This authoritative Handbook brings together experts with backgrounds in philosophy, sociology, law, public policy and the health professions and reflects the increasing impact of globalization and the dynamic advances in the fields of ...
Medical research involving human subjects raises complex ethical, legal and social issues. Investigators sometimes find that their obligations with respect to a research project come into conflict with their obligations to individual patients. The ethical conduct of research rests on 3 guiding principles: respect for persons, beneficience, and justice. Respect for persons underlies the duty to obtain informed consent from study participants. Beneficence demands a favourable balance between the potential benefits and harms of participation. Justice requires that vulnerable people not (...) be exploited and that eligible candidates who may benefit from participation not be excluded without good cause. Studies must be designed in a way that ensures the validity of findings and must address questions of sufficient importance to justify the risks of participation. In any clinical trial there must be genuine uncertainty as to which treatment arm offers the most benefit, and placebo controls should not be used if effective standard therapies exist. Researchers have a responsibility to inform themselves about the ethical, legal and policy standards that govern their activities. When difficulties arise, they should consult the existing literature and seek the advice of experts in research ethics. (shrink)
The purpose of this study is to compare and contrast the basic ethical values underpinning national health care policies in the United States and Canada. We use the framework of ethical theory to name and elaborate ethical values and to facilitate moral reflection about health care reform.Section one describes historical and contemporary social contract theories and clarifies the ethical values associated with them. Sections two and three show that health care debates and health care systems in both countries reflect the (...) values of this tradition; however, each nation interprets the tradition differently. In the U.S., standards of justice for health care are conceived as a voluntary agreement reached by self-interested parties. Canadians, by contrast, interpret the same justice tradition as placing greater emphasis on concern for others and for the community. The final section draws out the implications of these differences for future U.S. and Canadian health care reforms. (shrink)
Scientific developments of the last 20 years have made the transplantation of cadaveric solid organs a viable and expected treatment alternative for patients suffering from various forms of End Stage Organ Disease. Of the number of organs that could be utilized for this, only a small percentage of them are actually made available. North American legislation explicitly categorizes the transfer of cadaveric organs as an anatomical or tissue "gift". The concept of the gift is mediated by transculturally consistent unwritten, but (...) powerfully felt, rules of conduct. Among the most profound elements of the concept is the obligatory gift-exchange which is central to the gift-relationship . Obviously, neither of these are permitted by the organ transplant scenario. As a result, dissonance is created within the thought process of the individual which cannot be easily resolved, paralyzing many into inaction. We maintain that the present legal framework, designed to facilitate the transfer of organs, clashes with the human phenomenon of giving , and may actually prevent organs from being made available. In a search for a solution to this gift-relationship dilemma, giving organs is contrasted with taking organs as a basis upon which to ground ethically sound public policy. Liberty-limiting principles and the concept of harm are considered within this context. Keywords: ethics, organ transplantation, procurement, gift, public policy CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)