In this paper, we provide a state-of-the-art overview of the ethical challenges that arise in the context of antimicrobial resistance, which includes an introduction to the contributions to the symposium in this issue. We begin by discussing why AMR is a distinct ethical issue, and should not be viewed purely as a technical or medical problem. In the second section, we expand on some of these arguments and argue that AMR presents us with a broad range of ethical problems that (...) must be addressed as part of a successful policy response to emerging drug resistance. In the third section, we discuss how some of these ethical challenges should be addressed, and we argue that this requires contributions from citizens, ethicists, policy makers, practitioners and industry. We conclude with an overview of steps that should be taken in moving forward and addressing the ethical problems of AMR. (shrink)
In this paper, we explore the role of reciprocity in the employment of restrictive measures in contexts of contagion. Reciprocity should be understood as a substantive value that governs the use, level and extent of restrictive measures. We also argue that independent of the role reciprocity plays in the legitimisation the use of restrictive measures, reciprocity can also motivate support and compliance with legitimate restrictive measures. The importance of reciprocity has implications for how restrictive measures should be undertaken when preparing (...) and evaluating public health responses to contagion. (shrink)
The problem of antimicrobial resistance is so dire that people are predicting that the era of antibiotics may be coming to an end, ushering in a ‘post-antibiotic’ era. A comprehensive policy response is therefore urgently needed. A part of this response will require framing the problem in such a way that adequately reflects its nature as well as encompassing an approach that has the best prospect of success. This paper considers framing the problem as a slowly emerging disaster, including its (...) potential benefits and difficulties, from a conceptual and policy perspective. (shrink)
Medicine and health care generate many bioethical problems and dilemmas that are of great academic, professional and public interest. This comprehensive resource is designed as a succinct yet authoritative text and reference for clinicians, bioethicists, and advanced students seeking a better understanding of ethics problems in the clinical setting. Each chapter illustrates an ethical problem that might be encountered in everyday practice; defines the concepts at issue; examines their implications from the perspectives of ethics, law and policy; and then provides (...) a practical resolution. There are 10 key sections presenting the most vital topics and clinically relevant areas of modern bioethics. International, interdisciplinary authorship and cross-cultural orientation ensure suitability for a worldwide audience. This book will assist all clinicians in making well-reasoned and defensible decisions by developing their awareness of ethical considerations and teaching the analytical skills to deal with them effectively. (shrink)
While Powers and Faden do not consider possible anti-paternalism objections to their view, there are two variants of this objection that a social justice perspective is susceptible to. It is worth exploring which responses to such objections may be less promising than others. It is argued that for most public health measures targeting the disadvantaged, theorists and practitioners taking a social justice perspective should bite the paternalist bullet. Insofar as the government has the ability to reduce mortality and morbidity within (...) the population in a way that is fair and in everyone’s interests, then the use of paternalistic means or resultant paternalistic effects should be thought to be the lesser evil. (shrink)
Adrian Viens, Guest Editor of this Olivieri symposium, and Julian Savulescu, the Editor of JME, set the scene for the symposium."In failing...[her] when she needed them most, it is now clear that some members of the University’s Faculty of Medicine heard her muffled cries of academic freedom from the back room, yet their response was to serve another round of drinks and turn the music up louder. With the bombshell revelations in the...affair, the plug may have been pulled on this (...) business sponsored party, and hopefully a sober re-examination of the university’s neglected role and responsibility toward independent inquiry and academic freedom can begin.1" "These guys don’t get one thing—we’re not going away. This isn’t a personal vendetta. This is something I want patients to be protected from when I’m dead, fifty years from now.2" "[The Olivieri affair is] not a mystery novel, but instead the latest skulduggery at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.1" "The legal assaults which you have endured in your battle against the drug company, and in your battle against the medical establishment appear to have been fought with the type of uncommon bravery that is rarely seen. It is for this reason that our trustees have unanimously chosen to recognise you for this most prestigious award.3" "[The Olivieri affair resulted from] a fundamental misreading of the issue as a mere contractual and scientific dispute...[it is] Canada’s worst academic and research scandal in decades...[Since 1998, Olivieri has been] demoted, then restored, then harassed. She has been smeared with allegations attacking her competence, integrity, sanity and personality....4"The Olivieri affair is one of the most important events to occur in research ethics. From its dominance in the Canadian and international news media, to changes in the governance of public health, academic medicine, …. (shrink)
Parents’ freedom to choose infant male circumcision is the correct policyIndividuals and groups lobbying to have infant male circumcision prohibited or restricted often argue that the practice of routinely circumcising infants is unjustified. For instance, in this issue of the journal, John Hutson argues that it is virtually impossible to justify a policy in which the medical establishment should be able to embark on a “mass circumcision” campaign of 100% of the infant male population [see page 238].1Indeed, I would be (...) hard pressed to find anyone who could rationally disagree with this contention. However, this is because no one is currently arguing for the enactment of a policy that stipulates that all healthy male infants should be routinely circumcised . Arguments seeking to support a prohibition of “routine infant circumcision”, such as the one by Hutson, are arguing against a straw man—and a pitiful one at that.2 Such arguments only serve to misconstrue the debate and avoid engaging in the real and pressing issues concerning the legitimacy of the provision of this procedure.The questions that should be considered, and the ones which I shall be interested in discussing here, are what reasons are justifiable for allowing parents to choose to have their son circumcised? After well informed and careful deliberation should parents have the freedom to choose to have their son circumcised? These are the most relevant questions to be considered because there is a growing collection of citizens, medical practitioners, and lawyers who are currently lobbying for the practice of infant male circumcision to be outlawed—for example, there is a bioethicist who argues that the criminal law should be used …. (shrink)
The essays selected for this volume focus on issues that arise when attempting to design, review and undertake research involving human participants who are experiencing a private or public emergency. The main themes discussed by the essays are: the distinctive and significant ethical questions as to how research participants can be treated during emergency settings; the ethical challenges raised by emergencies for researchers undertaking research and its effects on the nature of research pursued; and procedural obstacles raised by emergencies which (...) can affect the quality of good research ethics review. The volume is unique in that it is the first collection to exclusively deal with all of the central ethical aspects of conducting human subject research in the context of emergency. (shrink)
The connection between health and human rights continues to play a prominent role within global health law. In particular, a number of theorists rely on the claim that there is a relation of interdependence between health and human rights. The nature and extent of this relation, however, is rarely defined, developed or defended in a conceptually robust way. This paper seeks to explore the source, scope and strength of this putative relation and what role it might play in developing a (...) global health law framework. (shrink)
Emergencies are extreme events which threaten to cause massive disruption to society and negatively affect the physical and psychological well-being of its members. They raise important practical and theoretical questions about how we should treat each other in times of "crisis". The articles selected for this volume focus on the nature and significance of emergencies; ethical issues in emergency public policy and law; war, terrorism and supreme emergencies; and public health and humanitarian emergencies. Together they demonstrate the normative implications of (...) emergencies and provide multi-disciplinary perspectives on the ethics of emergency response. (shrink)
The goal of improving public health involves the use of different tools, with the law being one way to influence the activities of institutions and individuals. Of the regulatory mechanisms afforded by law to achieve this end, criminal law remains a perennial mechanism to delimit the scope of individual and group conduct. However, criminal law may promote or hinder public health goals, and its use raises a number of complex questions that merit exploration. This examination of the interface between criminal (...) law and public health brings together international experts from a variety of disciplines, including law, criminology, public health, philosophy and health policy, in order to examine the theoretical and practical implications of using criminal law to improve public health. (shrink)
Emergencies are extreme events which threaten to cause massive disruption to society and negatively affect the physical and psychological well-being of its members. They raise important practical and theoretical questions about how we should treat each other in times of 'crisis'. The articles selected for this volume focus on the nature and significance of emergencies, demonstrate the normative implications of emergencies and provide multi-disciplinary perspectives on the ethics of emergency response.
The author comments on several articles on addiction. Recent developments in neuroscience suggest that addicted individuals have substantial impairments in the cognitive control of voluntary behavior. The author differs on the observations that addicts either act on desires that are not conducive to rational action. The author also states that addiction seems to be a prime manifestation of akrasia, in which one fails to be motivated to act in accordance with what one judges ought to be done. Accession Number: 24077920; (...) Authors: Viens, A. M. 1; Email Address: [email protected]; Affiliations: 1: University of Oxford, Hertford College, Oxford, United Kingdom; Subject: EDITORIALS; Subject: ADDICTIONS; Subject: COGNITION; Subject: DECISION making; Subject: AKRASIA; Subject: NEUROSCIENCES; Number of Pages: 3p. (shrink)
Critical literatures, and public discourses, on public health policies and practices often present fixated concerns with paternalism. In this paper, rather than focus on the question of whether and why intended instances of paternalistic policy might be justified, we look to the wider, real-world socio-political contexts against which normative evaluations of public health must take place. We explain how evaluative critiques of public health policy and practice must be sensitive to the nuance and complexity of policy contexts. This includes sensitivity (...) to the ‘imperfect’ reach and application of policy, leading to collateral effects including collateral paternalism. We argue that theoretical critiques must temper their demandingness to real-world applicability, allowing for the detail of social and policy contexts, including harm reduction: apparent knock-down objections of paternalism cannot hold if they are limited to an abstract or artificially-isolated evaluation of the reach of a public health intervention. (shrink)
The aim of establishing a consistent and unified approach in law concerning the ethics of commercializing human embryos and their derivative parts, products, or related technologies remains incomplete within the European Union. In an attempt to elucidate these problems and implications, I examine three separate moral considerations (i.e., exploitation, commodification, and objectification) that could be used to ground the putative wrongness associated with commercializing stem cells—in particular patenting these materials. It is argued that the moral justification for legal prohibitions on (...) such biological materials for commercial purposes is faced by a number of problematic issues. (shrink)
Médecins Sans Frontières is not morally required to continue providing the same therapeutic and preventative interventions for lead poisoning in Nigeria in the face of conditions that negatively impact on the achievement of their objectives. Nevertheless, Médecins Sans Frontières may have reasons to revise their objectives and adopt different interventions or methods.
There is an underdeveloped potential for using neuroscience as a particular input in the process of law-making. This paper examines one such instance in the area of public health law. Neuroscience could play an important role in elucidating and strengthening the relevance of the conditions underlying and re-enforcing our ability to cooperate in balancing the benefits and burdens necessary to achieve particular goods; for instance, the protection of public health in an outbreak of pandemic influenza. In particular, I shall focus (...) on how a better understanding of the neurobiological basis of reciprocity could be used to help increase support and compliance with public heath laws—especially those involving restrictive measures (such as quarantine and isolation). (shrink)
To address the complex challenge of global antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a pandemic treaty should include mechanisms that 1) equitably address the access gap for antimicrobials, diagnostic technologies, and alternative therapies; 2) equitably conserve antimicrobials to sustain effectiveness and access across time and space; 3) equitably finance the investment, discovery, development, and distribution of new technologies; and 4) equitably finance and establish greater upstream and midstream infection prevention measures globally. Biodiversity, climate, and nuclear governance offer lessons for addressing these challenges.
The Health Protection Agency has recently attempted to create a postmortem tissue archive to determine the prevalence of abnormal prion protein. The success of this archive was prevented because the Health Protection Agency could not convince coroners to support the study’s methodology and participate on that basis. The findings of this paper detail and support the view that the Coroners’ Society of England and Wales’s refusal to participate was misguided and failed to appreciate that coroners have a moral obligation to (...) protect public health. Measures to assist coroners in fulfilling this role are proposed. (shrink)
Our initial response to COVID-19 has been plagued by a series of failures—many of which have extended inequity within and across populations, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The global health governance of pandemic preparedness and response needs to move further away from the advocacy of a one-size-fits-all approach that tends to prioritize the interests of high-income countries towards a context-sensitive approach that gives equity a central role in guiding our pandemic preparedness and response strategies.