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Profile: Yashar Saghai
  1. Yashar Saghai (2013). Nudging in Interpersonal Contexts. American Journal of Bioethics 13 (6):33-34.
    In “Nudging and Informed Consent,” ShlomoCohen (2013) attempts to address the common objection against nudges that they are autonomy-thwarting because they foster irrationality. He explicitly focuses on informed consent, which he contrasts with the policy context in which health nudges are usually discussed. I think Cohen’s rich article is a significant contribution to the nudge literature. However, I have some concerns with the way he frames and motivates his inquiry...
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  2. Yashar Saghai (2013). Salvaging the Concept of Nudge. Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (8):487-493.
    In recent years, ‘nudge’ theory has gained increasing attention for the design of population-wide health interventions. The concept of nudge puts a label on efficacious influences that preserve freedom of choice without engaging the influencees’ deliberative capacities. Given disagreements over what it takes genuinely to preserve freedom of choice, the question is whether health influences relying on automatic cognitive processes may preserve freedom of choice in a sufficiently robust sense to be serviceable for the moral evaluation of actions and policies. (...)
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  3. Yashar Saghai (2013). The Concept of Nudge and its Moral Significance: A Reply to Ashcroft, Bovens, Dworkin, Welch, and Wertheimer. Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (8):2012-101112.
    I warmly thank Richard Ashcroft, Luc Bovens, Gerald Dworkin, Brynn Welch, and Alan Wertheimer for their insightful comments on my article. As I do not have the space to discuss all the questions they raise, I will focus on four concerns that run through my commentators’ responses...
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  4. Tom L. Beauchamp & Yashar Saghai (2012). The Historical Foundations of the Research-Practice Distinction in Bioethics. Heoretical Medicine and Bioethics 33 (1):45-56.
    The distinction between clinical research and clinical practice directs how we partition medicine and biomedical science. Reasons for a sharp distinction date historically to the work of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, especially to its analysis of the “boundaries” between research and practice in the Belmont Report (1978). Belmont presents a segregation model of the research-practice distinction, according to which research and practice form conceptually exclusive sets of activities and interventions. This (...)
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  5. Madison Powers, Ruth Faden & Yashar Saghai (2012). Liberty, Mill and the Framework of Public Health Ethics. Public Health Ethics 5 (1):6-15.
    In this article, we address the relevance of J.S. Mill’s political philosophy for a framework of public health ethics. In contrast to some readings of Mill, we reject the view that in the formulation of public policies liberties of all kinds enjoy an equal presumption in their favor. We argue that Mill also rejects this view and discuss the distinction that Mill makes between three kinds of liberty interests: interests that are immune from state interference; interests that enjoy a presumption (...)
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  6. Yashar Saghai (2012). The Ethics of Public Health Nudges. Dissertation, Georgetown University
    There is growing interest in using non-coercive interventions to promote and protect public health, in particular "health nudges." Behavioral economist Richard Thaler and law scholar Cass Sunstein coined the term nudge to designate influences that steer individuals in a predetermined direction by activating their automatic cognitive processes, while preserving their freedom of choice. Proponents of nudges argue that public and private institutions are entitled to use health-promoting nudges because nudges do not close off any options. Opponents reply that the nudgee (...)
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  7. Yashar Saghai (2011). Internalized Public Moral Norms and Shared Sovereignty. American Journal of Bioethics 11 (7):49 - 51.
    In her target article “Shared health governance” (AJOB 11(7): 32-45, 2011) and in her book Health and Social Justice (2009), Jennifer Prah Ruger defends an original model of governance dubbed “Shared Health Governance” (SHG). This model borrows elements from many other models of governance, and one may wonder what is the secret sauce that holds together these diverse ingredients. In response, Ruger would perhaps ultimately turn to public moral norms. My comment raises some concerns about the function and content of (...)
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