In this paper, I assess Martha Nussbaum's application of the capabilities approach to non-human animals for both its philosophical merits and its potential to affect publicpolicy. I argue that there are currently three main philosophical problems with the theory that need further attention. After discussing these problems, I show how focusing on factory farming would enable Nussbaum to demonstrate the philosophical merits of the capabilities approach as well as to suggest more powerful and effectives changes in our (...)public policies. (shrink)
This paper examines whether religious reasons have a legitimate place in a liberal democracy's policy debates. Robert Audi, building from Rawlsian themes, contends that civic virtue obliges religious citizens who advocate for public policies to have sufficiently motivating secular reasons. Others contend it's unfair to exclude reasonable citizens from policy debates merely because their only reasons are religious ones. This essay seeks to reconcile the intuitions behind these competing views. I examine Audi's account of the differences between (...) religious and secular reasons to determine why he believes religious reasons are inappropriate to justify coercive policies. Of the distinctions he discusses, only one -- religious reasons are often grounded in an infallible authority -- is relevant for distinguishing suitable from unsuitable policy justifications. I develop an alternative to Audi's account: Individuals should refrain from bringing reasons held to be infallibly true to policy debates. On this view, not all religious reasons will warrant exclusion, though some may. (shrink)
This paper is a survey of the positive and negative aspects of cannabis use from the point of view of the individual on one hand and from the point of view of the society on the other hand. Health, social, and political motives are all discussed, and the best method of harm reduction is analysed. The upshot is that zero tolerance policy is obsolete, and that most individuals would be better off using cannabis rather than other drugs.
Intelligent design creationism (ID) is a religious belief requiring a supernatural creator’s interventions in the natural order. ID thus brings with it, as does supernatural theism by its nature, intractable epistemological difficulties. Despite these difficulties and despite ID’s defeat in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005), ID creationists’ continuing efforts to promote the teaching of ID in public school science classrooms threaten both science education and the separation of church and state guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. I examine (...) the ID movement’s failure to provide either a methodology or a functional epistemology to support their supernaturalism, a deficiency that consequently leaves them without epistemic support for their creationist claims. My examination focuses primarily on ID supporter Francis Beckwith, whose published defenses of teaching ID, as well as his other relevant publications concerning education, law, and publicpolicy, have been largely exempt from critical scrutiny. Beckwith’s work exhibits the epistemological deficiencies of the supernaturally grounded views of his ID associates and of supernaturalists in general. I preface my examination of Beckwith’s arguments with (1) philosopher of science Susan Haack’s clarification of the established naturalistic methodology and epistemology of science and (2) discussions of the views of Beckwith’s ID associates Phillip Johnson and William Dembski. Finally, I critique the religious exclusionism that Beckwith shares with his ID associates and the implications of his exclusionism for publicpolicy. (shrink)
abstract Part 1 of this essay argues that one of the most important contributions of philosophers to sound publicpolicy may be to combat the influence of bad Philosophy (which includes, but is not limited to, bad Philosophy produced by accredited academic philosophers). Part 2 argues that the conventional conception of Practical Ethics (CPE) that philosophers bring to issues of publicpolicy is defective because it fails to take seriously the phenomenon of the subversion of morality, (...) the role of false factual beliefs in this subversion, and the vulnerability to the exploitation of our moral powers that our social-epistemic dependency entails. Given the serious risks of the subversion of morality through the propagation of false factual beliefs, CPE's near exclusive emphasis on identifying sound moral principles greatly constrains its potential contribution to the Negative Task of Practical Ethics, the endeavour to reduce the incidence of the most grievously wrong behaviour. Practical ethicists should focus more on the ethics of believing, and develop a more sophisticated conception of the moral and epistemic virtues of individuals and of institutions, one that includes protective meta-virtues, whose function it is to guard us against the more frequent and predictable subversions of morality, including those subversions that are facilitated by the processes of belief-formation that our social institutions and practices foster. (shrink)
Ethical disputes arise over differences in the content of the ethical beliefs people hold on either side of an issue. One person may believe that it is wrong to have an abortion for financial reasons, whereas another may believe it to be permissible. But, the magnitude and difficulty of such disputes may also depend on other properties of the ethical beliefs in question—in particular, how objective they are perceived to be. As a psychological property of moral belief, objectivity is relatively (...) unexplored, and we argue that it merits more attention. We review recent psychological evidence which demonstrates that individuals differ in the extent to which they perceive ethical beliefs to be objective, that some ethical beliefs are perceived to be more objective than others, and that both these sources of variance are somewhat systematic. This evidence also shows that differences in perceptions of objectivity underpin quite different psychological reactions to ethical disagreement. Apart from reviewing this evidence, our aim in this paper is to draw attention to unanswered psychological questions about moral objectivity, and to discuss the relevance of moral objectivity to two issues of publicpolicy. (shrink)
Responsible publicpolicy making in a technological society must rely on complex scientific reasoning. Given that ordinary citizens cannot directly assess such reasoning, does this call the democratic legitimacy of technical public policies in question? It does not, provided citizens can make reliable second-order assessments of the consensus of trustworthy scientific experts. I develop criteria for lay assessment of scientific testimony and demonstrate, in the case of claims about anthropogenic global warming, that applying such criteria is easy (...) for anyone of ordinary education with access to the Web. However, surveys show a gap between the scientific consensus and public opinion on global warming in the U.S. I explore some causes of this gap and argue that democratic reforms of our culture of political discourse may be able to address it. (shrink)
The regulation of drugs presents a challenge for liberalism: how can punishing a person for an action that harms only himself or herself be justified? For publicpolicy a related difficulty is to justify the differential treatment of drugs and alcohol. Philosophical arguments suggest that current regulations are unjustified, and that some currently illegal drugs should be treated no more harshly than alcohol. However, such arguments make little or no impact in publicpolicy discussions. This generates (...) a further problem: to understand the different perspectives of philosophical reasoning and publicpolicy so that philosophical arguments can have a greater role in publicpolicy debates. (shrink)
: Gill and Sade, in the preceding article in this issue of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, argue that living individuals should be free from legal constraints against selling their organs. The present commentary responds to several of their claims. It explains why an analogy between kidneys and blood fails; why, as a matter of publicpolicy, we prohibit the sale of human solid organs, yet allow the sale of blood; and why their attack on Kant's putative (...) argument against the sale of human body parts is misplaced. Finally, it rejects the claim that the state is entitled to interfere with the actions of individuals only if such actions would harm others. We draw certain lines grounded in what Rawls has termed "public reason" beyond which we do not give effect to the autonomous self-regarding decisions of individuals. Public resistance to the sale of human body parts, no matter how voluntary or well informed, is grounded in the conviction that such a practice would diminish human dignity and our sense of solidarity. A system of organ donation, in contrast, conveys our respect for persons and honors our common humanity. (shrink)
This paper addresses, and seeks to correct, some frequent misunderstandings concerning the claim that science is socially constructed. It describes several features of scientific inquiry that have been usefully illuminated by constructivist studies of science, including the mundane or tacit skills involved in research, the social relationships in scientific laboratories, the causes of scientific controversy, and the interconnection of science and culture. Social construction, the paper argues, should be seen not as an alternative to but an enhancement of scientists’ own (...) professional understanding of how science is done. The richer, more finely textured accounts of scientific practice that the constructivist approach provides are potentially of great relevance to publicpolicy. (shrink)
Legally defining “death” in terms of brain death unacceptably obscures a value judgment that not all reasonable people would accept. This is disingenuous, and it results in serious moral flaws in the medical practices surrounding organ donation. Publicpolicy that relies on the whole-brain concept of death is therefore morally flawed and in need of revision.
The traditional vision of the role science should play in policy making is of a two stage process of scientists first finding out the facts, and then policy makers making a decision about what to do about them. We argue that this two stage process is a fiction and that a distinction must be drawn between pure science and science in the service of publicpolicy. When science is transferred into the policy realm, its claims (...) to truth get undermined because we must abandon the open-ended nature of scientific inquiry. When we move from the sphere of science to the sphere of policy, we pick an arbitrary point in the open-ended scientific process, and ask our experts to give us the answer. The choice of the endpoint, however, must always be arbitrary and determined by non-scientific factors. Thus, the two stages in the model of first finding the facts, and then making a decision about what to do, cannot be clearly separated. The second stage clearly affects the first. This conclusion will have implications about existing scientific policy institutions. For example, we advocate that the environmental assessment process be radically overhauled, or perhaps even let go. It will be our position that ultimately a better model for the involvement of scientists in publicpolicy debates is that of being participants in particular interest groups (“hired guns”), rather than as supposedly unbiased consultants to decision-makers. (shrink)
Globalization has increased the economic power of the multinational corporation (MNC), engendering calls for greater corporate social responsibility (CSR) from these companies. However, the current mechanisms of global governance are inadequate to codify and enforce recognized CSR standards. One method by which companies can impact positively on global governance is through the mechanism of Global PublicPolicy Networks (GPPN). These networks build on the individual strength of MNCs, domestic governments, and non-governmental organizations to create expected standards of behaviour (...) in such areas as labour rights, environmental standards, and working conditions. This article models GPPN in the issue area of CSR. The potential benefits of GPPN include better overall coordination among industry and government in establishing what social expectations the modern MNC will be expected to fill. (shrink)
Researchers are increasingly interested in creating chimeras by transplanting human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into animals early in development. One concern is that such research could confer upon an animal the moral status of a normal human adult but then impermissibly fail to accord it the protections it merits in virtue of its enhanced moral status. Understanding the publicpolicy implications of this ethical conclusion, though, is complicated by the fact that claims about moral status cannot play an (...) unfettered role in publicpolicy. Arguments like those employed in the abortion debate for the conclusion that abortion should be legally permissible even if abortion is not morally permissible also support, to a more limited degree, a liberal policy on hESC research involving the creation of chimeras. (shrink)
The Social Issues in Management Division has had a long history of research into various aspects of governmental influences on business. Recent years, however, have seen stakeholder theory sort of sweep the field, and under a stakeholder theory of capitalism, governments will matter less then they have in the past as stakeholder principles are implemented throughout the corporate world. This article will examine the nature of this claim by discussing problems with the implementation of stakeholder theory and examining the role (...) of publicpolicy in our society. (shrink)
For the sake of developing and evaluating publicpolicy decisions aimed at combating terrorism, we need a precise public definition of terrorism that distinguishes terrorism from other forms of violence. Ordinary usage does not provide a basis for such a definition, and so it must be stipulative. I propose essentially pragmatic criteria for developing such a stipulative public definition. After noting that definitions previously proposed in the philosophical literature are inadequate based on these criteria, I propose (...) an alternative, which I call the 'group-target' definition and which distinguishes terrorism from other forms of violence by the distinctive principle of discrimination used by terrorists to identify legitimate targets. I argue that this definition meets the criteria for a satisfactory public definition, and suggest that based on it there is good reason to suspect the adequacy of anti-terrorism policies that rely predominantly on forceful interdiction of terrorists. (shrink)
Defenders of medical professionals’ rights to conscientious objection (CO) regarding emergency contraception (EC) draw an analogy to CO in the military. Such professionals object to EC since it has the possibility of harming zygotic life, yet if we accept this analogy and utilize jurisprudence to frame the associated publicpolicy, those who refuse to dispense EC would not have their objection honored. Legal precedent holds that one must consistently object to all forms of the relevant activity. In the (...) case at hand, then, I argue that these professionals must also oppose morally innocuous practices that may prevent pregnancy after fertilization. These results reveal that such objectors cannot offer a plausible and consistent objection to harming zygotic life. Additionally, there are good reasons to reject the analogy itself. In either case, these findings call into question the case supporting refusals of EC based on scruples. (shrink)
Current developments in biomedicine are presenting us with difficult ethical decisions and raising complex policy questions about how to regulate these new developments. Particularly vexing for governments have been issues related to human embryo experimentation. Because some of the most promising biomedical developments, such as stem cell research and nuclear somatic transfer, involve such experimentation, several international bodies have drafted documents aimed to provide guidance to governments when developing biomedical science policy. Here I focus on two such documents: (...) the Council of Europe's Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being and the Additional Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being.I argue that by using human dignity as a criterion to determine the permissibility of particular human embryo research practices, these documents cannot aid in identifying research that would be contrary to human dignity. Thus, they fail to guide publicpolicy on embryo experimentation. Their use of human dignity as a criterion makes their task of offering guidance unfeasible because the concept as used in these documents is too vague and is applied in contradictory ways. I discuss the main goals of these documents and their claims in relation to human embryo research. I then discuss how they have influenced publicpolicy in several countries. Finally, I show that although these Council of Europe treaties attempt to serve as publicpolicy guides in the area of embryo research, they fail to do so. (shrink)
This paper explores the concept of sustainable development and its ethical and publicpolicy implications for engineering and multinational corporations. Sustainable development involves achieving objectives in three realms: ecological (sustainable scale), economic (efficient allocation) and social (just distribution). While movement toward a sustainable society is dependent upon satisfying all three objectives, questions of just distribution and other questions of equity are often left off the table or downplayed when engineers and corporate leaders consider sustainable development issues. Indeed, almost (...) all the effort of engineers and engineering organizations on the issue of sustainable development has been focused on striking a balance between economic development and environmental protection. Similarly, corporate approaches rely on technological fixes to the challenges posed by sustainable development. While there have been some efforts aimed at incorporating environmental and social equity concepts into engineering codes of ethics, social concerns have been secondary to environmental issues. The incongruity between the ideal of sustainable development and the way in which it is typically characterized by the engineering and business communities has significant implications for engineering and publicpolicy, engineering ethics, and the potential roles of engineers and multinational corporations as facilitators of a transition to a sustainable society. (shrink)
Sometimes I’m asked whether the things that I’ve been writing about in philosophy of biology have anything to do with normative issues, publicpolicy, etc. The answer is “Yes,” but I don’t think that the reasons why are obvious. Much of my most recent work has focused on metaphysical issues concerning the nature of evolutionary processes. The following is a sketch of some connections between metaphysics, evolution, and normative issues which are of particular interest to me.
By investigating the link between the Confucian ideal of longevity and moral cultivation, I argue that Confucian moral cultivation is founded on the ideal of harmony, and, in this connection, it promotes a holistic, healthy life, of which longevity is an important component. My argument is internal to Confucianism, in the sense that it aims to show these concepts are coherently constructed within the Confucian philosophical framework; I do not go beyond the Confucian framework to prove its validity. Finally, I (...) show that if these Confucian beliefs are true, they have serious implications for publicpolicy-making in contemporary societies. (shrink)
News media accounts of issues in bioethics gain significance to the extent that the media influence publicpolicy and inform personal decision making. The increasingly frequent appearance of bioethics in the news thus imposes responsibilities on journalists and their sources. These responsibilities are identified and discussed, as is (i) the concept of "newsworthiness" as applied to bioethics, (ii) the variable quality of bioethics reportage and (iii) journalists' reliance on ethicists to pass judgment. Because of the potential social and (...) other benefits of high quality reporting on ethical issues, it is argued that journalists and their bioethics sources should explore and accommodate more productive relationships. An optimal journalism-ethics relationship will be one characterized by "para-ethics," in which journalistic constraints are noted but also in which issues and arguments are presented without oversimplification and credible disagreement is given appropriate attention. (shrink)
This paper proposes a Capabilities-based Approach to guide hazard mitigation efforts. First, a discussion is provided of the criteria that should be met by an adequate framework for formulating publicpolicy and allocating resources. This paper shows why a common decision-aiding tool, Cost-benefit Analysis, fails to fulfill such criteria. A Capabilities-based Approach to hazard mitigation is then presented, drawing on the framework originally developed in the context of development economics and policy. The focus of a Capabilities-based Approach (...) is protecting and promoting the well-being of individuals. Capabilities are dimensions of well-being and specified in terms of functionings. Functionings capture the various things of value an individual does or becomes in his or her life, including being alive, being healthy, and being sheltered. Capabilities refer to the real achievability of specific functionings. In the context of hazard mitigation, from a Capabilities-based Approach, decision- and policy-makers should consider the acceptability and tolerability of risks along with the affectability of hazards when determining policy formulation and resource allocation. Finally, the paper shows how the proposed approach satisfies the required criteria, and overcomes the limitations of Cost-benefit Analysis, while maintaining its strengths. (shrink)
Ethical reflections help us decide what are the best actions to pursue in difficult and controversial situations. Reflections on publicpolicy consider how to alter patterns of individual activity and institutional policies or frameworks for the better. The rising prevalence of childhood and adolescent obesity may pose serious health issues. As such, it is related to ethical and publicpolicy questions including responsibility for health, food production and consumption, patterns of physical activity, the role of the (...) state, and the rights and duties of parenthood. The problem of rising prevalence of obesity is mainly an issue in the Western world. Many developing countries going through rapid economic growth now face or might soon face similar problems. However, in this chapter we will offer only a Western perspective on the current problem of rising childhood and adolescent obesity, drawing many of our examples from the British context. (shrink)
This article considers the implications of complex systems models for the study of economics and the evaluation of public policies. I argue that complexity can enhance current approaches to formal economic analysis, but does so in ways that complement current approaches. I further argue that while complexity can influence how publicpolicy analysis is conducted, it does not delimit the use of consequentialist approaches to policy comparison to the degree initially suggested by Hayek and most recently (...) defended by Gaus. (shrink)
I explore the possible meanings that the notion of the common morality can have in a contemporary communitarian approach to ethics and publicpolicy. The common morality can be defined as the conditions for shared pursuit of the good or as the values, deliberations, traditions, and common construction of the narrative of a people. The former sense sees the common morality as the universal and invariant structures of morality while the second sense is much more contingent in nature. (...) Nevertheless, the communitarian sees both aspects as integral in devising solutions to publicpolicy problems. I outline how both meanings follow from communitarian philosophical anthropology and illustrate how they work together when addressing a question such as that of providing universal health insurance in the United States. The common morality forms the basis of building an implicit consensus that is available to and reaffirmed by the shared reflections of the citizenry. (shrink)
This article examines two currently disputed issues regarding publicpolicy for mentally retarded people. First, questions are raised about the legal tradition of viewing mental competence as an all-or-nothing attribute. It is argued that recently developed limited competence and limited guardianship laws can provide greater freedom for retarded people without sacrificing needed protection. Second, the question of who should act paternalistically for retarded people incapable of acting for themselves is examined. Rothman's claim that special formal advocates are the (...) best representatives for retarded people is discussed and criticized. It is argued that parents, professionals and legal advocates should share decision-making authority on behalf of those who are incompetent. (shrink)
A vigorous debate has developed surrounding electronic surveillance in the workplace. This controversial practice is one element of the more general issues of employee dignity and management control, revolving around the use of polygraph and drug testing, integrity exams, and the like. Managers, under pressure from competitors, are making greater use of technologically advanced employee monitoring methods because they are available, and hold the promise of productivity improvement. In this paper, the context of electronic surveillance is described and analyzed from (...) the perspectives of ethics, publicpolicy, and managerial behavior. (shrink)
In Ethics, Economics, and Politics Ian Little returns to offer a new defence of a rule-based utilitarianism as a basis for assessing the role of the State. Lucidly and elegantly he explains how the three disiplines of philosophy, economics and politics can be integrated to provide guidance on issues of publicpolicy.
In newly emerging democracies, succeeding governments have numerous policy tasks for the purpose of developing the free market and the democratic process. In such legal systems, policy-oriented views of law, which regard law as a policy tool for diminishing public problems, seem descriptively pertinent and prescriptively helpful. This is also the case in mature democratic legal systems, where the public problems faced by governments become more and more complex. Policy-directional views of law do not (...) necessarily imply that law is a value-neutral means that can serve any possible political ends. It is widely recognized among legal theorists and practitioners, with notable exceptions represented by exclusive legal positivists, that the law involves moral values, including justice and liberty. In the present essay, I focus on one version of policy-oriented views of law that is based on the fundamental ideals of justice and interest. By sketching out this version, I attempt to shed new light on some concepts and issues in jurisprudence. To begin, I articulate the concept of justice and identify the difficulties that interest-based conceptions of justice encounter, by referring to some classical works. I also make a distinction between different conceptions of interest. Next, the two basic concepts in law — rights and liberty — are explained in terms of justice and interest. Efficiency, which has been largely neglected in traditional jurisprudence notwithstanding its practical significance, is also briefly discussed. Then, I turn to exploring the implications that the law-as-policy theory grounded on justice and interest might have for the foundations of two legal domains: criminal law and laws governing political participation. Some allegations and objections against this theory are described, and responses to them are given. The essay concludes by noting the questions that remain open in this theory. (shrink)
A motivation problem may arise when morally principled publicpolicy calls for serious sacrifice, relative to ways of life and levels of well-being, on the part of the members of a free society. Apart from legal or other forms of “external” coercion, what will, could, or should move people to make the sacrifices required by morality? I explore the motivation problem in the context of morally principled publicpolicy concerning our legacy for future generations. In this (...) context the problem raises special moral-psychological difficulties. My inquiry suggests pessimism regarding our ability to solve the motivation problem relative to what morality requires on behalf of future generations. (shrink)
No new ethical issue is created by reproductive technologies. The state should not intervene to suppress individual rights to take advantage of these technologies, including third party donations. Some individuals will view these technologies as the best available option for having and rearing children. The major values to be protected in publicpolicy ought to be compassion, privacy and procreative rights.
Kitsch-or tacky, simplistic art and art forms-is used by various political actors to shape and limit what we know about ourselves, what we know about our past and our future, as well as what our present-day publicpolicy options might be. Using a plethora of historic and contemporary examples (such as Forrest Gump and Boys Town ), the author maps out how kitsch is employed in various political and educational sites to shape public opinion and understandings. Bibliography. (...) Index. (shrink)
In this paper we will examine some ethical aspects of the role that computers and computing increasingly play in new genetics. Our claim is that there is no new genetics without computer science. Computer science is important for the new genetics on two levels:(1) from a theoretical perspective, and (2) from the point of view of geneticists practice. With respect to (1), the new genetics is fully impregnate with concepts that are basic for computer science. Regarding (2), recent developments in (...) the Human Genome Project (HGP) have shown that computers shape the practices of molecular genetics; an important example is the Shotgun Method's contribution to accelerating the mapping of the human genome. A new challenge to the HGP is provided by the Open Source Philosophy (I computer science), which is another way computer technologies now influence the shaping of publicpolicy debates involving genomics. (shrink)
Three standard tasks undertaken by applied ethicists engaged in the publicpolicy process are identifying value issues, clarifying concepts and meanings, and analyzing arguments. I urge that these should be expanded to include making specific moral judgments and advocating positions and policies. Three objections to philosophers/ethicists' engagement in the formation of publicpolicy are advanced and evaluated: philosophers necessarily do publicpolicy badly, doing it at all compormises one's integrity as a seeker after truth, (...) and frequently participation is in the service of a repressive status quo that is structured simultaneously to preclude radical change and to co-opt ethicists. finally, however, I argue that those who would be ‘applied ethicists’ cannot avoid all participation in some form of a publicpolicy process; that engagement holds the hope as well for improved ethical theory; that the preferred form of participation is frequently from outside of establishment bodies; and that wherever philosophers do involve themselves in policy formulation, this is best done in the expanded sense urged at the outset. Keywords: applied ethics, moral reasoning, publicpolicy CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This article argues that the equality versus difference dispute in feminism is not essentially a dispute about the basis of publicpolicy as Georgia Warnke implies. Furthermore, rarely can publicpolicy issues concerning women be resolved by direct appeal to interpretation. Interpretation should be understood as offering a model of cultural transformation rather than publicpolicy adjudication. Key Words: deliberation democracy difference equality feminism interpretation.
This article reports the results of research that uses policy network theory and advocacy coalition theory to deduce the implications for the future of publicpolicy in EU Member States of king trends: all those technological, economic, environmental, and social trends that can be empirically verified, affect the lives of large numbers of people and are expected by relevant experts to continue for at least the next 20 years. The resulting policy implications can be summarized as (...) more assertive security policies, more business-friendly economic policies, more liberal social policies, and increased public spending. (shrink)
The American folk concept of race assumes the factual existence of races. However, biological science does not furnish empirical support for this assumption. Publicpolicy derived from nineteenth century slave-owning patriarchy is the only foundation of the "one-drop rule" for black and white racial inheritance. In principle, Americans who are both black and white have a right to identify themselves racially. In fact, recent demographic changes and multiracial academic scholarship support this right.
: This paper discusses the role of ethical considerations in the formulation of public policies aimed at shaping the scientific agenda. Specifically, new and controversial publicpolicy issues will confront us in the twenty-first century as the result of developments on the frontiers of biomedical science. Some of the anxieties in the ethical arena generated by the rapid pace of these developments are likely to result in efforts to place constraints on the shape of the scientific agenda (...) and the application of new knowledge. Our moral propositions, therefore, will be tested and re-tested in their application to evolving social, cultural, and historical circumstances and the ever-changing technological context. (shrink)
Can we rely on the altruism of professionals or the public service ethos to deliver good quality health and education services? And how should patients, parents, and pupils behave - as grateful recipients or active consumers? -/- This book provides new answers to these questions - a milestone in the analysis and development of publicpolicy, from one of the leading thinkers in the field. It provides a new perspective on policy design, emphasising the importance of (...) analysing the motivation of professionals and others who work within the public sector, and both their and public service beneficiaries' capacity for agency or independent action. It argues that the conventional assumption that public sector professionals are public-spirited altruists or 'knights' is misplaced; but so is the alternative that they are all, in David Hume's terminology, 'knaves' or self-interested egoists. We also must not assume that individual citizens are passive recipients of public services (pawns); but nor can they be untrammelled sovereigns with unrestricted choices over services and resources (queens). Instead, policies must be designed so as to give the proper balance of motivation and agency. -/- The book illustrates how this can be done by detailed empirical examination of recent policies in health services, education, social security and taxation. It puts forwards proposals for policy reform, several of which either originated with the author or with which he has been closely associated: universal capital or 'demogrants', discriminating vouchers, matching grants for pensions and for long-term care, and hypothecated taxes. -/- . (shrink)
The identification of plausible epistemic approaches in science as well as the social problem definitions with which scientists implicitly work is essential for the quality of a deliberative publicpolicy. While responding to the Nanofutures project, I will reflect on the essential elements of such a policy.
Experts often tout highly subjective methods of policy analysis as scientific and value?free. In The Myth of Scientific PublicPolicy, Robert Formaini exposes the uncertainties in two of these methods, cost?benefit analysis and risk assessment. Because of these deficiencies, he concludes that ethics and political philosophy, not science, are the proper foundation for publicpolicy. While Formaini is right to emphasize the value?ladenness of cost?benefit analysis and risk assessment, his rejection of scientific methods of (...) class='Hi'>policy analysis is questionable. His criticisms, especially in his study of the swine?ßu case, seem to establish that experts have misused such methods, not that the methods themselves are seriously ßawed. Also, his rejection of cost?benefit analysis and risk assessment would be more realistic if he offered a well?developed alternative to these two methods. One such alternative, for example, is ethically weighted cost?benefit analysis. (shrink)
The identification of plausible epistemic approaches in science as well as the social problem definitions with which scientists implicitly work is essential for the quality of a deliberative publicpolicy. While responding to the Nanofutures project, I will reflect on the essential elements of such a policy.
This research investigates consumers'' perceptions of claims made in Dial-a-Porn commercials. The empirical findings support the view that some of the claims are deceptive. Based on research findings, preliminary publicpolicy guidelines are suggested.
New prospects for technologically aided human reproduction require the development of a publicpolicy concerning the setting of limits to reproductive autonomy and to research on human embryos. Previous American efforts to clarify policy on such matters have been ignored by the executive branch; there is a need for Congressional action to initiate the requisite processes of debate and policy formation. Keywords: human reproduction, publicpolicy, persons, in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer, reproductive autonomy CiteULike (...) Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This book shows through accessible argument and numerous examples how understanding moral philosophy can improve economic analysis, how moral philosophy can benefit from economists' analytical tools, and how economic analysis and moral philosophy together can inform publicpolicy. Part I explores rationality and its connections to morality. It argues that in defending their model of rationality, mainstream economists implicitly espouse contestable moral principles. Part II concerns welfare, utilitarianism and standard welfare economics, while Part III considers important moral notions (...) that are left out of standard welfare economics, such as freedom, rights, equality, and justice. Part III also emphasizes the variety of moral considerations that are relevant to evaluating policies. Part IV then introduces technical work in social choice theory and game theory that is guided by ethical concepts and relevant to moral theorizing. Chapters include recommended readings and the book includes a glossary of relevant terms. (shrink)
This article reports on considerable variety and diversity among discourses on their own jobs of boundary workers of several major Dutch institutes for science-based policy advice. Except for enlightenment, all types of boundary arrangements/work in the Wittrock-typology (Social knowledge and publicpolicy: eight models of interaction. In: Wagner P (ed) Social sciences and modern states: national experiences and theoretical crossroads. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991) do occur. âDivergersâ experience a gap between science and politics/policymaking; and it (...) is their self-evident task to act as a bridge. They spread over four discourses: ârational facilitatorsâ, âknowledge brokersâ, âmegapolicy strategistsâ, and âpolicy analystsâ. Others aspire to âconvergenceâ; they believe science and politics ought to be natural allies in preparing collective decisions. But âpolicy advisorsâ excepted, âpostnormalistsâ and âdeliberative proceduralistsâ find this very hard to achieve. (shrink)
The advent of pharmacogenomics—the study of how the human genome influences drug response within a person or population—has begun to drive the development of pharmaceuticals in Western medicine today. Although pharmacogenomics promises dramatic improvement in drug safety and efficacy, the field also raises a host of ethical questions. The need to protect informed consent and confidentiality and to promote justice and equity—both nationally and globally—requires that one approach pharmacogenomics with an enthusiastic, yet critical, eye. Drawing on the normative values of (...) respect for persons (as both autonomous and relational), human well-being, socioeconomic justice, and human solidarity and the common good, this article offers several concrete suggestions for publicpolicy to help ensure that pharmacogenomics develops in a way that promotes the good of both individuals and the broader society. (shrink)
This article is mainly concerned with the methodology of publicpolicy studies and how this methodology compares with that of standard scientific studies. The main systematic section of the article develops a concept of justified policy which is related to the concept of justified procedure that originates in ancient Greek mathematics. The last section sketches some ways in which philosophers can make a methodological contribution to policy analysis. Possible contributions are discussed under four headings: numerical models, (...) statistical methodology, philosophy of applications, and analysis of predictions. (shrink)
For years analysts have recognized the error of assuming that experts in medical science are also experts in deciding the clinically correct course for patients. This paper extends the analysis of the use of the consensus of experts to their use in publicpolicy groups such as NIH Consensus Development panels. After arguing that technical experts cannot be expected to be expert on publicpolicy decisions, the author extends the criticism to the use of the consensus (...) of experts in estimating facts to provide a basis for policy decisions. It is argued that to the extent that (a) experts' views regarding a body of facts can be expected to correlate with their values relevant to those facts; and (b) the values of experts differ from the values of lay people, even the estimates of the facts given by the consensus of expert panels can be expected to differ from the estimates lay people would have given had they had the relevant scientific expertise. Keywords: consensus, expertise, fact/value distinction, NIH Consensus Development Panels CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
In the current political climate, understanding women’s health is necessary to achieve progressive and equitable health care reform. Women access the healthcare system more frequently and in greater numbers than men, and are more likely to vote at the polls.1 Yet politicians, corporations, activists, and patients continue to disagree on the scope and definition of women’s health. In her book Beyond Reproduction: Women’s Health, Activism, and PublicPolicy, Karen L. Baird offers a retrospective analysis of the women’s health (...) movement in recent decades. She discusses landmark legislation and examines how the movement has evolved in response to a changing social and political landscape. Baird’s text is both timely .. (shrink)
Despite common elements and antecedents of environmental ethics, their implied application to related policy or action is not always clear. This paper attempts to develop a set of questions and a preliminary framework for considering some of the issues raised by environmental ethics as they might appear in publicpolicy.
There is an apparent gap between publicpolicy on embryo research in the United Kingdom and its ostensible justification. The rationale is respect for the “special status” of the embryo, but the policy actively promotes research in which embryos are destroyed. Richard Harries argues that this is consistent because, the “special status” of the human embryo is less than the absolute status of persons. However, this intermediate moral status does no evident work in decisions relating to the (...) human embryo. Rather, publicpolicy seems to be based on a different account of “special status”: that developed by Mary Warnock. According to this, the embryo has no inherent status and the language of “special status” serves rather to accommodate the feelings of those who object to embryo research. This “emotivist” account is highly problematic, not so much for its attitude to the embryo as for its subversion of public moral reasoning. (shrink)
This paper concerns the development and use of ontologies for electronically supporting and structuring the highest-level function of government: the design, implementation and evaluation of public policies for the big and complex problems that modern societies face. This critical government function usually necessitates extensive interaction and collaboration among many heterogeneous government organizations (G2G collaboration) with different backgrounds, mentalities, values, interests and expectations, so it can greatly benefit from the use of ontologies. In this direction initially an ontology of (...) class='Hi'>publicpolicy making, implementation and evaluation is described, which has been developed as part of the project ICTE-PAN of the Information Society Technologies (IST) Programme of the European Commission, based on sound theoretical foundations mainly from the publicpolicy analysis domain and contributions of experts from the public administrations of four European Union countries (Denmark, Germany, Greece and Italy). It is a ‘horizontal’ ontology that can be used for electronically supporting and structuring the whole lifecycle of a publicpolicy in any vertical (thematic) area of government activity; it can also be combined with ‘vertical’ ontologies of the specific vertical (thematic) area of government activity we are dealing with. In this paper is also described the use of this ontology for electronically supporting and structuring the collaborative publicpolicy making, implementation and evaluation through ‘structured electronic forums’, ‘extended workflows’, ‘publicpolicy stages with specific sub-ontologies’, etc., and also for the semantic annotation, organization, indexing and integration of the contributions of the participants of these forums, which enable the development of advanced semantic web capabilities in this area. (shrink)
This collection explores the subject of conflicts of interest. It investigates how to manage conflicts of interest, how they can affect well-meaning professionals, and how they can limit the effectiveness of corporate boards, undermine professional ethics, and corrupt expert opinion. Legal and policy responses are considered, some of which (e.g., disclosure) are shown to backfire and even fail. The results offer a sobering prognosis for professional ethics and for anyone who relies on professionals who have conflicts of interest. The (...) contributors are leading authorities on the subject in the fields of law, medicine, management, publicpolicy, and psychology. The nuances of the problems posedby conflicts of interest will be highlighted for readers in an effort to demonstrate the manyways that structuring incentives can affect decision making and organizations' financial well-being. (shrink)
This paper offers some suggestions on, and encouragement for, how to be better at risk communication in times of agricultural crisis. During the foot and mouth epizootic, the British public, having no precedent to deal with such a rapid and widespread epizootic, no existing rules or conventions, and no social or political consensus, was forced to confront the facts of a perceived "economic disease. Foot and mouth appeared as an economic disease because the major push to eradicate it was (...) motivated exclusively by trade and economic reasons and not because of threats it posed to the lives of human beings and livestock. The British public deferred responsibility to their elected officials for a speedy end to this non-life threatening viral epizootic. The latter, however, did not have a contingency plan in place to tackle such an extensive outbreak. The appeal to an existing policy, i.e., mass eradication, as the exclusive strategy of containment was a difficult pill for the public to swallow well before the end of the 226-day ordeal. Public outcry reflected (in part) serious misgivings about the lack of effective communication of risk-informed decisions between government agents and all concerned. The government''s handling of the matter underestimated concerns and values about animal welfare, public trust, and the plight of farmers and rural communities. A general loss of trust by some segments of the public was exacerbated by perceived mismanagement and early fumbles by government agents.Public moral uneasiness during the crisis, while perhaps symbolic of growing discontent with an already fractured relationship with farmed animals and the state of animal farming today, arguably, also reflected deep disappointment in government agents to recognize inherently and conditionally normative assumptions in their argument as well as recognize their narrow conception of risk. Furthermore, broader stakeholder participation was clearly missing from the outset, especially with respect to the issue of vaccination. A greater appreciation for two-way risk communication is suggested for science-based publicpolicy in agriculture, followed by suggestions on how to be more vigilant in the future. (shrink)
Using process philosophy, especially its view of nature and its ethic, we develop a process-based environmental ethic embodying minimalism and beneficience. From this perspective, we criticize the philosophy currently underlying publicpolicy and examine some alternative approaches based on phenomenology and ethnomethodology. We conclude that process philosophy, minus its value hierarchy, is a powerful tool capable of supporting both radical and n10derate changes in environmental policy.
Using process philosophy, especially its view of nature and its ethic, we develop a process-based environmental ethic embodying minimalism and beneficience. From this perspective, we criticize the philosophy currently underlying publicpolicy and examine some alternative approaches based on phenomenology and ethnomethodology. We conclude that process philosophy, minus its value hierarchy, is a powerful tool capable of supporting both radical and n10derate changes in environmental policy.
This book studies the interfaces of ethics, economics, and politics. Publicpolicy issues involve all three of these subjects. Although it may be seen as suggesting the nucleus of a joint university course, the book is accessible to and should interest all those concerned with political decisions. Any such decision needs a criterion for judging whether one action or outcome is better than another. Even a dictator must to some extent be concerned about the economic welfare of the (...) citizens; and a democratic government more so. But how is a person's economic welfare to be judged? Furthermore, any political decision affects the economic welfare of different people differently. How then is the welfare of a community to be judged? This is an ethical question. Underlying any coherent publicpolicy there must be a relevant moral code. (shrink)
Abstract: A distinction is drawn between publicpolicy issues which are specific to time and place, and the kind of moral dilemma used by Kohlberg which is more general and universal. It is hypothesized that the same type of reasoning will be revealed by both. To test this a sample of sixty subjects at two different ages from both a predominantly middle class school and a predominantly lower class school were given three publicpolicy dilemmas and (...) three moral dilemmas. Responses were analyzed according to level of reasoning displayed. The results indicated a substantial positive association between the types of reasoning applied to the two kinds of dilemmas. The expected age differences were also found, with older subjects tending to exhibit higher stages of moral development. (shrink)
The Aristotelian view that public institutions should aim at the good life is criticized on the grounds that it makes for an authoritarian politics that is incompatible with the pluralism of modem society. The criticism seems to have particular power against modem environmentalism, that it offers a local vision of the good life which fails to appreciate the variety of possible human relationships to the natural environment, andso, as a guide to publicpolicy, it leads to green (...) authoritarianism. This paper argues to the contrary that an Aristotelian position which defends environmental goods as constitutive of the good life is consistent with recognition of the plurality of ways our relations to the natural world can be lived. It is compatible with the recognition of distinct cultural expressions of such relations and of the special place particular histories of individuals and social groups have in constraining environmental policy. (shrink)
A wide range of conflicting established moral viewpoints makes development of publicpolicy related to infertility difficult. Where there are pluralities of viewpoints and no single established moral approach, uniform solutions are questionable. The Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), is a nonpartisan analytic support agency that serves the United States Congress by providing objective analyses of major publicpolicy issues related to scientific and technological change. Because analysis of ethical issues is an important part of technology (...) assessment, OTA included a thematic analysis of ethical issues in the report, Infertility: Medical and Social Choices . A consideration of whether infertility is a disease was an important conceptual starting point, and religious perspectives were reviewed as possible sources of moral and ethical insight. Keywords: infertility, U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, infertility, right to reproduce, embryo CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This article asserts the need for the ethical analysis of regulatory policy. The article explores the conventional wisdom surrounding the proper role of government, the function of law, the role of lawmakers, the nature of business, and the relationship between business and government. It is the traditional thinking regarding these fundamental aspects of our social life which creates barriers to the ethical analysis of regulatory policy. It is argued that, in spite of the persistence of agency theories of (...) the firm, a stakeholder theory of the firm best approximates a true descriptive and normative view of business organizations. If the role of government is to maximize the full range of public — private relationships for any given series of inputs, and the role of the firms is to maximize the balance of diverse stakeholders' interests, then a stakeholders' interests paradigm becomes the natural foundation for the ethical analysis of policies which regulate business. (shrink)
Since the terms of the health policy debate in the United States and Canada are largely supplied by biomedicine, the current crisis in health care is, in part, a product of biomedical rhetoric. In this essay, three metaphors widely identified as being associated with biomedicineâthe body is a machine, medicine is war,and medicine is a businessâare examined with a view to the ways in which they influence the health policy debate, not only with respect to outcomes, but also (...) with respect to what can be argued at all. The essay proposes that biomedical language itself be foregrounded as the constitutive material of public discourse on health policy. (shrink)
As rapid advances in human genetic research are transferred into new areas of genetic technology, questions relatingto the use of these techniques will escalate. This paper examines some of the policy concerns surrounding recent developments in genetic screening. It discusses the impetus and implications of genetic screening in general, examines various applications, and analyzes the costs and benefits of screening programs currently in existence. Special emphasis is placed on whether or not screening should be considered a matter of (...) class='Hi'>public health and mandated on those grounds. This paper argues against any compulsory screening programs except where the disease is easily identified, applicable across social groups, and treatable. While screening services for carriers of genetic disease and prenatal diagnosis should be made available and education programs should be expanded substantially, the burden of proof for involuntary programs is placed on the proponents. There is little public health justification at thb time for mandatory screening though this does not preclude future public health demands. It is argued that the goals and justification of various human genetic technologies must be examined at this time due to the rapid advancement of the research as well as the ultimate benefits promised for humankind. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
abstract Normative argument is supposed to guide ways in which we might change the world, rather than to fit the world as it is. This poses certain difficulties for the notion of applied ethics. Taken literally the phrase 'applied ethics' suggests that principles or standards with substantial philosophical justification, in particular ethical and political principles with such justification, are applied to particular cases and guide action. However, the 'cases' which applied ethics discusses are themselves indeterminate, and the relation of principles (...) to these 'cases' differs from the relation of principles to cases in naturalistic, truth-oriented inquiry. Writing in 'applied ethics', I shall argue, does not need elaborate case histories or scenarios, since the testing points for normative principles are other normative principles rather than particular cases. Normative principles and contexts to which they are applicable are indeed needed for any reasoning that is practical, but they are not sufficient. Practical ethics needs principles that can not merely be applied in certain cases or situations, but also enacted in certain ways, and requires an account of practical judgement and of the public policies that support that judgement. (shrink)
Most Liberals hold that public policies ought always be justifiable by reference to public reasons; that citizens should also refrain from advocacy in the absence of such reasons; and that exclusively religious reasons cannot be public reasons. This is challenged by Paul Weithman and Christopher Eberle. Both argue that basic liberal principles permit citizens in some circumstances to advance exclusively religious reasons, and in particular that Rawls's notions of reasonableness (Weithman) and the strains of commitment (Eberle) can (...) be used in defence of this position. I argue that neither makes out his case, and that no plausible case has been made against the standard Liberal view. (shrink)
The growing awareness that corporate and publicpolicy forming processes are intensively utilitarian has provoked a variety of criticism. The procedural difficulties of utilitarianism are well known; less well known but potentially more devastating is a set of charges that utilitarian policy processes intrude upon important relationships and societal processes. This paper defends utilitarian methods against these charges.More specifically, two criticisms are singled out for examination. The first is the claim that utilitarian policy processes systematically discriminate (...) against the rights of non-human life and suppress any feelings of sympathy or obligation humans might have for animals or plants. The second is the argument that utilitarianism ultimately circumvents considerations of process which are essential for the development of individual and societal identity. (shrink)
This paper is an analysis of the relationship of social ethics and bioethics in Roman Catholic theology. The argument of the paper is that the character of both Catholic moral theology and ecclesiology shape the broadly defined interest of the church in bioethics. The paper examines the common elements of social ethics and bioethics in Catholic teaching, describes how ecclesiology shapes Catholic publicpolicy and uses the examples of abortion and health care to illustrate the relationship of Catholic (...) social thought and bioethics. In developing the relationship of these two dimensions of Catholic moral argument the article highlights how the appeal to natural law categories differs in social ethics and bioethics and how the two topics are received differently in the theological community. It also seeks to illustrate how the premises of Catholic social ethics remain central to public positions taken on bioethics. Keywords: ecclesiology, moral theology, natural law, social ethics CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This article aims to contribute to the application of ethical frameworks to public health policy. In particular, the article considers the use of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics stewardship model, as an applied framework for the evaluation of evidence within public health policymaking. The ‘Stewardship framework’ was applied to a policy proposal to restrict marketing of food and beverages to children. Reflections on applying the stewardship model as a framework are provided. The article concludes that the (...) questions used to apply the stewardship model usefully introduced ethical considerations into the evidence review. However, the real value will likely come from the type of policy process within which the framework is used, identifying competing value positions and capturing local value requirements. (shrink)
Many legal scholars well recognize that, in some instances, support for a law or policy may be primarily because of its expressive function, i.e. the statements it makes about underlying values. In these cases, the expressive content of a law or policy may actually overshadow its central purpose. Examples of this phenomenon, according to Cass Sunstein, include, for example, regulations against hate speech in the USA. He suggests that achieving the consequence (prohibiting hateful speech against certain groups) may (...) not be the real focus (central purpose) of the law. Rather, the real focus is on the social meaning of these regulations—that bigotry is unacceptable in a liberal society. In this way, a particular law or policy can operate on many levels—while aiming to achieve a particular objective or behavior, it can also be a valuable tool for achieving other important social goals through its expressive function. This article applies this insight to the realm of public health policy, with particular attention to the case of pandemic planning, and suggests that public health policy and its overall goals may be well-served by deliberate regard for, and appropriate utilization of, the expressive function. (shrink)
The release of the Final Report of the Lyons Inquiry into Local Government in England, entitled Place-shaping: A shared ambition for the future of local government (Lyons Inquiry into Local Government) was a significant milestone in the debate on local government reform. Place-shaping is a sophisticated piece of rhetoric and policy making and can be seen to have relevance far beyond its own jurisdiction. This paper traces its theoretical antecedents alongside developments in the debate on local government in England. (...) Despite its broad appeal, we argue that problems familiar to local government such as rent-seeking and cost shifting will be heightened rather than resolved with any take-up of the place-shaping agenda. (shrink)
A "moral hazard" is a market failure most commonly associated with insurance, but also associated by extension with a wide variety of publicpolicy scenarios, from environmental disaster relief, to corporate bailouts, to natural resource policy, to health insurance. Specifically, the term "moral hazard" describes the danger that, in the face of insurance, an agent will increase her exposure to risk. If not immediately clear, such terminology invokes a moral notion, suggesting that changing one's exposure to risk (...) after becoming insured is morally problematic. This paper challenges that position. It argues that there is nothing inherently moral about the moral hazard. It does so by arguing against three proposed claims regarding the wrongness of the moral hazard: first, the view that conceives of it as deception; then, the view that conceives of it as cheating; and finally, the view that conceives of it as stealing. (shrink)
Here we present the framework of a new approach to assessing the capacity of research programs to achieve social goals. Research evaluation has made great strides in addressing questions of scientific and economic impacts. It has largely avoided, however, a more important challenge: assessing (prospectively or retrospectively) the impacts of a given research endeavor on the non-scientific, non-economic goals—what we here term public values —that often are the core public rationale for the endeavor. Research programs are typically justified (...) in terms of their capacity to achieve public values, and that articulation of public values is pervasive in science policy-making. We outline the elements of a case-based approach to public value mapping of science policy, with a particular focus on developing useful criteria and methods for assessing public value failure, with an intent to provide an alternative to market failure thinking that has been so powerful in science policy-making. So long as research evaluation avoids the problem of public values, science policy decision makers will have little help from social science in making choices among competing paths to desired social outcomes. (shrink)
We normally think that public health policy is an important political activity. In turn, we normally understand the value of public health policy in terms of the promotion of health or some health-related good (such as opportunity for health), on the basis of the assumption that health is an important constituent or determinant of wellbeing. In this paper, I argue that the assumption that the value of public health policy should be understood in terms (...) of health leads us to overlook important benefits generated by such policy. To capture these benefits we need to understand the ends of public health policy in terms of the promotion of 'physical safety'. I then go on to argue that the idea that 'health' is an important category for evaluating or estimating individuals' wellbeing in the normative context of social policy is confused. I then clarify the relationship between my arguments and QALY-based accounts of health assessment. In the final section of the paper, I defend this surprising conclusion against various attacks. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with how public health policy makers should respond to the publicâs perception of risks. I suggest that we can think of this issue in terms of two different models of responding to the publicâs view of such perceived risks. The first model I will call the public perception view (PP view) and the second the public good view (PG view). The PP view suggests that the publicâs perception of any risks is so (...) important that public health policies should be formulated in direct response to knowledge about them. I will consider two possible ethical arguments that might be offered in support of such a view: the first argument is an autonomy argument and the second a consequences argument. I suggest there are serious problems with both arguments. I then outline an alternative model of public health policy formation that I call the public good or PG model. This model focuses on drawing distinctions between the clinical and the public health context, and argues that most of public health policy is primarily concerned with the creation and maintenance of various public goods. This latter fact means that the PP model is inappropriate for public health policy formation. (shrink)
Contemporary food supply chains are generating externalities with high economic and social costs, notably in public health terms through the rise in diet-related non-communicable disease. The UK State is developing policy strategies to tackle these public health problems alongside intergovernmental responses. However, the governance of food supply chains is conducted by, and across, both private and public spheres and within a multilevel framework. The realities of contemporary food governance are that private interests are key drivers of (...) food supply chains and have institutionalized a great deal of standards-setting and quality, notably from their locations in the downstream and midstream sectors. The UK State is designing some downstream and some midstream interventions to ameliorate the public health impacts of current food consumption patterns in England. The UK State has not addressed upstream interventions towards public health diet at the primary food production and processing stages, although traditionally it has shaped agricultural policy. Within the realities of contemporary multilevel governance, the UK State must act within the contexts set by the international regimes of the Common Agricultural Policy and the World Trade Organization agreements, notably on agriculture. The potential for further upstream agricultural policy reform is considered as part of a wider policy approach to address the public health externalities issuing from contemporary food supply chains within this multilevel governance context. (shrink)
In terms of income and wealth (and a variety of other measures), citizens of the United States are significantly less equal than their peers in Canada and Europe. In addition, American society is becoming increasingly less equal. Some theorists argue that this inequality is inefficient. Others claim that is unjust. Many Americans, however, are less concerned with the potential inefficiency and injustice of growing inequality. Distinguishing as Milton Friedman does between equality of result and equality of opportunity, many claim that (...) American inequality is greater because our social and political institutions hold individuals responsible for their decisions. There is nothing unjust about holding individuals responsible for their choices or preferences. This political philosophy builds from the popular idea that, in the words of Dennis Prager of the Heritage Foundation, “American individualism and the Judeo-Christian notion of personal accountability gave us the extraordinary nation that we built here.” At least since the publication of the Republican Party’s Contract with America, every prominent Republican (and many Democrats) has affirmed the importance of personal responsibility. The idea of personal responsibility plays a central role in debates over how to structure U.S. society. For these reasons, this paper considers a group of theories that Elizabeth Anderson labels “luck egalitarian.” These theories remain the most influential philosophical attempts to incorporate personal responsibility into a theory of justice. This essay takes as its staring point Anderson’s widely discussed criticisms for these theorists, and considers several of the best and most sustained responses to these criticisms (and related claims by Samuel Scheffler, Jonathan Wolff, and others). The goal is not to provide a summary of different luck egalitarian accounts of justice, a task others have performed admirably (Knight 2009, Knight and Stemplowska 2011). Furthermore, this paper will not attempt to decide which luck egalitarian theory best withstands these criticisms. Instead, this paper makes a philosophically and empirically informed case regarding how policy makers ought to utilize a principle that plays a prominent role in current American publicpolicy debates: the role of personal responsibility. In order to make this case, I must weave normative and empirical analysis, and consider the ways in which social position in the status quo United States does not trace personal responsibility. From this analysis, I suggest three policy priorities for those interested in redeeming the oft-celebrated claim about American society: that an individual is responsible for her social position. This work promises to be of interest to any theorist or policy maker concerned with the practical implications of recent work in the moral and political philosophy of personal responsibility, or, really, anyone interested in making American society comparatively just. (shrink)
In few other areas of bioethical inquiry exists as close a connection between bioethical professional advice and policy development as is the case with HIV and AIDS. Historically, the reasons for this have much to do with one of the groups initially affected most severely by HIV and AIDS, namely well-educated middle-class gay men in developed countries. This particular group of people, highly sophisticated and used to political activism in its pursuit of civil rights-related objectives, engaged the medical profession (...) as well as regulatory agencies such as the US Food and Drug Administration, and legislators (more so in the USA than in other countries) in a number of bioethically interesting policy areas. Many of the controversies of the times were framed as civil rights and/or ethical disputes. The initial areas of concern and inquiry focused on: informed consent to HIV testing and trial participation, the confidentiality of HIV test results, access to trials as a means of access to experimental drugs, the length of time it took to get an experimental drug to the market approval stage, and end-of-life decision-making. This line-up of issues explains why AIDS has become such an interesting topic for bioethicists. Bioethicists concerned about the traditional breadand- butter themes of medical ethics themes of the doctor - patient relationship (e.g., Daniels, 1991; Boyd, 1992), as well as bioethicists more concerned about policy and regulatory issues in the drug research and approval process (e.g., Edgar & Rothman, 1990; Salisbury & Schechter, 1990), found research topics worthy of vigorous pursuit. No surprise, then, that HIV/AIDS led to a probably unprecedented number of books and articles in professional journals (Manuel et al., 1990). HIV/AIDS has become a permanent fixture in all major mainstream bioethics textbooks (e.g., Kuhse & Singer, 1998; Arras & Steinbock, 1999). Reference series in medicine, ethics and law provide for dedicated volumes on AIDS.1 Even specialist bioethics textbooks, for instance those directed at dentistry students, carry chapters on HIV/AIDS (Ozar & Sokol, 2002). 128 Udo Schuklenk AIDS, designated by the medical profession a pandemic lives up to its classification. It did not stop at the borders of developed countries. As one would expect of a primarily sexually transmitted illness in the age of globalisation, it spread rapidly across the globe. Indeed, in many countries it has become one of the main causes of death, as in sub- Saharan Africa (Shisana & Simbayi, 2002). Dramatic increases in the number of AIDS cases are predicted for many Eastern European countries as well as for the two most populous nations on earth, India and China. Some of the HIV/AIDS-related bioethical and policy issues of concern to developed countries remain the same for developing countries. However, in ethically important ways they are dwarfed by concerns over drug prices, intellectual property rights, and affordable access to essential AIDS drugs for the impoverished masses of infected people in such countries. Of increasing importance have become ethical issues pertaining to the ever-growing research industry associated with clinical trials undertaken in developing countries. Indeed, major funding initiatives both in the USA and UK have brought clinical research in developing countries into focus. Some have questioned whether this attention is appropriate, considering other bioethical problems of arguably greater importance to developing countries (Chadwick & Schuklenk, 2003). Standards of clinical care in a study, and after a trial has concluded, as well as community benefits and access to the trial regime after the trial's conclusion remain contentious issues. It is worth noting that more often than not it was an AIDS-related trial or policy decision that led to a great deal of bioethical analysis, yet the issues discussed almost always have ramifications far beyond AIDS. For instance, decisions about the question of what (if any) standards of care failures in preventive trials (of HIV vaccines or microbicides) ought to receive have important implications for non-AIDS prevention trials. (shrink)
: Popular debates about "victim feminism" have receded but underlying concerns about the extent of gender inequality and usefulness of strategies highlighting difference are still relevant. This paper applies Susan Wendell's framework—relating to women's agency under conditions of oppression—to the experience of women firefighters. The framework fits well, but one case reveals the need to modify it by attending to community. An elaboration of the framework is then used to examine four policy issues.
This paper uses six policy problems in public health to illustrate the complexity of value considerations in decision-making, and derives an ethic for health protection policies based on the primacy of non-harming. In the first part, health policy is shown to require value considerations beyond simple utilitarianism. In the second, the author posits that much of health impairment can be traced to erosions of health outside the immediate control and consent of the individual. Accordingly, he argues that (...) health impairing actions on the part of others warrant strict regulations in spite of the paternalistic nature of such interventions. The priority for these interventions should be set along a gradient of vulnerability and autonomy, with the greatest hazards to non-consent giving persons warranting the greatest controls. Special attention to fetuses and developing infants is thereby justified, and actions which prevent harms are shown to have priority over those which mitigate harms, ameliorate their effects or promote good. (shrink)
Bill New's (1999) thoughtful paper has performed the valuable service of clarifying the meaning and the policy implications of paternalism. His careful formulation delimits the domain of justified state paternalism. Having argued successfully, in our view, for a narrow ambit, New proceeds to identify situations that justify paternalism. This comment is written in the spirit of a friendly reformulation that refines and improves the specification of when paternalism is justified. Our argument is two-fold. First, we argue that New's formulation, (...) properly understood, will not readily permit the paternalistic interventions he argues are justified. Second, we identify a class of potentially justified interventions that have paternalistic aspects, but which are neither strictly paternalistic nor market-failure remedies. (shrink)
The paper addresses the question of how different types of evidence ought to inform public health policy. By analysing case studies on obesity, the paper draws lessons about the different roles that different types of evidence play in setting up public health policies. More specifically, it is argued that evidence of difference-making supports considerations about ‘what works for whom in what circumstances’, and that evidence of mechanisms provides information about the ‘causal pathways’ to intervene upon.
In bioethics, discussions of justice have tended to focus on questions of fairness in access to health care: is there a right to medical treatment, and how should priorities be set when medical resources are scarce. But health care is only one of many factors that determine the extent to which people live healthy lives, and fairness is not the only consideration in determining whether a health policy is just. In this pathbreaking book, senior bioethicists Powers and Faden confront (...) foundational issues about health and justice. How much inequality in health can a just society tolerate. The audience for the book is scholars and students of bioethics and moral and political philosophy, as well as anyone interested in public health and health policy. (shrink)
The project Euroscreen 2 has examined genetic screening and testing with particular reference to implications for insurance, commercialization through marketing of genetic tests direct to the public, and issues surrounding raising public awareness of these and other developments in genetics, including the practical experiment of a Gene Shop. This paper provides a snapshot of the three year project. The study groups work included monitoring developments in different European countries and exploring possibilities for regulation in insurance and commercialization together (...) with public attitudes to regulation. The success or failure of different strategies is not independent of public awareness. Exploration of policy, however, also requires examination of fundamental concepts such as solidarity and geneticization. (shrink)
: This commentary distinguishes five reasons why one might want to conduct a survey concerning people's beliefs about death and the permissibility of harvesting organs: (1) simply to learn what people know and want; (2) to determine if current law and practice conform to the wishes of the population; (3) to determine the level of popular support for or opposition to policy changes; (4) to ascertain the causes and effects of popular beliefs and attitudes; and (5) to provide guidance (...) in determining which laws and practices are ethical. The commentary expresses qualms about how well surveys in general can perform with respect to the fifth objective, and it provides specific reasons to doubt whether this survey is informative from the perspective of a moral philosopher concerned with the nature of death and the contours of a permissible system of organ procurement. (shrink)
I shall attempt in this article to identify the spectrum of major theoretical schools relating to the nature of technological development. These, I shall argue, range from the tech-deterministic on the one end to the socio-deterministic school of thought on the opposite end of the spectrum. The purpose of this article is also to place human subjects into the arena of technology development by way of the hypothesis that interests and elites are involved in the formulation of public IT (...)policy. Such elites, I maintain, are in turn guided by their occupationally-related problem-solution mindsets in addition to their interests. As a consequence, we shall come to perceive a world of limited power and resources where people, if even a select few (an elite), compete to successfully create processes, structures and objects which serve their mutually agreed purposes. I shall conclude the article by presenting a short critique of the existing body of theory on technological development as concerns the suitability of such theories for the concrete and systematic analysis of public technology policy and shall offer a brief description of a systematic approach to the analysis and further development of public information technology policy. (shrink)
This article aims to open up the biographical black box of three experts working in the boundary zone between science, policy and public debate. A biographical-narrative approach is used to analyse the roles played by the virologists Albert Osterhaus, Roel Coutinho and Jaap Goudsmit in policy and public debate. These figures were among the few leading virologists visibly active in the Netherlands during the revival of infectious diseases in the 1980s. Osterhaus and Coutinho in particular are (...) still the key figures today, as demonstrated during the outbreak of novel influenza A (H1N1). This article studies the various political and communicative challenges and dilemmas encountered by these three virologists, and discusses the way in which, strategically or not, they handled those challenges and dilemmas during the various stages of the field’s recent history. Important in this respect is their pursuit of a public role that is both effective and credible. We will conclude with a reflection on the H1N1 pandemic, and the historical and biographical ties between emerging governance arrangements and the experts involved in the development of such arrangements. (shrink)
Although various studies have shown thatfarmers believe there is the need for a producer-ledinitiative to address the environmental problems fromagriculture, farmers in several Canadian provinceshave been reluctant to widely participate inEnvironmental Farm Plan (EFP) programs. Few studieshave examined the key issues associated with adoptingEFP programs based on farmers', as opposed to policymakers', perspectives on why producers are reluctantto participate in the program. A study adapting VanRaaij's (1981) conceptual model of the decision-makingenvironment of the firm, and prospect theory on valuefunctions associated (...) with the gains and losses fromrisky choices can be used to characterize how farmersperceive potential risks in environmental farmplanning. This framework can be used to assert thatfarmers are concerned about risks of public disclosureof potentially incriminating environmental informationfrom farms because the EFP program requirements foridentification and extensive documentation of farminformation is perceived by farmers as facilitatingthe accessibility of environmental information to thepublic, and public investigative efforts. Although theEFP program does not explicitly generate informationabout the environmental conditions of a farm nor thedisclosure of such information to the public, itcreates the possibility of generating and divulgingpotentially incriminating information that the farmermay want to treat as confidential. Yet, alone, theserisks of public disclosure concerns should not preventfarmers from participating in the EFP. Awareness ofand participation in environmental farm planning canbe increased if farmers and policy makers understandwhat the risks are, and how they arise. Aspects of theEFP process that have the potential to generate riskof public disclosure concerns relate to farm reviews,documentation and record keeping, and correctiveaction plans. There are legal and policy instrumentsthat can offer various forms of protection and helpminimize such risks, and these need to be assessed. (shrink)
The "Ibercorp affair" was front-page news in Spain at various times between 1992 and 1995. In itself, there was nothing particularly new about it: a newly formed financial group engaged in legally and ethically reprehensible behaviour that eventually came to light in the media, ruining the company (and the careers of those involved). What aroused public interest at the time was the fact that it involved individuals connected with Spanish public and political life, the media and certain business (...) circles. Above all, it demonstrated the personal, economic, social and political consequences of a business culture based on the pursuit of easy profits at any price (what came to be known as the cultura del pelotazo or "culture of the fast buck"). Again, this is all too familiar in business ethics. But it served to goad Spanish society into a rejection of such behaviour. This article describes the facts and their ethical implications. (shrink)
Government agencies and private risk assessors use (quasi) scientific risk assessment procedures to try to estimate or predict risk to human health or the environment that might result from exposure to toxic substances in order to take steps to prevent such risks from arising or to eliminate the risks if they already exist. In this paper I discuss several ways in which the "science" of carcinogen risk assessment differs from ordinary scientific enterprises. I also consider several ways in which normative (...)policy considerations infect this regulatory science. Scientists, philosophers of science, moral philosophers and policy makers should address these issues forthrightly in order to serve better the aims of science and regulation. (shrink)