"Not but by the spirit understood" : Milton's plain style and present-day Messianism -- Areopagitica and the ethics of reading -- Liberty before and after liberalism : Milton's politics and the post-secular state -- Samson, the peacemaker : enlightened slaughter in Samson Agonistes -- Can the suicide bomber speak?
The left ventricular assist device was originally designed to be surgically implanted as a bridge to transplantation for patients with chronic end-stage heart failure. On the basis of the REMATCH trial, the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved permanent implantation of the left ventricular assist device as a destination therapy in Medicare beneficiaries who are not candidates for heart transplantation. The use of the left ventricular assist device as a destination therapy (...) raises certain ethical challenges. Left ventricular assist devices can prolong the survival of average recipients compared with optimal medical management of chronic end-stage heart failure. However, the overall quality of life can be adversely affected in some recipients because of serious infections, neurologic complications, and device malfunction. Left ventricular assist devices alter end-of-life trajectories. The caregivers of recipients may experience significant burden (e.g., poor physical health, depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder) from destination therapy with left ventricular assist devices. There are also social and financial ramifications for recipients and their families. We advocate early utilization of a palliative care approach and outline prerequisite conditions so that consenting for the use of a left ventricular assist device as a destination therapy is a well informed process. These conditions include: (1) direct participation of a multidisciplinary care team, including palliative care specialists, (2) a concise plan of care for anticipated device-related complications, (3) careful surveillance and counseling for caregiver burden, (4) advance-care planning for anticipated end-of-life trajectories and timing of device deactivation, and (5) a plan to address the long-term financial burden on patients, families, and caregivers. Short-term mechanical circulatory devices (e.g. percutaneous cardiopulmonary bypass, percutaneous ventricular assist devices, etc.) can be initiated in emergency situations as a bridge to permanent implantation of ventricular assist devices in chronic end-stage heart failure. In the absence of first-person (patient) consent, presumed consent or surrogate consent should be used cautiously for the initiation of short-term mechanical circulatory devices in emergency situations as a bridge to permanent implantation of left ventricular assist devices. Future clinical studies of destination therapy with left ventricular assist devices should include measures of recipients' quality of end-of-life care and caregivers' burden. (shrink)
Protected areas are the single most important conservation tool. The global protected-area network has grown substantially in recent decades, now occupying 11.5% of Earth's land surface, but such growth has not been strategically aimed at maximizing the coverage of global biodiversity. In a previous study, we demonstrated that the global network is far from complete, even for the representation of terrestrial vertebrate species. Here we present a first attempt to provide a global framework for the next step of strategically expanding (...) the network to cover mammals, amphibians, freshwater turtles and tortoises, and globally threatened birds. We identify unprotected areas of the world that have remarkably high conservation value (irreplaceability) and are under serious threat. These areas concentrate overwhelmingly in tropical and subtropical moist forests, particularly on tropical mountains and islands. The expansion of the global protected-area network in these regions is urgently needed to prevent the loss of unique biodiversity. (shrink)
To help ensure the ethical conduct of research, many have recommended educational efforts in research ethics to investigators and members of research ethics committees (RECs). One type of education activity involves multi-day workshops in research ethics. To be effective, such workshops should contain the appropriate content and teaching techniques geared towards the learning styles of the targeted audiences. To ensure consistency in content and quality, we describe the development of a curriculum guide, core competencies and associated learning objectives and activities (...) to help educators organize research ethics workshops in their respective institutions. The curriculum guide is divided into modular units to enable planners to develop workshops of different lengths and choose content materials that match the needs, abilities, and prior experiences of the target audiences. The content material in the curriculum guide is relevant for audiences in the Middle East, because individuals from the Middle East who participated in a Certificate Program in research ethics selected and developed the training materials (e.g., articles, powerpoint slides, case studies, protocols). Also, many of the activities incorporate active-learning methods, consisting of group work activities analyzing case studies and reviewing protocols. The development of such a workshop training curriculum guide represents a sustainable educational resource to enhance research ethics capacity in the Middle East. (shrink)
Mass media campaigns are widely and successfully used to change health decisions and behaviors for better or for worse in society. In the United States, media campaigns have been launched at local offices of the states’ department of motor vehicles to promote citizens’ willingness to organ donation and donor registration. We analyze interventional studies of multimedia communication campaigns to encourage organ-donor registration at local offices of states’ department of motor vehicles. The media campaigns include the use of multifaceted communication tools (...) and provide training to desk clerks in the use of scripted messages for the purpose of optimizing enrollment in organ-donor registries. Scripted messages are communicated to customers through mass audiovisual entertainment media, print materials and interpersonal interaction at the offices of departments of motor vehicles. These campaigns give rise to three serious concerns: (1) bias in communicating information with scripted messages without verification of the scientific accuracy of information, (2) the provision of misinformation to future donors that may result in them suffering unintended consequences from consenting to medical procedures before death (e.g, organ preservation and suitability for transplantation), and (3) the unmanaged conflict of interests for organizations charged with implementing these campaigns, (i.e, dual advocacy for transplant recipients and donors). We conclude the following: (1) media campaigns about healthcare should communicate accurate information to the general public and disclose factual materials with the least amount of bias; (2) conflicting interests in media campaigns should be managed with full public transparency; (3) media campaigns should disclose the practical implications of procurement as well as acknowledge the medical, legal, and religious controversies of determining death in organ donation; (4) organ-donor registration must satisfy the criteria of informed consent; (5) media campaigns should serve as a means of public education about organ donation and should not be a form of propaganda. (shrink)
Previous studies have investigated orthographic-to-phonological mapping during reading by comparing brain activation for (1) reading words to object naming, or (2) reading pseudowords (e.g. “phume”) to words (e.g. “plume”). Here we combined both approaches to provide new insights into the underlying neural mechanisms. In fMRI data from 25 healthy adult readers, we first identified activation that was greater for reading words and pseudowords relative to picture and color naming. The most significant effect was observed in the left putamen, extending to (...) both anterior and posterior borders. Second, consistent with previous studies, we show that both the anterior and posterior putamen are involved in articulating speech with greater activation during our overt speech production tasks (reading, repetition, object naming and color naming) than silent one-back-matching on the same stimuli. Third, we compared putamen activation for words versus pseudowords during overt reading and auditory repetition. This revealed that the anterior putamen was most activated by reading pseudowords, whereas the posterior putamen was most activated by words irrespective of whether the task was reading words or auditory word repetition. The pseudoword effect in the anterior putamen is consistent with prior studies that associated this region with the initiation of novel sequences of movements. In contrast, the heightened word response in the posterior putamen is consistent with other studies that associated this region with “memory guided movement”. Our results illustrate how the functional dissociation between the anterior and posterior putamen supports sublexical and lexical processing during reading. (shrink)