There has been longstanding interest in the consistency of decisions made by research ethics committees in the UK, but most of the evidence has come from single studies submitted to multiple committees. A systematic comparison was carried out of the decisions made on 18 purposively selected applications, each of which was reviewed independently by three different RECs in a single strategic health authority. Decisions on 11 applications were consistent, but disparities were found among RECs on decisions on seven applications. An (...) analysis of the agreement between decisions of RECs yielded an overall measure of agreement of κ = 0.286 , indicating a level of agreement that, although probably better than chance, may be described as “slight”. The small sample size limits the robustness of these findings. Further research on reasons for inconsistencies in decision making between RECs, and on the importance of such inconsistencies for a range of arguments, is needed. (shrink)
he burgeoning science of ethics has produced a trend toward pessimism. Ordinary moral thought and action, we're told, are profoundly influenced by arbitrary factors and ultimately driven by unreasoned feelings. This book counters the current orthodoxy on its own terms by carefully engaging with the empirical literature. The resulting view, optimistic rationalism, shows the pervasive role played by reason our moral minds, and ultimately defuses sweeping debunking arguments in ethics. The science does suggest that moral knowledge and virtue don't come (...) easily. However, despite the heavy influence of automatic and unconscious processes that have been shaped by evolutionary pressures, we needn't reject ordinary moral psychology as fundamentally flawed or in need of serious repair. Reason can be corrupted in ethics just as in other domains, but a special pessimism about morality in particular is unwarranted. Moral judgment and motivation are fundamentally rational enterprises not beholden to the passions. (shrink)
Standards for professional training and practice are defined by accrediting organisations or statutory bodies. These describe the arena in which the practitioner may speak with authority. The sphere of authorised practice is further delineated by the external resources available. Within this explicit framework, unconscious mental processes can affect the professional response in potentially adverse ways. This is particularly important in mental health practice. Professionals must be prepared to examine their own responses on this basis in order to enhance their knowledge (...) of the patient and minimise the possibilities of the patient becoming the victim of the professional's own psychopathology. The maintenance of such a position in an institution or organisation requires a similar process within its structure in order to provide the necessary setting and define the limits of good practice. In this paper, the field of adolescent mental health is specifically examined. (shrink)
Germ-line gene therapy, like many other medical technologies, raises questions of special concern to Christians. It not only raises questions about medical effects, actual or possible, of genetic interventions that would be inherited from one generation to another but also, more importantly, raises anthropological questions and so questions about parental attitudes. These are questions about the dignity and value of human life, about inter-human relations and about the God-human relationship.1 For this reason the paper starts with an exploration of the (...) implications of Christian anthropology, viewed from a Roman Catholic perspective. A set of conditions will be specified in the light of which germ-line gene therapy’s compatibility with Christian attitudes, a Christian understanding of the human being, and the meaning of human life can be assessed. (shrink)
Asking whether transhumanist hopes of overcoming ageing and cognitive and other shortcomings are realistic, this paper pitches a Christian anthropology against a transhumanist anthropology. It is shown that on critical examination many of the technologies proposed by transhumanists in order to better or extend human life raise questions about dualism and materialism, about our nature as relational beings, and indeed even about what it means to be alive.
The updated consensus report on undergraduate medical education (1) provides an extensive framework for teaching ethics and law. However, there is a need for further research into the indicators of good progress towards sound moral reasoning and action to take into account personal and professional developmental trajectories. The report indicates competencies which should be demonstrable by students: additional consideration needs to be given to those competencies which institutions should be able to demonstrate in relation to the provision made for students (...) and teachers. (shrink)
Why is it that despite having many of the same concerns on how ethics may be included in undergraduate medical curriculums, I write to state my concerns on Cowley’s formulation and conclusions.1I think my main problem is with an argument that starts from a position of criticising “universalising”, but offers as a substitute the idealising of another universality—“their own healthy intuitions and vocabulary”. What is it that can help in promoting an appreciation of what may be a “healthy”, as opposed (...) to an “unhealthy”, intuition? At the risk of immediately undermining my argument by indulging in psychoanalytical …. (shrink)
Next SectionWainwright and Gallagher propose that when child protection concerns emerge significant difficulties arise for General Practitioners because of conflicts between the individual interests of children and parents who are their patients and the Paramountcy Principle. From a psychodynamic perspective their analysis does not give sufficient weight to the nature of personal as opposed to interpersonal conflict of a conscious or unconscious nature. When issues of major import arise, ordinary parenting inevitably involves parents in putting their children's needs first if (...) competing possibilities occur. It is an over-simplification to present this as a conflict between the interests of children and parents. Parents' own best interests are served by securing their children's safety and welfare. An appreciation of this is crucial in order to implement child protection procedures appropriately. Errors may occur because the complex emotions and relationships involved lead professionals to experience themselves as potential agents of harm rather than benefit. (shrink)
This article is concerned with the origins and evolution of the Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) initiative from its announcement in 1995 to the end of 1999. It examines the Government rationale and the contributions of the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE), the Teacher Training Agency (TTA) and the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB).
This article is concerned with the origins and evolution of the Advanced Skills Teacher initiative from its announcement in 1995 to the end of 1999. It examines the Government rationale and the contributions of the Department for Education and Employment, the Teacher Training Agency and the School Teachers' Review Body.