The current paradigm in medicine generally distinguishes between genetic and environmental causes of disease. Although the word paradigm has become a commonplace, the theories of Thomas Kuhn have not received much attention in the journals of medicine. Kuhn's structuralist method differs radically from the daily activities of the scientific method itself. Using linguistic theory, this essay offers a structuralist reading of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Our purpose is to highlight the similarities between these structuralist models of science (...) and language. In part, we focus on the logic that enables Kuhn to assert the priority of perception over interpretation in the history of science. To illustrate some of these issues, we refer to the distinction between environmental and genetic causes of disease. While the activity of scientific research results in the revision of concepts in science, the production of significant differences that shape our knowledge is in part a social and linguistic process. (shrink)
Belief in souls is only one component of supernatural thinking in which individuals infer the presence of invisible mechanisms that explain events as paranormal rather than natural. We believe it is important to place greater emphasis on the prevalence of supernatural beliefs across other domains, if only to counter simplistic divisions between rationality and irrationality recently aligned with the contentious science/religion debate.
While valuable work has been done addressing clinical ethics within established healthcare systems, we anticipate that the projected growth in acquisitions of community hospitals and facilities by large tertiary hospitals will impact the field of clinical ethics and the day-to-day responsibilities of clinical ethicists in ways that have yet to be explored. Toward the goal of providing clinical ethicists guidance on a range of issues that they may encounter in the systematization process, we discuss key considerations and potential challenges in (...) implementing system-wide ethics consultation services. Specifically, we identify four models for organizing, developing, and enhancing ethics consultation activities within a system created through acquisitions: train-the-trainer, local capacity-building, circuit-riding, and consolidated accountability. We note each model’s benefits and challenges. To our knowledge, this is the first paper to consider the broader landscape of issues affected by consolidation. We anticipate that clinical ethicists, volunteer consultants, and hospital administrators will benefit from our recommendations. (shrink)
Future technological developmentsconcerning food, agriculture, and theenvironment face a gulf of social legitimationfrom a skeptical public and media, in the wakeof the crises of BSE, GM food, and foot andmouth disease in the UK (House of Lords, 2000). Keyethical issues were ignored by the bioindustry,regulators, and the Government, leaving alegacy of distrust. The paper examinesagricultural biotechnology in terms of a socialcontract, whose conditions would have to be fulfilled togain acceptance of novel applications. Variouscurrent and future GM applications areevaluated against these (...) conditions. Successwould depend critically on how far a sharedvision can be found with the public. Tore-establish trust, significant changes areidentified in the planning and pursuit ofbiotechnology. (shrink)
Despite the interpersonal nature of family meetings and the frequency in which they occur, the clinical ethics literature is devoid of any rich descriptions of what clinical ethicists should actually be doing during family meetings. Here, we propose a framework for describing and understanding “transitioning” facilitation skills based on a retrospective review of our internal documentation of 100 consecutive cases wherein a clinical ethicist facilitated at least one family meeting. The internal documents were analyzed using qualitative methodologies, i.e., “codes”, to (...) identify emergent themes. We identified four different transitioning strategies clinical ethicists use to reach a meaningful resolution. These transitioning strategies serve as a jumping-off point for additional analyses, future research, evaluating clinical ethics consultation, and overall performance improvement of a consultation service. (shrink)
Written with insight and humor, _College Sex - Philosophy for Everyone_ investigates a broad array of philosophical issues relating to student sex. Examines the ethical issues of dating, cheating, courtship, homosexual experimentation, and drug and alcohol use Considers student-teacher relationships, sexual experimentation, the meaning of sex in a college setting and includes two essays based on influential research projects on ‘friends with benefits’ Many of the authors teach classes that explore the philosophy of love and sex, and most are scholars (...) from the Society of the Philosophy of Sex and Love. (shrink)
This anthology will be appropriate for administrative ethics classes and professional thinking in public administration at both the masters and doctoral levels. It is a collection of administrative ethics articles published in journals of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) from 1941 (the earliest publication) through 1983 (the year that the first ASPA Code of Ethics was established). The articles are organized by themes of enduring importance to the field in order to provide graduate students with ready access to (...) the classic works on ethics in public administration. Reading this collection will enhance student’s knowledge and skills to think and act ethically and contribute to their ability to view current practices in light of traditional perspectives. The ASPA Classics volume serves to bridge the practice of public policy and administration with the empirical research base that has accrued and the models for practice that may be deduced from the research. (shrink)