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  1. Bjørn Hofmann (2013). Bariatric Surgery for Obese Children and Adolescents: A Review of the Moral Challenges. [REVIEW] BMC Medical Ethics 14 (1):18.
    BackgroundBariatric surgery for children and adolescents is becoming widespread. However, the evidence is still scarce and of poor quality, and many of the patients are too young to consent. This poses a series of moral challenges, which have to be addressed both when considering bariatric surgery introduced as a health care service and when deciding for treatment for young individuals. A question based (Socratic) approach is applied to reveal underlying moral issues that can be relevant to an open and transparent (...)
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  2. Bjørn Hofmann (2013). Ethical Challenges with Welfare Technology: A Review of the Literature. [REVIEW] Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (2):389-406.
    Demographical changes in high income counties will increase the need of health care services but reduce the number of people to provide them. Welfare technology is launched as an important measure to meet this challenge. As with all types of technologies we must explore its ethical challenges. A literature review reveals that welfare technology is a generic term for a heterogeneous group of technologies and there are few studies documenting their efficacy, effectiveness and efficiency. Many kinds of welfare technology break (...)
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  3. Bjørn Hofmann (2013). On the Downplay of Suffering in Nordenfelt's Theory of Illness. Health Care Analysis 21 (4):283-297.
    In his influential theory of health Nordenfelt bases the concepts of health and illness on the notions of ability and disability. A premise for this is that ability and disability provide a more promising, adequate, and useful basis than well-being and suffering. Nordenfelt uses coma and manic episodes as paradigm cases to show that this is so. Do these paradigm cases (and thus the premise) hold? What consequences does it have for the theory of health and illness if it they (...)
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  4. Bjørn Hofmann (2013). Priority Setting in Health Care: Trends and Models From Scandinavian Experiences. [REVIEW] Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (3):349-356.
    The Scandinavian welfare states have public health care systems which have universal coverage and traditionally low influence of private insurance and private provision. Due to raises in costs, elaborate public control of health care, and a significant technological development in health care, priority setting came on the public agenda comparatively early in the Scandinavian countries. The development of health care priority setting has been partly homogeneous and appears to follow certain phases. This can be of broader interest as it may (...)
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  5. Bjørn Hofmann, Anne Ingeborg Myhr & Søren Holm (2013). Scientific Dishonesty—a Nationwide Survey of Doctoral Students in Norway. BMC Medical Ethics 14 (1):3-.
    Background: The knowledge of scientific dishonesty is scarce and heterogeneous. Therefore this study investigates the experiences with and the attitudes towards various forms of scientific dishonesty among PhD-students at the medical faculties of all Norwegian universities.MethodAnonymous questionnaire distributed to all post graduate students attending introductory PhD-courses at all medical faculties in Norway in 2010/2011. Descriptive statistics. Results: 189 of 262 questionnaires were returned (72.1%). 65% of the respondents had not, during the last year, heard or read about researchers who committed (...)
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  6. Bjørn Hofmann, Anne Myhr & Søren Holm (2013). Scientific Dishonesty—a Nationwide Survey of Doctoral Students in Norway. BMC Medical Ethics 14 (1):1-9.
    BackgroundThe knowledge of scientific dishonesty is scarce and heterogeneous. Therefore this study investigates the experiences with and the attitudes towards various forms of scientific dishonesty among PhD-students at the medical faculties of all Norwegian universities.MethodAnonymous questionnaire distributed to all post graduate students attending introductory PhD-courses at all medical faculties in Norway in 2010/2011. Descriptive statistics.Results189 of 262 questionnaires were returned (72.1%). 65% of the respondents had not, during the last year, heard or read about researchers who committed scientific dishonesty. One (...)
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  7. Henrik Lerner & Bjørn Hofmann (2011). Normality and Naturalness: A Comparison of the Meanings of Concepts Used Within Veterinary Medicine and Human Medicine. [REVIEW] Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (6):403-412.
    This article analyses the different connotations of “normality” and “being natural,” bringing together the theoretical discussion from both human medicine and veterinary medicine. We show how the interpretations of the concepts in the different areas could be mutually fruitful. It appears that the conceptions of “natural” are more elaborate in veterinary medicine, and can be of value to human medicine. In particular they can nuance and correct conceptions of nature in human medicine that may be too idealistic. Correspondingly, the wide (...)
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  8. Bjørn Hofmann (2010). Stuck in the Middle: The Many Moral Challenges With Bariatric Surgery. American Journal of Bioethics 10 (12):3-11.
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  9. Bjørn Hofmann (2010). The Concept of Disease—Vague, Complex, or Just Indefinable? Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 13 (1):3-10.
    The long ongoing and partly heated debate on the concept of disease has not led to any consensus on the status of this apparently essential concept for modern health care. The arguments range from claims that the disease concept is vague, slippery, elusive, or complex, and to statements that the concept is indefinable and unnecessary. The unsettled status of the concept of disease is challenging not only to health care where diagnosing, treating, and curing disease are core aims, but also (...)
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  10. Bjørn Hofmann (2010). The Encompassing Ethics of Bariatric Surgery. American Journal of Bioethics 10 (12):W1-W2.
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  11. Bjørn Hofmann (2010). Too Much of a Good Thing is Wonderful? A Conceptual Analysis of Excessive Examinations and Diagnostic Futility in Diagnostic Radiology. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 13 (2):139-148.
    It has been argued extensively that diagnostic services are a general good, but that it is offered in excess. So what is the problem? Is not “too much of a good thing wonderful”, to paraphrase Mae West? This article explores such a possibility in the field of radiological services where it is argued that more than 40% of the examinations are excessive. The question of whether radiological examinations are excessive cries for a definition of diagnostic futility. However, no such definition (...)
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  12. Bjørn Hofmann (2007). That's Not Science! The Role of Moral Philosophy in the Science/Non-Science Divide. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (3):243-256.
    The science/non-science distinction has become increasingly blurred. This paper investigates whether recent cases of fraud in science can shed light on the distinction. First, it investigates whether there is an absolute distinction between science and non-science with respect to fraud, and in particular with regards to manipulation and fabrication of data. Finding that it is very hard to make such a distinction leads to the second step: scrutinizing whether there is a normative distinction between science and non-science. This is done (...)
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  13. Bjørn Hofmann (2006). Forensic Uses and Misuses of DNA: A Case Report From Norway. Genomics, Society and Policy 2 (1):129-131.
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  14. Bjørn Hofmann, Søren Holm & Jan Solbakk (2006). Response to Open Peer Commentaries on “Analogical Reasoning in Handling Emerging Technologies: The Case of Umbilical Cord Blood Biobanking”: Analogy is Like Air—Invisible and Indispensable. American Journal of Bioethics 6 (6):W13-W14.
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  15. Bjørn Hofmann, Jan Helge Solbakk & Søren Holm (2006). Analogical Reasoning in Handling Emerging Technologies: The Case of Umbilical Cord Blood Biobanking. American Journal of Bioethics 6 (6):49 – 57.
    How are we individually and as a society to handle new and emerging technologies? This challenging question underlies much of the bioethical debates of modern times. To address this question we need suitable conceptions of the new technology and ways of identifying its proper management and regulation. To establish conceptions and to find ways to handle emerging technologies we tend to use analogies extensively. The aim of this article is to investigate the role that analogies play or may play in (...)
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  16. Bjørn Hofmann, Jan Helge Solbakk & Søren Holm (2006). Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks: The Role of Analogies in Bioethical Analysis and Argumentation Concerning New Technologies. [REVIEW] Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (5):397-413.
    New medical technologies provide us with new possibilities in health care and health care research. Depending on their degree of novelty, they may as well present us with a whole range of unforeseen normative challenges. Partly, this is due to a lack of appropriate norms to perceive and handle new technologies. This article investigates our ways of establishing such norms. We argue that in this respect analogies have at least two normative functions: they inform both our understanding and our conduct. (...)
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  17. Bjørn Hofmann (2005). On Value-Judgements and Ethics in Health Technology Assessment. Poiesis and Praxis 3 (4):277-295.
    The widespread application of technology in health care has imposed a broad range of challenges. The field of health technology assessment (HTA) is developed in order to face some of these challenges. However, this strategy has not been as successful as one could hope. One of the reasons for this is that social and ethical considerations have not been integrated in the HTA process. Nowadays however, such considerations have been included in many HTAs. Still, the conclusions and recommendations of the (...)
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  18. Bjørn Hofmann (2005). Simplified Models of the Relationship Between Health and Disease. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (5):355-377.
    The concepts of health and disease are crucial in defining the aim and the limits of modern medicine. Accordingly it is important to understand them and their relationship. However, there appears to be a discrepancy between scholars in philosophy of medicine and health care professionals with regard to these concepts. This article investigates health care professionals’ concepts of health and disease and the relationship between them. In order to do so, four different models are described and analyzed: the ideal model, (...)
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  19. Bjørn Hofmann (2003). Medicine as Techne - a Perspective From Antiquity. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 28 (4):403 – 425.
    The objective of this article is to investigate whether the concept of techne is fruitful as a framework to analyze some of the pressing challenges inmodernmedicine. To do this, the concept of techne is scrutinized, and it is argued that it is a concept that integrates theoretical, practical and evaluative aspects, and that this makes it particularly suitable to analyze the complex activity of modern medicine. After applying this technical framework in relation to modern medicine, some of its (...)
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  20. Bjørn Hofmann (2003). Technological Paternalism: On How Medicine has Reformed Ethics and How Technology Can Refine Moral Theory. Science and Engineering Ethics 9 (3):343-352.
    The objective of this article is to investigate ethical aspects of technology through the moral term “paternalism”. The field of investigation is medicine. The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, “paternalism” has gained moral relevance through modern medicine, where physicians have been accused of behaving paternalistic and threatening patients’ autonomy. Secondly, medicine is a brilliant area to scrutinise the evaluative aspects of technology. It is argued that paternalism is a morally relevant term for the ethics of technology, but that its (...)
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  21. Bjørn Hofmann (2002). Technological Medicine and the Autonomy of Man. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 5 (2):157-167.
    Is technology value-free or is it value-laden? How does technology affect human autonomy? These questions, viewed within the context of medicine, are the focus of attention in this article. The central argument is that we need neither to subscribe to the value-neutrality dictum nor to the all-encompassing value-ladenness thesis to explain the pertinent position of technology in medicine. Technology is constitutive of and strongly implicated in difficult questions of value. This, however, does not mean that technology is identical to (or (...)
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  22. Bjørn Hofmann (2002). On the Triad Disease, Illness and Sickness. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 27 (6):651 – 673.
    The point of departure for this article is a review of the discussion between Twaddle and Nordenfelt on the concepts of disease, illness, and sickness, and the objective is to investigate the fruitfulness of these concepts. It is argued that disease, illness, and sickness represent different perspectives on human ailment and that they can be applied to analyze both epistemic and normative challenges to modern medicine. In particular the analysis reveals epistemic and normative differences between the concepts. Furthermore, the article (...)
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  23. Bjørn Hofmann (2002). The Myth of Technology in Health Care. Science and Engineering Ethics 8 (1):17-29.
    Technology is believed to have liberated health care from dogmas, myths and speculations of earlier times. However, we are accused of using technology in an excessive, futile and even detrimental way, as if technology is compelling our actions. It appears to be like the monster threatening Dr. Frankenstein or like the socerer’s broom in the hand of the apprentice. That is, the same technology that should liberate us from myths, appears to be mythical. The objective of this article is to (...)
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  24. Bjørn Hofmann (2001). On the Value-Ladenness of Technology in Medicine. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 4 (3):335-345.
    The objective of this article is to analyse the value-ladenness of technology in the context of medicine. To address this issue several characteristics of technology are investigated: i) its interventive capacity, ii) its expansiveness and iii) its influence on the concept of disease, iv) its generalising character, v) its independence of the subjective experience of the patient. By this analysis I hope to unveil the double face of technology: Technology has a Janus-face in modern medicine, and the opposite of its (...)
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  25. Bjørn Hofmann (2001). Complexity of the Concept of Disease as Shown Through Rival Theoretical Frameworks. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 22 (3):211-236.
    The concept of disease has been the subject ofa vast, vivid and versatile debate. Categoriessuch as ``realist'', ``nominalist'', ``ontologist'',``physiologist'', ``normativist'' and``descriptivist'' have been applied to classifydisease concepts. These categories refer tounderlying theoretical frameworks of thedebate. The objective of this review is toanalyse these frameworks. It is argued that thecategories applied in the debate refer toprofound philosophical issues, and that thecomplexity of the debate reflects thecomplexity of the concept itself: disease is acomplex concept, and does not easily lenditself to definition.
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  26. Bjørn Hofmann (2001). The Paradox of Health Care. Health Care Analysis 9 (4):369-386.
    The term ``paradox'' signifies acontradiction of some sort. Modern health careappears to be rich in contradictions, and it isclaimed to be paradoxical in a number of ways.In particular health care is held to be aparadox itself: it is supposed to do good, butis accused of doing harm. The objective of thisarticle is to investigate whether the conceptof paradox can serve as a framework foranalysing pressing problems in modern healthcare. To pursue this, three distinctive levelsof paradox are identified: resolvableparadoxes, antinomies and (...)
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