Starmaking brings together a cluster of work published over the past 35 years by Nelson Goodman and two Harvard colleagues, Hilary Putnam and Israel Scheffler, on the conceptual connections between monism and pluralism, absolutism and relativism, and idealism and different notions of realism -- issues that are central to metaphysics and epistemology. The title alludes to Goodman's famous defense of the claim that because all true representations of stars and other objects are human creations, it follows that in an important (...) sense the stars themselves are made by us. More generally, the argument moves from the fact that our right representations are constructed by us to the claim that the world itself is similarly constructed. Starmaking addresses the question of whether this seeming paradox can be turned into a serious philosophical view. Goodman and Putnam are sympathetic; Scheffler is the critic. Although many others continue to write about pluralism, relativism, and constructionalism, Starmaking brings together the protagonists in the debate since its beginnings and follows closely its still developing form and substance, focusing sharply on Goodman's claim that "we make versions, and right versions make worlds.". (shrink)
Moral case deliberation (MCD) is a specific form of clinical ethics, aiming to stimulate ethical reflection in daily practice in order to improve the quality of care. This article focuses on the implementation of MCD in nursing homes and the questions how and where to organize MCD. The purpose of this study was to evaluate one way of organizing MCD in two Dutch nursing homes. In both of these nursing homes the MCD groups had a heterogeneous composition and were organized (...) apart from existing institutional communication structures. As part of a naturalistic evaluation, systematic observations, interviews and focus groups were completed. The findings indicate that the heterogeneous composition and MCD meetings separate from existing structures have benefits. However, the participants also reported negative experiences. This gives rise to the question whether a mixed MCD group which meets separately is an effective way to embed MCD as an instrument for reflection on moral issues in daily practice. We conclude that there is no single answer to that question. In the end, the two implementation strategies (i.e. within existing communication structures and a mixed MCD group) can be complementary to each other. (shrink)
Background: More and more quantitative information is becoming available about the risks of complications arising from medical treatment. In everyday practice, this raises the question whether each and every risk, however low, should be disclosed to patients. What could be good reasons for doing or not doing so? This will increasingly become a dilemma for practitioners.Objective: To report doctors’ views on whether to disclose or withhold information on low risks of complications.Methods: In a qualitative study design, 37 respondents were included. (...) Focus group interviews were held with 22 respondents and individual in-depth interviews with 15.Results: Doctors have doubts about disclosing or withholding information on complication risk, especially in a risk range of 1 in 200 to 1 in 10 000. Their considerations on whether to disclose or to withhold information depend on a complicated mix of patient and doctor-associated reasons; on medical and personal considerations; and on the kind and purpose of intervention.Discussion: Even though the degree of a risk is important in a doctor’s considerations, the severity of the possible complications and patients’ wishes and competencies have an important role as well. Respondents said that low risks should always be communicated when there are alternatives for the intervention or when the patient may prevent or mitigate the risk. When the appropriateness of disclosing risks is doubtful, doctors should always tell their patients that no intervention is without risk, give them the opportunity to gather all the information they need or want, and enable them to detect a complication at an early stage. (shrink)
Using covariant derivatives and the operator definitions of quantum mechanics, gauge invariant Proca and Lehnert equations are derived and the Lorenz condition is eliminated in U(1) invariant electrodynamics. It is shown that the structure of the gauge invariant Lehnert equation is the same in an O(3) invariant theory of electrodynamics.
Background. Africa has seen an increase in the number of health research projects being conducted on the continent, particularly clinical trials. Ideally, this should be accompanied by a commensurate improvement in research ethics review capacity to competently provide the much-required research ethics oversight. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many African countries, which are still grappling with weak research ethics oversight capacity, not only at national level but also at institutional level. Objectives. To describe the proposal by Kenya’s national (...) research ethics regulatory authority, the National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI), to build the capacity of its National Scientific and Ethics Committee (NSEC), tasked with providing the required research ethics oversight in the country. Methods. This is the proposal submitted by NACOSTI to the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership for funding of a project entitled ‘Strengthening Research Ethics and Oversight in Kenya’ (STReK). It describes the activities involved to strengthen the NSEC to provide the required research ethics in the country, and to build the research ethics capacity of research ethics committees (RECs) it has accredited, through training and mentorship programmes, to enable them to efficiently review research proposals. Results. Proposed activities of the project are presented. Implementation of the activities described is ongoing. Conclusion. Lessons learnt in this regard may be of benefit to other research ethics regulatory authorities in resource-constrained countries aiming to strengthen their research ethics oversight capacity. (shrink)