The Philippine government officially responded to the Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and the related WHO Guidelines on organ transplantation by prohibiting all transplants to foreigners using Filipino organs. However, local tourists have escaped the regulatory radar, leaving a very wide gap in efforts against human trafficking and transplant tourism. Authorities need to deal with the situation seriously, at a minimum, by issuing clear procedures for verifying declarations of kinship or emotional bonds between donors and recipients. Foreigners who come (...) to the country for transplants with same-nationality donors constitute a problem that is replicated in many transplant centers around the world. Also, emotionally related living donors continue to pose challenges for ethics committees, especially because of the realities associated with the existence of extended families. Those who find themselves facing these issues need to be armed with clear protocols for going through the process of verifying documents and individual declarations assiduously. There is also a need for international referral mechanisms at least to ensure that governments are aware when their citizens travel for transplant so they can take steps they consider suitable to address the vulnerabilities of exploited persons. (shrink)
The offer of the fast food company gives rise to suspicion. This seems to be based on unfounded stereotypes, however. This paper argues that we need to preserve choices in taking particular courses of action. There is nothing inherently wrong in fast food consumption so long as consumers are made aware of the importance of weight management and proper nutrition.
Fast food companies like Siam Burger that participate in health awareness campaigns create a conflict of interest between the social responsibility of promoting health and the business interest of increasing sales through marketing strategies like advertising. Alternative options of raising health awareness without mitigating the involvement of fast food companies either by denying advertisements or having a third party foundation should be explored.
Practical medical decisions are closely integrated with ethical and religious beliefs in the Philippines. This is shown in a survey of Filipino physicians' attitudes towards severely compromised neonates. This is also the reason why the ethical analysis of critical care practices must be situated within the context of local culture. Kagandahang loob and kusang loob are indigenous Filipino ethical concepts that provide a framework for the analysis of several critical care practices. The practice of taking-from-the-rich-to-give-to-the-poor in public hospitals is not (...) compatible with these concepts. The legislated definition of death and other aspects of the Philippine Law on Organ Transplants also fail to be compatible with these concepts. Many ethical issues that arise in a critical care setting have their roots outside the seemingly isolated clinical setting. Critical care need not apply only to individuals in a serious clinical condition. Vulnerable populations require critical attention because potent threats to their lives exist in the water that they drink and the air that they breathe. We cannot ignore these threa ts even as we move inevitably towards a technologically dependent, highly commercialized approach to health management. (shrink)
Relatively subtle forms of exploitation of human subjects may arise from the inefficiency or incompetence of a researcher, from the existence of a power imbalance between principal and subject, or from the uneven distribution of research risks among various segments of the population. A powerful and knowledgeable person (or institution) may perpetrate the exploitation of an unempowered and ignorant individual even without intending to. There is an ethical burden on the former to protect the interests of the vulnerable. Excessive or (...) insufficient compensation may be exploitative. However, genuine economic imperatives motivating needy volunteers have to be considered. These forms of exploitation should be appreciated in the context of social and cultural factors suggesting that the relationship between researcher and subject cannot properly be appraised as a contractual undertaking. While compliance with pertinent codes and regulations minimises the exploitative potential, they cannot be enforced in a way that does not recognise a society's peculiar characteristics. The experience with some Filipino cultural traits illustrates this point. (shrink)