The death of a research participant raises numerous ethical and legal issues regarding the return of research results to related family members. This question is particularly acute in the context of genetic research since the research results from an individual may be relevant to each of the biological relatives. This paper first investigates the ethical and legal frameworks governing the return of a deceased participant's individual research results to his or her related family members. Then, it weighs the rights and (...) interests of both the deceased individual and related family members in an attempt to identify key ethical considerations underlying the return of such results. This analysis of international guidelines and national laws and regulations reveals that though the legal framework regarding privacy and confidentiality of clinical and research information is well established (albeit not homogenous), guidelines are generally absent in the post-mortem context. Nevertheless, a brief analysis of this issue through two ethical perspectives (principlism and consequentialism) allows us to identify six key elements to be taken into consideration when returning a deceased participant's research results. (shrink)
Anne-Marie Weidler Kubanek: Nothing less than an adventure: Ellen Gleditsch and her life in science Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10698-011-9119-8 Authors Marelene Rayner-Canham, Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, NL, Canada Geoff Rayner-Canham, Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, NL, Canada Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238.
In the contemporary debate on moral status, it is not uncommon to find philosophers who embrace the following basic moral principle: -/- The Principle of Full Moral Status: The degree to which an entity E possesses moral status is proportional to the degree to which E possesses morally relevant properties until a threshold degree of morally relevant properties possession is reached, whereupon the degree to which E possesses morally relevant properties may continue to increase, but the degree to which E (...) possesses moral status remains the same. -/- One philosopher who has contributed significantly to the contemporary debate on moral status and embraces the Principle of Full Moral Status is Mary Anne Warren. Warren holds not only that it is possible for some entities to possess full moral status, but that some entities actually do, e.g., normal adult human beings. I argue that two of Warren’s primary arguments for the Principle of Full Moral Status—the Argument from Pragmatism and the Argument from Explanatory Power—are significantly flawed. (shrink)
In her book, Moral Status, Mary Anne Warren defends a comprehensive theory of the moral status of various entities. Under this theory, she argues that animals may have some moral rights but that their rights are much weaker in strength than the rights of humans, who have rights in the fullest, strongest sense. Subsequently, Warren believes that our duties to animals are far weaker than our duties to other humans. This weakness is especially evident from the fact that Warren (...) believes that it is frequently permissible for humans to kill animals for food. Warren’s argument for her view consists primarily in the belief that we have inevitable practical conflicts with animals that make it impossible to grant them equal rights without sacrificing basic human interests. However, her arguments fail to justify her conclusions. In particular, Warren fails to justify her beliefs that animals do not have an equal right to life and that it is permissible for humans to kill animals for food. (shrink)
Warren’s goal is to present a ‘multi-criterial’ account of moral status—she eschews any view that holds ‘X has moral status iff X has N’ (where ‘N’ might be life, or personhood, or sentience, for example). Moral status, she asserts, is a more complex affair: it comes in degrees and there are a variety of sufficient conditions. The first part of the book (roughly three quarters of it) is devoted to outlining some standard ‘uni-lateral’ accounts, criticising them in so far as (...) they purport to provide necessary and sufficient conditions for status, but selecting the plausible parts of each to come together later in the multi-criterial account. (shrink)