Since the Supreme Court upheld the partial birth abortion ban in 2007, more U.S. abortion providers have begun performing intraamniotic digoxin injections prior to uterine dilation and evacuations. These injections can cause medical harm to abortion patients. Our objective is to perform an in-depth bioethical analysis of this procedure, which is performed mainly for the provider’s legal benefit despite potential medical consequences for the patient.
Symbols enable people to organize and communicate about the world. However, the ways in which symbolic knowledge is learned and then represented in the mind are poorly understood. We present a formal analysis of symbolic learning—in particular, word learning—in terms of prediction and cue competition, and we consider two possible ways in which symbols might be learned: by learning to predict a label from the features of objects and events in the world, and by learning to predict features from a (...) label. This analysis predicts significant differences in symbolic learning depending on the sequencing of objects and labels. We report a computational simulation and two human experiments that confirm these differences, revealing the existence of Feature-Label-Ordering effects in learning. Discrimination learning is facilitated when objects predict labels, but not when labels predict objects. Our results and analysis suggest that the semantic categories people use to understand and communicate about the world can only be learned if labels are predicted from objects. We discuss the implications of this for our understanding of the nature of language and symbolic thought, and in particular, for theories of reference. (shrink)
Concerns about exploiting the poor or economically disadvantaged in clinical research are widespread in the bioethics community. For some, any research that involves economically disadvantaged individuals is de facto ethically problematic. The economically disadvantaged are thought of as “venerable” to exploitation, impaired decision making, or both, thus requiring either special protections or complete exclusion from research. A closer examination of the worries about vulnerabilities among the economically disadvantaged reveals that some of these worries are empirically or logically untenable, while others (...) can be better resolved by improved study designs than by blanket exclusion of poorer individuals from research participation. The scientific objective to generate generalisable results and the ethical objective to fairly distribute both the risks and benefits of research oblige researchers not to unnecessarily bar economically disadvantaged subjects from clinical research participation. (shrink)
Since 1984, the idea of health equity has proliferated throughout public health discourse with little mainstream critique for its variability and distance from its original articulation signifying social transformation and a commitment to social justice. In the years since health equity’s emergence and proliferation, it has taken on a seemingly endless range of invocations and deployments, but it most often translates into proactive and apolitical discourse and practice. In Margaret Whitehead’s influential characterization, achieving health equity requires determining what is inequitable (...) by examining and judging the causes of inequalities in the context of what is going on in the rest of society. However, it also remains unclear how or if public health actors examine and judge the causes of health inequality. In this article, we take the concept of health equity itself as an object of study and consider the ways in which its widespread deployment has entailed a considerable emptying of its semantic and political content. We point toward equity’s own discursive productivity as well as the quantifying imperative embedded within evidentiary norms that govern knowledge making, and performance management regimes that govern public health practices. Under current conditions of knowledge making and performance evaluation, a range of legitimate action and inaction is produced at the same time that more socially transformative action is legitimately curtailed—not merely by politics, but by the rules of the field in which public health actors work. Ultimately, meaningful progress on a normative ethical idea like health equity will require both substantial philosophical content and an analysis of what is going on in the rest of society. (shrink)
Scholars are increasingly calling for the environmental issues of the industrial agricultural system to be addressed via eventual agroecological system-level transformation. It is critical to identify the barriers to this transition. Drawing from Henke’s theory of “repair,” we explore how farmers participate in the reproduction of the industrial system through “discursive repair,” or arguing for the continuation of the industrial agriculture system. Our empirical case relates to water pollution from nitrogen fertilizer and draws data from a sample of over 150 (...) interviews with row-crop farmers in the midwestern United States. We find that farmers defend this system by denying agriculture’s causal role and proposing the potential for within-system solutions. They perform these defenses by drawing on ideological positions and may be ultimately led to seek system maintenance because they are unable to envision an alternative to the industrial agriculture system. (shrink)
This article interrogates the persistence of critical frameworks informed by depth-models of hermeneutics, and the repercussions the equation of “depth” with meaningfulness has for the appreciation of the “shallow” aesthetics of post-classical action cinema. Oppositions such as depth/surface, body/mind, and proximity/distance associated with a hermeneutics of depth are not neutral, but rather exist in a “violent hierarchy”. This ensures that works or styles that foreground surface are automatically deemed to be meaningless. One influential example of this logic is Fredric Jameson's (...) dismissal of postmodern superficiality in favour of modernist depth. In contrast, this article will explore alternative models of postmodern superficiality. Taking up Catherine Constable's reading of Linda Hutcheon, I will endeavour to demonstrate the benefits of adopting a postmodern critical perspective when engaging with texts that resist or problematise depth-models. Through a close reading of a key se... (shrink)
Academia-intelligence agency collaborations are on the rise for a variety of reasons. These can take many forms, one of which is in the classroom, using students to stand in for intelligence analysts. Classrooms, however, are ethically complex spaces, with students considered vulnerable populations, and become even more complex when layering multiple goals, activities, tools, and stakeholders over those traditionally present. This does not necessarily mean one must shy away from academia-intelligence agency partnerships in classrooms, but that these must be conducted (...) carefully and reflexively. This paper hopes to contribute to this conversation by describing one purposeful classroom encounter that occurred between a professor, students, and intelligence practitioners in the fall of 2015 at North Carolina State University: an experiment conducted as part of a graduate-level political science class that involved students working with a prototype analytic technology, a type of participatory sensing/self-tracking device, developed by the National Security Agency. This experiment opened up the following questions that this paper will explore: What social, ethical, and pedagogical considerations arise with the deployment of a prototype intelligence technology in the college classroom, and how can they be addressed? How can academia-intelligence agency collaboration in the classroom be conducted in ways that provide benefits to all parties, while minimizing disruptions and negative consequences? This paper will discuss the experimental findings in the context of ethical perspectives involved in values in design and participatory/self-tracking data practices, and discuss lessons learned for the ethics of future academia-intelligence agency partnerships in the classroom. (shrink)
Inadequate pain control, especially in older adults, remains a significant issue when caring for this population. Older adults, many of whom experience multiple acute and chronic conditions, are especially vulnerable to having their pain seriously underassessed and inadequately treated. Nurses have an ethical obligation to appropriately treat patients’ pain. To fulfill their ethical obligation to relieve pain in older patients, nurses often need to advocate on their behalf. This article provides an overview of the persistent problem of undertreated pain in (...) older adults and explores how nurses can meet this ethical duty through the application of Beauchamp and Childress’ three principles of beneficence. (shrink)
The Avignon Pietà is to be distinguished from most earlier Pietàs. The theme of the Virgin supporting the body of her dead Son had from its earliest appearances in mediaeval art and literature been expressed in a highly emotional manner. Most often the Virgin had been imagined clutching the body of her Son as if unable to relinquish Him to the tomb, or dreaming that she held Him in her lap once more as an infant. The tone is frequently violent, (...) shrill, or morbid — whereas the Avignon Pietà exhibits an ordered restraint. At the center of the painting the hands of the Virgin, rather than holding the body of her Son, are pressed together in prayer; their axial form is repeated in the larger, similar form of her upper body, also a narrow, upright triangle. The torso of Christ is horizontal, its direction extending to include the ministering hands of the Magdalene, holding the jar of ointment, and of John, removing the Crown of Thorns. The arrangement is stable and self-contained, suggesting associations with the liturgy rather than the theater or novel istic accounts of the Passion such as that of Pseudo-Bonaventura. Less regular forms, especially the bending and shadowed face of the Virgin and the long, slanting legs and right arm of Christ, modify the character of the center; their psychic equivalent is a pathos which alters but does not disrupt the prevailing dignity, as when a liturgical ritual is informed by strong personal feeling. (shrink)
On 29 March 1744, Thomasin Grace, a 13-year-old girl, was the first inpatient admitted to the Northampton General Infirmary (later the Northampton General Hospital). Inpatient hospital diets, then and now, are mainstays of effective patient treatment. In the mid-18th century there were four prescribed diets at Northampton: ‘full’, ‘milk’, ‘dry’ and ‘low’. Previous opinions concerning these four diets were unfavourable, but had not been based upon an individual dietetic assessment. Thomasin would most likely have been given the milk diet, but (...) use of the full diet cannot be excluded. ‘Grace Everyman’ is Thomasin's modern equivalent. Under current NHS guidelines Thomasin would be considered a paediatric patient, but in 1744 she would have been considered as an adult. This study undertakes a full dietetic analysis of all the prescribed diets available for Thomasin in 1744 and compares this against random choices for Grace from the 2009 inpatient menu from the paediatric (Paddington) ward, and the adult ward inpatient menu at the Northampton General Hospital. The results show that, for Thomasin, the 1744 milk and full diets met the current advised nutritional requirements for adequate dietary intake. However, for Grace, the present 2009 Paddington and adult ward menu, although generally meeting nutritional requirements, could, if Grace or her carer consistently chose poorly during a prolonged inpatient stay, lead to inadequate nutrition. This challenges assumptions that hospital diets were historically inadequate, and that choice in present day equates with satisfactory nutritional intake. (shrink)
(1983). Children's Perception of Science: an analysis of the notion of infallibility in the coverage of evolution in ‘textbooks’ and some other teaching materials. Educational Studies: Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 93-103.