s political environment. (shrink)
Este artículo estudia un corto tratado de polémica en contra del judaísmo escrito por el conocido erudito otomano Ahmad Mustafa Tashkubrizade (m. 968/1560). El autor utiliza los mismos argumentos que conocemos de la polémica religiosa medieval, tales como que la Torah, abrogada por el Islam, contenía referencias al Profeta Muhammad a pesar de que su texto fue corrompido por los judíos. Además de la Biblia, Tashkubrizade cita una serie de fuentes judías tardías que añaden una importante dimensión a este (...) trabajo. Después de una breve introducción en que se discute la posibilidad de la deuda del autor respecto a la obra de Ibn Abi¿Abd alDayyan, un converso del judaísmo al Islam, se presenta una edición y traducción del texto. (shrink)