No one has the right to say what should be done to their body after deathIn my opinion any concept of property in the human body either during life or after death is biologically inaccurate and morally wrong. The body should be regarded as on loan to the individual from the biomass, to which the cadaver will inevitably return. Development of immunosuppressive drugs has resulted in the cadaver becoming a unique and invaluable resource to those who will benefit from organ (...) donation. Faced with the biological reality, the moral error of any concept of property in the body, and the quantitative failure of voluntary organ donation, I believe that the right of control over the cadaver should be vested in the state as representative of those who may benefit from organ donation.How one regards the dead human body, the cadaver, is in part governed by one’s familiarity with it. At the present time, very few people ever see a cadaver which has not in some way been altered after death, and even fewer touch, handle, deal in any way with the dead human body. In developed countries, death itself most frequently occurs away from the home, in an institution, under the supervision of professional caregivers. For most people, ideas concerning the cadaver, its nature, the proper way to deal with it, are formed under these conditions.As a pathologist specialising in forensic pathology, for 50 years I have been at the other end of the spectrum of experience. In my daily work I have been privileged to examine the cadaver in all its stages after death from the immediate postmortem moments through all the stages of decomposition to bare bones. Working in a relatively small community, I have sometimes been charged with examining the body of someone I …. (shrink)
In a large proportion of health care research based on the retrospective review of records, minimal breach of patient confidentiality appears to be inevitable. This occurs at initial identification of and access to the chart, selected on the basis of the condition under investigation, and while individual identifiability can be blocked at subsequent stages, at this point it does occur. Prospective individual consent is impractical because often neither the desirability nor the specific subject of the research is known at the (...) time of making the record, and retrospective patient tracing to obtain it is often impossible. I argue that the benefit of the research outweighs the minimal breach of confidentiality, and that in my own jurisdiction, this appears to be envisaged and accepted in Canadian law. (shrink)
In its original expression as a medical value confidentiality may have been absolute; this concept has become eroded by patient consent, legal actions and change in the climate of public opinion. In particular requirements arising out of legal statutes and common law judgements have greatly modified the confidentiality of the doctor-patient relationship in societies deriving their law from English origins. Despite this, confidentiality remains a value which the physician must strive to preserve. He cannot however do this without considering its (...) effect upon possible innocent third parties. (shrink)
The rights of the various individuals involved in decision-making in cadaver organ donation are considered, and there is discussion of the relation of human cadavers to the planetary biomass. I conclude that the rights of the potential recipient should outweigh those of the other parties concerned and that education and legislation should recognise and promote this.
The value of autonomy is generally stated to be of prime importance in relation to health care. Arising out of this, rights of the patient to and in health care have been extensively discussed and stated, and have found expression in law. There have been minimal statements of the rights of others involved in health care, such as caregivers, and minimal discussion of duties and responsibilities in relation to rights claimed and conferred. The author suggests that no claim to rights (...) in health care should now be accepted without consideration of related duties and responsibilities. (shrink)
In the language of secular bioethics, autonomy is always accorded first place in the hierarchy of values that has come to be referred to as the “Georgetown mantra” A dictionary definition of mantra is “a verbal spell, ritualistic incantation, or mystic formula used devotionally,” and the value placed upon autonomy is largely of this nature: uncritical and uncriticised. That there should be and are limits to autonomy is obvious, but these boundaries are undefined, little discussed, and mostly unexplored. To use (...) another metaphor, our emphasis on autonomy is an index of how far the pendulum has swung in an understandable and partly justifiable reaction from, earlier paternalism; has this swing approached its proper limit, and should we be seeking a less extreme and more balanced assessment of autonomy as a bioethical value? (shrink)
The Energy-Time Uncertainty (ETU) has always been a problem-ridden relation, its problems stemming uniquely from the perplexing question of how to understand this mysterious Δ t . On the face of it (and, indeed, far deeper than that), we always know what time it is. Few theorists were ignorant of the fact that time in quantum mechanics is exogenously defined, in no ways intrinsically related to the system. Time in quantum theory is an independent parameter, which simply means independently known (...) . In the early 1960s Aharonov (1961-64) and Bohm (1961-64) mounted a spirited attack against the ETU, which sealed its fate to the present date. By emphasising that time is always “well-defined” in quantum theory, they were led to the conclusion that no ETU should exist, a view shared by many in the 1990s, if Busch (1990) is to be believed. In a similar vein, I emphasize that (a) physical systems occupy a particular energy state at a particular instant of time, if at all; (b) even in absence of all time-measuring instruments, it is still trivially warranted that one can measure a system's energy as accurately as one pleases, and simply announce “The system's energy is exactly E NOW!”, a possibility which no quantum mechanics of any sort, or any physical theory whatsoever, can afford to tamper with or change, except circularly. One never loses one's own perception of time, when one measures the energy, a fact which no measurement conceivable can interfere with or affect. Both (a) and (b) uniquely entail that energy and time are compatible, if not indeed intimately interconnected, contrary to what the relevant uncertainty seems to affirm. In response to Aharonov's and Bohm's initial problem, I reinterpret ΔEΔt ≥ h , as directly derived from authentic quantum principles, without however having to assume a direct incompatibility between its related concepts, attributing their complementarity to conditions other than ordinarily assumed. (shrink)
H.B.D. Kettlewell is best known for his pioneering work on the phenomenon of industrial melanism, which began shortly after his appointment in 1951 as a Nuffield Foundation research worker in E.B. Ford's newly formed sub-department of genetics at the University of Oxford. In the years since, a legend has formed around these investigations, one that portrays them as a success story of the 'Oxford School of Ecological Genetics', emphasizes Ford's intellectual contribution, and minimizes reference to assistance provided by others. The (...) following essay reviews the important influence Ford, E.A. Cockayne, and P.M. Sheppard played in Kettlewell's research, leading up to his most famous experiments in 1953. It documents several reasons for doubting that Ford was as intellectually involved in the design of these investigations as he has previously been portrayed. It clarifies Kettlewell's intellectual contribution to the investigations for which he is famous, as well as the pivotal roles Cockayne and Sheppard played in the design, execution and interpretation of these investigations. (shrink)
P. Papini Stati Thebais et Achilleis recognovit brevique adnotatione critica instruxit H. W. Garrod collegii Mertonensis socius. E Typographeo Clarendoniano Oxonii. [1906.] Crown 8vo. Pp. xii + 396. 5s. paper, 6s. cloth.
Il Poeta e la « Polis » – Colpa e responsabilità in Wystan H. Auden est un livre absolument singulier. Il ne faut pas se fier aux apparences d’un titre qui, pour tout lecteur de Platon, résonne de manière plaisamment familière. Il ne s’agit en rien d’un commentaire de l’exclusion des poètes hors de la cité, évoquée dans l’analyse de la tyrannie au livre VIII de La République. Phénomène inhabituel dans le champ de la réflexion politique, Paolo Carta s’intéresse, en (...) tant qu’historien de la pens.. (shrink)
In Horae canonicae W. H. Auden ha messo a tema la dimensione mimetica della condizione umana. Il saggio ricostruisce in tal senso l’antropologia negativa di Auden, prendendo le mosse dall’analisi del desiderio di riconoscimento quale elemento centrale dell’identità storica. Attraverso una lettura dei motivi della folla e del doppio, e sullo sfondo del poema The Age of Anxiety e della produzione saggistica di Auden, si mostra che la «routine della lode e del biasimo» innesca meccanismi imitativi di sdoppiamento e rivalità (...) che, se da un lato anticipano le tesi di Canetti e Girard, dall’altro rinviano a una concezione mimetico-rituale e mimetico-negativa della poesia.In Horae canonicae W.H. Auden brings into focus the mimetic dimension of human condition. This essay reconstructs Auden's negative anthropology, starting from his analysis of the desire for recognition as a central feature of historical identity. Through an interpretation of the themes of the crowd and of the double, and on the background of the long poem The age of anxiety and of his literary essays, it will be shown that for Auden the «routine of praise and blame» ignites mechanisms of rivalry and doubling that, besides anticipating some ideas of Canetti and Girard, are connected with a ritual and negative mimetic conception of poetry. (shrink)
Museums are safe spaces for the objects they hold and for the persons that visit them, providing environments that can function in therapeutic ways. Within the wide range of objects, there is enough diversity to help guests discover what similarities they have with others as well as what makes them unique as individuals. Within exhibits, individuals can explore themselves through the reactions they have to particular pieces, through the observation of what holds their attention within the environment, and through the (...) awareness and development of their contemplative mind. Museums can introduce transpersonal information, add information to previous transpersonal experiences, and even promote expanded states of awareness. With direction, guests can use museums to learn about themselves, thus optimizing the therapeutic potentials of these institutions. (shrink)