A virtue centred approach to ethics has been criticized for being vague owing to the nature of its central concept, the paradigm person. From the perspective of the practitioner the most damaging charge is that virtue ethics fails to be action guiding and, in addition to this, it does not offer any means of act appraisal. These criticisms leave virtue ethics in a weak position vis-à-vis traditional approaches to ethics. The criticism is, however, challenged by Hursthouse in her analysis of (...) the accounts of right action offered by deontology, utilitarianism and virtue ethics. It is possible to defend the action guiding nature of virtue ethics: there are virtue rules and exemplars to guide action. Insights from Aristotle’s practical approach to ethics are considered alongside Hursthouse’s analysis and it is suggested that virtue ethics is also capable of facilitating action appraisal. It is at the same time acknowledged that approaches to virtue ethics vary widely and that the challenges offered here would be rejected by those who embrace a radical replacement virtue approach. (shrink)
This article is presented as a defence of voluntary active euthanasia from a virtue perspective and it is written with the objective of generating debate and challenging the assumption that killing is necessarily vicious in all circumstances. Practitioners are often torn between acting from virtue and acting from duty. In the case presented the physician was governed by compassion and this illustrates how good people may have the courage to sacrifice their own security in the interests of virtue. The doctor's (...) action created huge tensions for the nurse, who was governed by the code of conduct and relevant laws. Appraising active euthanasia from a virtue perspective can offer a more compassionate approach to the predicament of practitioners and clients. The tensions arising from the virtue versus rules debate generates irreconcilable difficulties for nurses. A shift towards virtue would help to resolve this problem and support the call for a change in the law. The controversial nature of this position is acknowledged. The argument is put forward on the understanding that many practitioners will not agree with the conclusions reached. (shrink)
The problems of exposing students to real life situations in which they can gain an insight into the dilemmas experienced by clients and staff are highlighted. The value of the Greek notion of catharsis (katharsis: a cleansing) is discussed and the use of literature is suggested as a means of providing students with vicarious experience of the real, but often inaccessible, situations in which nurses may have to make moral decisions.
Euthanasia has once again become headline news in the UK, with the announcement by Dr Michael Irwin, a former medical director of the United Nations, that he has helped at least 50 people to die, including two between February and July 1997. He has been quoted as saying that his ‘conscience is clear’ and that the time has come to confront the issue of euthanasia. For the purposes of this article, the term ‘beneficent voluntary active euthanasia’ (BVAE) will be used: (...) beneficent from the prima facie principle of beneficence, to do good, and voluntary to indicate that this must be carried out at the request of a competent client. This implies adherence to another prima facie principle, that of respect for autonomy. Active implies that something is done or given with the intention of hastening death. The word euthanasia itself simply means ‘good death’. This article examines the moral positions of two nurses and one junior doctor towards the subject of BVAE and an attempt is made to represent the main conflicting moral positions. The central arguments against BVAE and counterarguments are presented. The conclusion reached is that consenting adults should not be prevented from availing themselves of BVAE if another consenting adult (a medical doctor) is available and capable of carrying out their wishes. This being the case, it is suggested that BVAE should be available as an option in hospices and in the community. The aims of this article are: to generate debate among professionals; to present a three-way discussion that might be useful as a focus for educational purposes, particularly at undergraduate level; to challenge professionals to confront the issue of euthanasia; and to plead the case of those who request assistance in exercising autonomy by gaining control over their own deaths. (shrink)
The multiplicity of definitions and conceptions of self-regulation that typifies contemporary research on self-regulation in psychology and educational psychology is examined. This examination is followed by critical analyses of theory and research in educational psychology that reveal not only conceptual confusions, but misunderstandings of conceptual versus empirical issues, individualistic biases to the detriment of an adequate consideration of social and cultural contexts, and a tendency to reify psychological states and processes as ontologically foundational to self-regulation. The essay concludes with a (...) consideration of educational research and intervention in the area of students’ self-regulated learning in terms of the scientific and professional interests of psychologists and educators, and the disguised manipulation of student self-surveillance in the service of the institutional mandates of schools. (shrink)
Throughout the biological and biomedical sciences there is a growing need for, prescriptive ‘minimum information’ (MI) checklists specifying the key information to include when reporting experimental results are beginning to find favor with experimentalists, analysts, publishers and funders alike. Such checklists aim to ensure that methods, data, analyses and results are described to a level sufficient to support the unambiguous interpretation, sophisticated search, reanalysis and experimental corroboration and reuse of data sets, facilitating the extraction of maximum value from data sets (...) them. However, such ‘minimum information’ MI checklists are usually developed independently by groups working within representatives of particular biologically- or technologically-delineated domains. Consequently, an overview of the full range of checklists can be difficult to establish without intensive searching, and even tracking thetheir individual evolution of single checklists may be a non-trivial exercise. Checklists are also inevitably partially redundant when measured one against another, and where they overlap is far from straightforward. Furthermore, conflicts in scope and arbitrary decisions on wording and sub-structuring make integration difficult. This presents inhibit their use in combination. Overall, these issues present significant difficulties for the users of checklists, especially those in areas such as systems biology, who routinely combine information from multiple biological domains and technology platforms. To address all of the above, we present MIBBI (Minimum Information for Biological and Biomedical Investigations); a web-based communal resource for such checklists, designed to act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for those exploring the range of extant checklist projects, and to foster collaborative, integrative development and ultimately promote gradual integration of checklists. (shrink)
Abstract The Los Angeles riots illustrate how a pluralistic society can come apart once its members lose faith in its moral character. The cynicism and despair so evident in our cities challenge moral educators to nurture in the coming generation a belief and hope in the transformative power of democratic institutions. Effective democratic moral education requires that teachers provide experience in democratic problem?solving. In this article we use examples from two Just Community programmes in urban settings, the recently established YES (...) program and the Cluster School, to illustrate how democratic participation can enkindle democratic faith and foster integration across racial and social class divisions. (shrink)
Tax avoidance practices by Multinational Enterprises such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, Starbucks and others are increasingly under scrutiny both from a legal and an ethical perspective. In 2013, the OECD launched an ‘Action Plan’ to encourage the G20 countries to address Base Erosion and Profit Shifting through an internationally co-ordinated approach, arguing that tax avoidance represents a risk for tax revenues and tax fairness, potentially “undermining taxpayers voluntary compliance.” The analysis of tax avoidance in the existing business ethics literature suffers (...) from a black-and-white approach, contending either that tax avoidance is unethical or that, being legal, tax avoidance is also ethical. However, we believe that within tax avoidance practices there are important distinctions to be made. In this paper, we analyze the ethics of tax avoidance by identifying three different forms of avoidance practices: state-induced, strategic, and toxic avoidance. We develop a more nuanced approach reviewing both the ethical arguments in defense and the ethical issues associated with each form of tax avoidance. Finally, we propose an ethical framework that could assist executives and policy-makers in their decision-making concerning tax avoidance. (shrink)
This article approaches the problem of multifetal pregnancy reduction from a moral perspective. It is one of many complex moral issues arising from reproductive technology and is one with which midwives and nurses are faced more frequently with advancing technology. The work is intended to be used as an educational tool for those who prepare tomorrow’s nurses and midwives. The subject is discussed from three perspectives, the pregnant woman and her partner (clients), a midwife, and from a philosophical ethical perspective. (...) In an attempt to introduce a degree of reality, the perspective of the clients is presented as a dialogue. The midwife’s moral position and her professional difficulties are also discussed. The dialogue and discussion are supplemented with notes in which the issues raised by the characters are critically analysed and discussed. This article is designed to encourage reflection and critical thinking in tomorrow’s health care professionals, and in those who have the responsibility of educating them for a future where reproductive technology is posed to generate more major moral quandaries. (shrink)
We examined cynicism as a mediator of the influence of managers’ mission-congruent communication and behavior about ethical standards (a form of supervisory behavioral integrity) on employee attitudes and intended behavior. Results indicated that cynicism partially mediates the relationship between supervisory behavioral integrity and organizational commitment, but not the relationship between supervisory behavioral integrity and intent to comply with organizational expectations for employee conduct.
Ecological objectives in environmental reports usually promise a high degree of environmental responsibilities in a company’s activities. Several studies have already highlighted that most companies do not keep their promises since stakeholders’ expectations and a company’s capabilities for internal adjustments do not always match. Thus, a company might use strategic reporting in order not to endanger its legitimacy. However, no study so far has demonstrated how companies use different legitimacy strategies in reporting their environmental objectives over time. To achieve this (...) in our study, we focus primarily on findings from legitimacy theory in combination with the legitimacy strategies suggested by Lindblom Social and environmental accounting: developing the field, Sage, Los Angeles, pp 51–63, 2010). To test our theoretical framework empirically, we analyze 260 corporate environmental reports of German DAX companies between the years 2000–2014 by coding all disclosed objectives within these reports. Based on this longitudinal approach, we are able to identify reporting patterns of the different companies that provide insights into those companies’ environmental reporting legitimacy strategies. Overall, this study contributes to research on voluntary disclosure by showing that a comprehensive analysis of the reporting pattern of disclosed objectives allows the identification of certain legitimacy strategies. (shrink)
The explanatory value of niche construction can be strengthened by firm footing in semiotic theory. Anthropologists have a unique perspective on the integration of such diverse approaches to human action and evolutionary processes. Here, we seek to open a dialogue between anthropology and biosemiotics. The overarching aim of this paper is to demonstrate that niche construction, including the underlying mechanism of reciprocal causation, is a semiotic process relating to biological development as well as cognitive development and cultural change. In making (...) this argument we emphasize the semiotic mechanisms underlying the niche concept. We argue that the “niche” in ecology and evolutionary biology can be consistent with the Umwelt of Jakob von Uexkull. Following John Deely we therefore suggest that investigations into the organism—environment interface constituting niche construction should emphasize the semiotic basis of experience. Peircean signs are pervasive and allow for flexible interpretations of phenomena in relation to the perceptual and cognitive capacities of the behaving organism, which is particularly pertinent for understanding the relation of proximate/ultimate selective forces as co-productive. Additionally, theoretical work by Kinji Imanishi on the evolution of daily life and Gregory Bateson’s relational view of evolution both support the linkage between proximate and ultimate evolutionary processes of causation necessitated by the niche construction perspective. We will then apply this theoretical framework to two specific examples: 1) hominin evolution, including uniquely human cultural behaviors with niche constructive implications; and 2) the multispecies and anthropocentric niche of human-dog coevolution from which complex cognitive capacities and semiotic relationships emerged. The intended outcome of this paper is the establishment of concrete semiotic mechanisms and theory underlying niche constructive behavior which can then be applied to a broad spectrum of organisms to contextualize the reciprocal relation between proximate and ultimate drivers of behavior. (shrink)
There is growing interest among pharmaceutical policymakers in how to “disinvest” from subsidized medicines. This is due to both the rapidly rising costs of healthcare and the increasing use of accelerated and conditional reimbursement pathways which mean that medicines are being subsidized on the basis of less robust evidence of safety and efficacy. It is crucial that disinvestment decisions are morally sound and socially legitimate, but there is currently no framework to facilitate this. We therefore reviewed the bioethics literature in (...) order to identify ethical principles and concepts that might be relevant to pharmaceutical disinvestment decisions. This revealed a number of key ethical considerations—both procedural and substantive—that need to be considered when making pharmaceutical disinvestment decisions. These principles do not, however, provide practical guidance so we present a framework outlining how they might be applied to different types of disinvestment decisions. We also argue that, in this context, even the most rigorous ethical reasoning is likely to be overridden by moral intuitions and psychological biases and that disinvestment decisions will need to strike the right balance between respecting justifiable moral intuitions and overriding unjustifiable psychological impulses. (shrink)
Humanistic Management and Transformative Service Research literatures share the common goal of addressing the increasingly growing global challenges faced by humanity. Recently, organizations have been called to further engage in social innovation in service in an attempt to address these challenges. However, the existing service literature does not offer explicit processes regarding how to manage these social innovation efforts at the human interaction level. By drawing on both Humanistic Management and Service literatures, this paper develops a conceptual framework to guide (...) the social innovation in service efforts. More specifically, this paper aims to answer a key question of: how can organizations manage human interactions to help maximize social innovation in service outcomes? This paper identifies four foundational values that should be at the core of the proposed processes needed in order to achieve the desired outcomes of SIS. Subsequently, a typology of service organizations is offered with different combinations of processes at the human interaction level, highlighting the synergistic effect of the three identified processes. The proposed framework in this paper is a first step in bridging two disciplines to highlight their potential and role in addressing the global challenges. (shrink)
Wearable robots and exoskeletons are relatively new technologies designed for assisting and augmenting human motor functions. Due to their different possible design applications and their intimate connection to the human body, they come with specific ethical, legal, and social issues, which have not been much explored in the recent ELS literature. This paper draws on expert consultations and a literature review to provide a taxonomy of the most important ethical, legal, and social issues of wearable robots. These issues are categorized (...) in wearable robots and the self, wearable robots and the other, and wearable robots in society. (shrink)