This article examines Shiao, Bode, Beyer, and Selvig’s (2012) arguments in their article “The Genomic Challenge to the Social Construction of Race” and finds that their claims are based on fundamentally flawed interpretations of current genetic research. We discuss current genomic and genetic knowledge about human biological variation to demonstrate why and how Shiao et al.’s recommendations for future sociological studies and social policy, based on their inadequate understanding of genomic methods and evidence, are similarly flawed and will lead sociology (...) astray. (shrink)
The Clinical Ethics Credentialing Project (CECP) was intiated in 2007 in response to the lack of uniform standards for both the training of clinical ethics consultants, and for evaluating their work as consultants. CECP participants, all practicing clinical ethics consultants, met monthly to apply a standard evaluation instrument, the “QI tool”, to their consultation notes. This paper describes, from a qualitative perspective, how participants grappled with applying standards to their work. Although the process was marked by resistance and disagreement, it (...) was also noteworthy for the sustained engagement by participants over the year of the project, and a high level of acceptance by its conclusion. (shrink)
Deborah Boyle's book is a splendid addition to the literature on the philosophy of Margaret Cavendish. It provides an overview of Cavendish's philosophical work, from her panpsychist materialism, through her views about human motivation and general political philosophy, to views about gender, health, and humans' relation to the rest of the natural world. Boyle emphasizes themes of order and regularity, but does not argue that there is a strong systematic connection between Cavendish's views. Indeed, she makes a point of (...) noting the different ways in which the themes of order and regularity work in different areas of Cavendish's philosophy.The early chapters consider Cavendish's natural philosophy.... (shrink)
During the past decade there has been a very effective campaign against any explanation of remembering whose basic concept is that of a causally mediating trace. This paper attempts to provide such an explanation by presenting an explicit deductive argument for the existence of the memory trace. The conclusion is shown to follow from reasonable, empirical assumptions of which the most interesting is a spatiotemporal contiguity thesis. Set-theoretic techniques are used to provide a framework of analysis and probabilistic definitions of (...) some causal notions, as that of a causal chain, are presented. (shrink)
A view of inequality as a relationship between the advantaged and the disadvantaged has gained considerable currency in psychological research. However, the implications of this view for theories and interventions designed to reduce inequality remain largely unexplored. Drawing on the literature on close relationships, we identify several key features that a relational theory of social change should include.
This paper attempts to set up a probabilistic framework for understanding the notion of causal necessity. What results is a relaxed and relativized probabilistic theory of epsilon-Causal necessity and an explicit attempt to avoid deterministic assumptions. The theory developed emphasizes the notions of partial cause, Causal contribution, And the degree of contribution. Implications for causal overdetermination, Causal preemption, And causal discourse are discussed.
BackgroundInnovations in technology have contributed to rapid changes in the way that modern biomedical research is carried out. Researchers are increasingly required to endorse adaptive and flexible approaches to accommodate these innovations and comply with ethical, legal and regulatory requirements. This paper explores how Dynamic Consent may provide solutions to address challenges encountered when researchers invite individuals to participate in research and follow them up over time in a continuously changing environment.MethodsAn interdisciplinary workshop jointly organised by the University of Oxford (...) and the COST Action CHIP ME gathered clinicians, researchers, ethicists, lawyers, research participants and patient representatives to discuss experiences of using Dynamic Consent, and how such use may facilitate the conduct of specific research tasks. The data collected during the workshop were analysed using a content analysis approach.ResultsDynamic Consent can provide practical, sustainable and future-proof solutions to challenges related to participant recruitment, the attainment of informed consent, participant retention and consent management, and may bring economic efficiencies.ConclusionsDynamic Consent offers opportunities for ongoing communication between researchers and research participants that can positively impact research. Dynamic Consent supports inter-sector, cross-border approaches and large scale data-sharing. Whilst it is relatively easy to set up and maintain, its implementation will require that researchers re-consider their relationship with research participants and adopt new procedures. (shrink)
Much of the legal literature discusses regulation and regulatory forms with a seemingly implicit assumption that "those to be influenced" are inherently self-interested and thus motivated to comply with legal structures only when there are sufficient external incentives to do so. This view of the person is inconsistent with recent perspectives in the field of psychology. A law and morality perspective, coupled with insights from the field of psychology, asserts that influence, compliance, and motivation are far more complex than this (...) legal literature would suggest. In this Article, we map the varying influence structures, motives, psychological needs, emotional mechanisms, and levels of moral reasoning that various forms of regulation, from hard law to soft law, might appeal to. We provide examples from global banking and one soft law initiative, the Equator Principles, to illustrate reasons psychology would suggest why soft law may be more effective in some circumstances in influencing behavior within the firm than hard law, while recognizing important limits to such influence. (shrink)
Cell line immortalisation is a growing component of African genomics research and biobanking. However, little is known about the factors influencing consent to cell line creation and immortalisation in African research settings. We contribute to addressing this gap by exploring three questions in a sample of Xhosa participants recruited for a South African psychiatric genomics study: First, what proportion of participants consented to cell line storage? Second, what were predictors of this consent? Third, what questions were raised by participants during (...) this consent process? 760 Xhose people with schizophrenia and 760 controls were matched to sex, age, level of education and recruitment region. We used descriptive statistics to determine the proportion of participants who consented to cell line creation and immortalization. Logistic regression methods were used to examine the predictors of consent. Reflections from study recruiters were elicited and discussed to identify key questions raised by participants about consent. Approximately 40% of participants consented to cell line storage. The recruiter who sought consent was a strong predictor of participant’s consent. Participants recruited from the South African Eastern Cape, and older participants, were more likely to consent; both these groups were more likely to hold traditional Xhosa values. Neither illness nor education were significant predictors of consent. Key questions raised by participants included two broad themes: clarification of what cell immortalisation means, and issues around individual and community benefit. These findings provide guidance on the proportion of participants likely to consent to cell line immortalisation in genomics research in Africa, and reinforce the important and influential role that study recruiters play during seeking of this consent. Our results reinforce the cultural and contextual factors underpinning consent choices, particularly around sharing and reciprocity. Finally, these results provide support for the growing literature challenging the stigmatizing perception that people with severe mental illness are overly vulnerable as a target group for heath research and specifically genomics studies. (shrink)
This article constitutes excerpts of a videotaped discussion hosted by the New England Journal of Medicine on January 14, 2008, concerning a range of topics on lethal injection prompted by the United States Supreme Court's January 7 oral arguments in Baze v. Rees. Dr. Atul Gawande moderated the roundtable that included two anesthesiologists - Dr. Robert Truog and Dr. David Waisel - as well as law professor Deborah Denno. The discussion focused on the drugs used in lethal injection executions, (...) whether physicians should participate, potential alternatives, and some of the legal parameters of Baze. (shrink)
Data are lacking with regard to participants' perspectives on return of genetic research results to relatives, including after the participant's death. This paper reports descriptive results from 3,630 survey respondents: 464 participants in a pancreatic cancer biobank, 1,439 family registry participants, and 1,727 healthy individuals. Our findings indicate that most participants would feel obligated to share their results with blood relatives while alive and would want results to be shared with relatives after their death.
Deborah J. Brown - Descartes as a Moral Thinker: Christianity, Technology, Nihilism - Journal of the History of Philosophy 46:1 Journal of the History of Philosophy 46.1 173-175 Muse Search Journals This Journal Contents Reviewed by Deborah Brown University of Queensland Gary Steiner. Descartes as a Moral Thinker: Christianity, Technology, Nihilism. JHP Book Series. Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 2004. Pp. 352. Cloth, $60.00. This work takes as its starting point the need to ground Descartes's moral philosophy in something (...) more fundamental than human reason. Finding inspiration in Heidegger's lament, "In what soil do the roots of tree of philosophy find their support?" , Steiner proceeds to ground the "concrete content and absolute authority" of Descartes's moral principles in his Christian faith . This is a book with a mission: to keep the secularizing readers of Descartes's philosophy from the Church door. It stands as an important reminder that in understanding Descartes we cannot ignore his theology and achieves this goal in a lucid and erudite fashion. But the central tenet of the book—that Descartes subordinated much of his thinking about morals to the authority of religion—is, in my view, fundamentally mistaken. Steiner's Descartes is the pivotal transitional figure between the orthodox Christianity of the late scholastic period and the secular modernism of.. (shrink)
Though John Ruskin is remembered principally for his work as a theorist, art critic and historian of visual culture, he wrote exhaustively about his health in his correspondence and diaries. Ruskin was prone to recurring depressive and hypochondriacal feelings in his youth and adulthood. In 1871, at the age of 52 years, he developed an illness with relapsing psychiatric and neurological features. He had a series of attacks of brain disturbance, and a deterioration of his mental faculties affected his writing (...) for years before curtailing his career a decade before he died. Previous writers have suggested he had a psychiatric malady, perhaps schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. But the more obvious conclusion from a close medical reading of Ruskin’s descriptions of his illness is he had some sort of ‘organic’ brain illness. This paper aims to give insight into the relationship between Ruskin’s state of well-being and the features of his writing through a palaeographical study of his letters and diary entries. We examine the handwriting for physical traces of Ruskin’s major brain illness, guided by the historical narrative of the illness. We also examine Ruskin’s recording of his experiences for what they reveal about the failure of his health and its impact on his work. Ruskin’s handwriting does not have clear-cut pathological features before around 1885, though suggestions of subtle writing deficits were present as early as 1876. After 1887, Ruskin’s handwriting shows fixed pathological signs—tremor, disturbed letter formation and features that reflect a slow and laborious process of writing. These observations are more than could be explained by normal ageing, and suggest the presence of a neurological deficit affecting writing control. Our findings are consistent with conclusions that we drew from the historical record—that John Ruskin had an organic neurological disorder with cognitive, behavioural, psychiatric and motor effects. (shrink)