Background The aim of the study is to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices among healthcare professionals in Barbados in relation to healthcare ethics and law in an attempt to assist in guiding their professional conduct and aid in curriculum development. Methods A self-administered structured questionnaire about knowledge of healthcare ethics, law and the role of an Ethics Committee in the healthcare system was devised, tested and distributed to all levels of staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados (a (...) tertiary care teaching hospital) during April and May 2003. Results The paper analyses 159 responses from doctors and nurses comprising junior doctors, consultants, staff nurses and sisters-in-charge. The frequency with which the respondents encountered ethical or legal problems varied widely from 'daily' to 'yearly'. 52% of senior medical staff and 20% of senior nursing staff knew little of the law pertinent to their work. 11% of the doctors did not know the contents of the Hippocratic Oath whilst a quarter of nurses did not know the Nurses Code. Nuremberg Code and Helsinki Code were known only to a few individuals. 29% of doctors and 37% of nurses had no knowledge of an existing hospital ethics committee. Physicians had a stronger opinion than nurses regarding practice of ethics such as adherence to patients' wishes, confidentiality, paternalism, consent for procedures and treating violent/non-compliant patients (p = 0.01) Conclusion The study highlights the need to identify professionals in the workforce who appear to be indifferent to ethical and legal issues, to devise means to sensitize them to these issues and appropriately training them. (shrink)
This essay introduces a Common Knowledge symposium on the relationship between texts (for instance, musical scores or dramatic scripts) and performance in the arts by drawing out its implications for the interpretation of publicly consequential texts (such as constitutions, legal statutes, and canon law). Arguing that judges and clerics could learn much from studying the work of Philip Gossett and other practitioners of textual criticism in the arts, the essay suggests that a wider array of choices exists for legal interpretation (...) than the usual alternative between originalism or literalism, on the one hand, and intuitionism, on the other hand. Contributions to the symposium (titled “Between Text and Performance”) emphasize what Roger Moseley calls “improvisatory fluency in historical idioms,” and this introduction recommends that jurists develop for the law the kind of “ear” that musicians must have when a score invites or demands improvisation. (shrink)
In philosophy, egoism is the theory that one’s self is, or should be, the motivation and the goal of one’s own action. Egoism has two variants, descriptive or normative. The descriptive (or positive) variant conceives egoism as a factual description of human affairs. That is, people are motivated by their own interests and desires, and they cannot be described otherwise. The normative variant proposes that people should be so motivated, regardless of what presently motivates their behavior. Altruism is the opposite (...) of egoism. The term “egoism” derives from “ego,” the Latin term for the English word “I”. “Egoism” should be distinguished from “egotism,” which means a psychological overvaluation of one’s own importance, or of one’s own activities. (shrink)
There are strong Lockean considerations that count in favor of a global basic income program. This paper articulates a conception of equal share left-libertarianism that is supported by the rights of full self-ownership and world-ownership. It is argued that an appropriately constructed global basic income program would be a key institution for promoting the rights of full self-ownership and world-ownership.
This essay is the introduction to a special debate issue of the journal "Basic Income Studies" on the topic of whether libertarians should endorse a universal basic income. The essay attempts to clarify some common uses of the term 'libertarianism" as it is used by moral and political philosophers. It identifies some important common features of libertarian normative theories.
Kane's ambitious and bold book presents a sustained argument for an ethical theory that gives an account of right action and the good life. The general structure of the main argument is presented and specific points are critically discussed.
We identify three points of intersection between economics and ethics: the ethics of economics, ethics in economics and ethics out of economics. These points of intersection reveal three types of conversation between economists and moral philosophers that have produced, and may continue to produce, fruitful exchange between the disciplines.
Abstract This article outlines Locke's theory of war as found in his political writings and seeks to redress a perceived imbalance in John Locke's morality of war. Locke's strident rejection of any sense of proportionality in warfare against unjust aggression, as read in the Second Treatise of Government, has to be tempered with his general philosophical programme against extremism of any sort. Arguably, Locke's war ethic when read alone is strict, objective, and emphatic, but when compared with his epistemological work, (...) its righteousness is reduced to extreme circumstances. (shrink)
This essay explores philosophical questions about practical identity that emerge in David Cronenberg's films, "A History of Violence" and "Eastern Promises." I distinguish the metaphysical problems of personal identity from the practical problems and contend that the latter are of central importance to the topic of authenticity. Central scenes from both films are examined with an eye to their engagement with the issues of authenticity and self-creation.
Rendell and Whitehead note the necessary, complementary relationship between field and laboratory studies in other species, but conclude their article by de-emphasizing the role of laboratory findings in cetacean research. The ambiguity in field studies of cetaceans should argue for greater reliance on the laboratory, which has provided much of the available research supporting the hypothesis of cetacean culture.
The primary goal of this essay is to clarify the concept of psychopathy and distinguish it from other, related, concepts. We contend that the paradigmatic trait of psychopathy is a propensity to violence that is accompanied by a lack of conscience. We also argue that conceptual clarity on this point is important for devising empirical criteria for identifying psychopaths. We also argue that a full theory of psychopathy will require one to utilize theories and assumptions that pertain to central issues (...) in meta-ethics. (shrink)
Bloom masterfully captures the state-of-the-art in the study of lexical acquisition. He also exposes the extent of our ignorance about the learning of names for non-observables. HCLMW adopts an innatist position without adopting modularity of mind; however, it seems likely that modularity is needed to bridge the gap between object names and the rest of the lexicon.
Rowan Williams's theological-moral reasoning regarding the formation of personal identities in relation to gender, familial and communal ties is analysed in an article review of his book Lost Icons. This is his most sustained essay in theological social criticism, and was intended for the general public beyond academic theology. Williams exposes Christian moral reasoning on these issues to forms of secular critique whilst simultaneously using theological and historical strategies from liberal Anglo-Catholicism. His argumentation is subjected to theological and social-scientific scrutiny. (...) The article calls for closer attention to debates within secular feminism and social research concerning the formation of adult men and women in relation to the wider post-Christian society. Links are made from Williams's thought in Lost Icons to underlying patterns in his academic theological output. (shrink)
Determinations of the ethical acceptability of genetic therapy have relied on several distinctions in attempts to separate ethically acceptable genetic therapy from those possible therapies that could lead to genetic modifications of future human beings. One distinction that has been proposed is that genetic modifications of human somatic cells is ethically acceptable but that Germ-Line genetics modifications would be ethically objectionable. This paper examines several serious difficulties which call into question the ethical relevance of a somatic/Germ-Line distinction. Keywords: double effect, (...) future generations, Germ-Line modification CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
While the search for the neural basis of the language of thought is a laudable enterprise, and the article by Hurford a valiant first attempt, we argue that in investigating the argument structure of natural language it will ultimately prove more fruitful to consider the restrictions forced on the system by its inherently syntactic character.
Constraints on the types of speech errors observed can be accounted for by a frame/content distinction, but connectionist modeling shows that they do not require this distinction. The constraints may arise instead from the statistical properties of our language, in particular, the sequential biases observed in the vocabulary. Nevertheless, there might still be a role for the frame/content distinction in syntactic planning.
Advances in understanding genetic disorders have been rapid in the last few years and with them the need and desire for genetic counselling have grown. Almost simultaneously, particularly in the USA, several large screening programmes have been initiated to screen large numbers of people who may be carriers of such deleterious genes as those of Tay-Sachs disease and sickle cell anaemia. The authors of this paper, clinical medical students at University College Hospital, London, spent some time studying the ethical issues (...) raised. The first part of their study, which is not published here, relates to the biochemistry of certain genetic disorders, so leading up to the aspect of the subject which must concern readers of this journal, genetic counselling. At present genetic counselling is generally the province of the medical practitioner working with clinical biochemists, and in this paper their function is described and how programmes of screening for carriers are designed. Whether the subjects of the screening tests are found to be 'innocent' or 'guilty' psychological problems confront them, and of these the genetic counsellor must be aware. In fact the range of ethical problems raised by such counselling is wide and can only be sketched in this article. (shrink)