What are “human rights” supposed to protect? According to most human rights doctrines, including most notably the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , human rights aim to protect “human dignity.” But what this concept amounts to and what its source is remain unclear. According to Glenn Hughes , human rights theorists ought to consider human dignity as an “intrinsically heuristic concept,” whose content is partially understood but is not fully determined. In this comment, I criticize Hughes's account. On my view, (...) understanding inherent human dignity as an intrinsically heuristic concept tethers it to an “indeterminateness of sense,” which leaves it open to exploitation from theorists unsympathetic to the moral salience of rights and what rights are supposed to protect. (shrink)
The Ayushman Bharat scheme is a government health insurance program that will cover about 100 million poor and vulnerable families in India providing up to INR 0.5 million per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization services. In addition, it also proposes to establish 150,000 health and wellness centers all over the country providing comprehensive primary health care. The beneficiaries of the hospital insurance scheme can avail health care services from both public and empanelled private health facilities. (...) This scheme is one of the largest government-sponsored health insurance schemes in the world. Previous experience with government-financed health insurance schemes in India has shown that they are inequitable, inefficient, and do not provide financial protection. There is a lack of clarity on the budgetary provisions over the years when the utilization is likely to increase. The Ayushman Bharat scheme in its current form strengthens the “for profit” private health sector, requiring greater emphasis on its regulation. The scheme, which has primary, secondary, and tertiary care components, places a great focus on the secondary and tertiary care services and requires more investment in comprehensive primary health care. The potential problems of “profit-motivated” supplier-induced demand by private health care providers and corrupt practices are possible ethical burdens of the scheme. For the Ayushman Bharat to meet the ethical principle of justice, it should first address universal coverage of comprehensive primary health care and move on to hospital insurance in a progressive manner. The scheme should have provisions to strictly regulate secondary and tertiary care hospitalization in the private health sector to prevent misuse. It is the ethical responsibility of the government to ensure a strong and robust public health system, but the current provisioning of the Ayushman Bharat scheme does not do this and the reasons for this are explained in this paper. (shrink)
This paper analyses the ethical considerations using the stakeholder theory on two specific domains of the newly implemented ‘Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna ’ scheme by the Government of India. The paper recommends a solidarity-based approach over an entitlement based one that focuses on out-of-pocket expenses for the most vulnerable and a stewardship role from the private sector to ensure equity, accountability, and sustainability of PM-JAY scheme.
Sentiment analysis is the field of natural language processing to analyze opinionated data, for the purpose of decision making. An opinion is a statement about a subject which expresses the sentiments as well as the emotions of the opinion makers on the topic. In this paper, we develop a sentiment analysis tool namely SENTI-METER. This tool estimates the success rate of social campaigns based on the algorithms we developed that analyze the sentiment of word as well as blog. Social campaigns (...) have a huge impact on the mindset of people. One such campaign was launched in India on October 2, 2014, named Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Our tool computes an elaborated analysis of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which examines the success rate of this social campaign. Here, we performed the location-wise analysis of the campaign and predict the degree of polarity of tweets along with the monthly and weekly analysis of the tweets. The experiments were conducted in five phases namely extraction and preprocessing of tweets, tokenization, sentiment evaluation of a line, sentiment evaluation of a blog and analysis. Our tool is also capable of handling transliterated words. Unbiased tweets were extracted from Twitter related to this specific campaign, and on comparing with manual tagging we were able to achieve 84.47 % accuracy using unigram machine learning approach. This approach helps the government to implement the social campaigns effectively for the betterment of the society. (shrink)
In The Anticipatory Corpse: Medicine, Power, and the Care of the Dying, Jeffrey Bishop argues that contemporary medicine has (among other things) reduced the patient from a ‘subject’ to an ‘object’. He extends this charge to all corners of contemporary medicine. But in his book’s concluding chapter, ‘Anticipating Life’, he turns toward a constructive proposal, asking, in closing, ‘[m]ight it not be that only theology can save medicine?’ Toward answering Bishop’s query, I turn to the thought of Paul Ramsey. Ramsey (...) is helpful because, in thinking through and responding to contemporary moral dilemmas, he begins with his theological commitments and thereby may avoid the reductive tendencies that Bishop argues affect contemporary medicine. Specifically, Ramsey’s account of the ‘patient as person’, I will argue, delimits what the medical endeavor may do and might offer resources to help save medicine. (shrink)
Representing a spectrum of intellectual concerns and methodological commitments in religious ethics, the contributors to this focus issue consider and assess the advantages and disadvantages of the shift in recent comparative religious ethics away from a rootedness in moral theory toward a model that privileges the ethnography of moral worlds. In their own way, all of the contributors think through and emphasize the meaning, importance, and place of normativity in recent comparative religious ethics.
Few people doubt that severe poverty is a pressing moral issue. But what sorts of obligations, if any, do affluent people have toward the severely poor? If one accepts the idea that one has some obligations to the severely poor there still remains disagreement about the magnitude of this obligation and when it obtains. I consider Peter Singer's influential "shallow pond" argument, which holds that affluent people have greater obligations toward the severely poor than ordinary moral judgments suggest. Critics hold (...) that Singer's view is excessively demanding and therefore untenable. I thus turn to the parable of the Good Samaritan and Christian accounts of neighbor-love to help attenuate this criticism. Drawing from Christian conversations on neighbor-love, I attempt to demonstrate that accepting an obligation to assist does not necessarily result in one abandoning one's special relations, abnegating self-regard, or no longer pursuing other non-moral strivings. (shrink)
In a perfect world, physicians and drug producers would have only one goal: to advance the health of their patients. Unfortunately, ours is not a perfect world. While every physician’s prime responsibility—by oath and by law—is to the patient, every pharmaceutical producer’s first and foremost obligation, by design, is to shareholders and employees. Their ultimate objectives are diagonally diverse. This situation calls for a code of ethics to govern the marketing and prescription of pharmaceuticals. This paper attempts to identifythe business (...) practices prevailing in the Indian pharmaceutical industry, in order to provide a basis for constructing an appropriate code of ethics. The research is based on surveys or in-depth interviews of physicians, patients, retail pharmacists, and drug manufacturers. (shrink)
The society and local community is the resource pool from which any organization gets its manpower and also so to say ‘the license to operate’. The society is the entity to which an organization owes its existence. The organization exists in the society because of the inputs received from it—material and human—and ultimately sells its products and services to it. Any organization must pay its due in various ways to this important constituency. In this article, the authors have used the (...) case study of an Indian Public Sector Undertaking like Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd to describe its Society and Local Community-related initiatives. Being a PSU and true to its mandate, BPCL has undertaken lot of innovative CSR initiatives in and around the areas of its functioning. An attempt has been made here to highlight the same. The data collection for the case has been done by the authors through personal interviews with top executives of the Company and supplemented through other information available in the public domain. (shrink)
Globalization is not just an economic phenomenon as economic transactions cannot take place without parallel flows of ideas, cultural products and people. The traditional notion of immigrants, i.e. those who leave one country to settle into another while leaving behind their past, is inextricably linked to the other flows that constitute globalization. The traditional notions of immigrants, i.e. movements back and forth between sending and receiving countries have historically been a fact of life for many immigrant groups. However, what is (...) new about contemporary migration is the scale, diversity, density and regularity of such movements and the socioeconomic consequences that they have brought about are unmatched by the phenomena of the past (Portes & Guarnizo, 2002). Migration, development and international relations are thus closely linked (Castles, 1999, 2000a, 2000b). Indeed, by definition, international migrants have always crossed national borders. Whereas physical mobility concerns the observable act of crossing boundaries, psychological mobility refers to people’s attitudes towards this act (Lazarova & Taylor, 2009). Thus, sociological explanations of migration focus on the importance of cultural and social capital. Cultural capital refers to knowledge of other societies and the opportunities they offer, as well as information about how to actually go about moving and seeking work elsewhere. In this context, an understanding of diversity is warranted. (shrink)
Verbal autopsy presents the opportunity to understand the disease burden in many low-income countries where vital registration systems are underdeveloped and most deaths occur in the community. Advances in technology have led to the development of software that can provide probable cause of death information in real time, and research considering the ethical implications of these advances is necessary to inform policy. Our research explores these ethical issues in rural Nepal using a public health ethics framework. We considered the burdens (...) and benefits of VA and giving cause of death information to families of the deceased through qualitative research with VA interviewers, community members, national policy stakeholders and international academics. Burdens can be experienced differently, and it is important to balance the emotional burden of VA with utilization of the data to inform planning and increased access to health services. The training, support and supervision of VA interviewers should be prioritized if VA is taken to scale. Initial and ongoing community engagement is recommended in addition to engaging ethical, legal, health and policy personnel in developing protocols and systems. Integrating rigorous research while cautiously moving forward is recommended to ensure systems and responses to concerns are relevant to contexts. (shrink)
The field of neuroimaging has reached a watershed. Brain imaging research has been the source of many advances in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive science over the last decade, but recent critiques and emerging trends are raising foundational issues of methodology, measurement, and theory. Indeed, concerns over interpretation of brain maps have created serious controversies in social neuroscience, and, more important, point to a larger set of issues that lie at the heart of the entire brain mapping enterprise. In this volume, (...) leading scholars -- neuroimagers and philosophers of mind -- reexamine these central issues and explore current controversies that have arisen in cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, computer science, and signal processing. The contributors address both statistical and dynamical analysis and modeling of neuroimaging data and interpretation, discussing localization, modularity, and neuroimagers' tacit assumptions about how these two phenomena are related; controversies over correlation of fMRI data and social attributions ; and the standard inferential design approach in neuroimaging. Finally, the contributors take a more philosophical perspective, considering the nature of measurement in brain imaging, and offer a framework for novel neuroimaging data structures. Contributors: William Bechtel, Bharat Biswal, Matthew Brett, Martin Bunzl, Max Coltheart, Karl J. Friston, Joy J. Geng, Clark Glymour, Kalanit Grill-Spector, Stephen José Hanson, Trevor Harley, Gilbert Harman, James V. Haxby, Rik N. Henson, Nancy Kanwisher, Colin Klein, Richard Loosemore, Sébastien Meriaux, Chris Mole, Jeanette A. Mumford, Russell A. Poldrack, Jean-Baptiste Poline, Richard C. Richardson, Alexis Roche, Adina L. Roskies, Pia Rotshtein, Rebecca Saxe, Philipp Sterzer, Bertrand Thirion, Edward Vul The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket. (shrink)
This essay responds to Bharat Ranganathan's “Comment” on my essay, “The Concept of Dignity in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” . Addressing key criticisms in this “Comment,” I make the following points. First, neither the idea of inherent dignity being “imparted” to humans, nor the Universal Declaration's implication—through its use of terms such as “inherent” and “inalienable”—that humans participate in transcendent reality, necessarily presuppose a Christian metaphysics. Second, a concept such as “inherent dignity” must be affirmed to be (...) intrinsically heuristic unless we are to assume that its meaning can be completely known within the conditions of existence; but this affirmation does not render such concepts “indeterminate of sense.” Finally, Ranganathan's distinction between“weak” and “strong” senses of transcendence is untenable. If human truths beyond all contingencies are knowable , then there must be a real dimension of meaning that transcends all contingencies. (shrink)