Objective Recent legislation mandating the inclusion of children in clinical trials has resulted in an increase in the number of children participating in research. We reviewed the literature regarding the reasons parents chose to accept or decline an invitation to enrol their children in clinical research. Methods We searched for qualitative studies, written in the English language that considered the experiences of parents who had been invited to enrol their children in research. SCOPUS and Web of Knowledge electronic databases and (...) reference lists of retrieved articles and review papers were searched. Retrieved articles were synthesised using the narrative synthesis method. Results 16 qualitative studies exploring the experiences of parents living in five countries whose children had a range of health conditions of varying severity were included. The health status of the child appeared to influence parents' reasons for participation. Parents whose children had life threatening conditions often considered they had no choice but to participate and many welcomed the innovation offered through research participation. Such parents also viewed the risks of research less negatively than those whose children were healthy or in the stable stage of a chronic condition. This raises questions regarding the voluntariness of informed consent by such parents. Conclusions A tailored approach is needed when discussing research participation with parents of eligible children. While parents of healthy children may be more open to discussions of altruism, those whose children have life threatening illnesses should be given adequate information about the alternatives to, and risks of, research participation. (shrink)
This essay argues that scientific discourse is amenable to interpretation and assessment from the perspective of the narrative paradigm and its attendant logic, narrative rationality. It also contends that this logic entails a revised conception of knowledge, one that permits the possibility of wisdom. The text analyzed is James D. Watson and Francis H. Crick's proposal of the double helix model of DNA.
What is the relationship between biotechnology employees’ beliefs about the moral outcomes of a controversial transgenic research project and their attitudes of acceptance towards the project? To answer this question, employees (n=466) of a New Zealand company, AgResearch Ltd., were surveyed regarding a project to create transgenic cattle containing a synthetic copy of the human myelin basic protein gene (hMBP). Although diversity existed amongst employees’ attitudes of acceptance, they were generally: in favor of the project, believed that it should be (...) allowed to proceed to completion, and that it is acceptable to use transgenic cattle to produce medicines for humans. These three items were aggregated to form a project acceptance score. Scales were developed to measure respondents’ beliefs about the moral outcomes of the project for identified stakeholders in terms of the four principles of common morality (benefit, non-harm, justice, and autonomy). These data were statistically aggregated into an Ethical Valence Matrix for the project. The respondents’ project Ethical Valence Scores correlated significantly with their project acceptance scores (r=0.64, p<0.001), accounting for 41% of the variance in respondents’ acceptance attitudes. Of the four principles, non-harm had the strongest correlation with attitude to the project (r=0.59), followed by benefit and justice (both r=0.54), then autonomy (r=0.44). These results indicate that beliefs about the moral outcomes of a research project, in terms of the four principles approach, are strongly related to, and may be significant determinants of, attitudes to the research project. This suggests that, for employees of a biotechnology organization, ethical reasoning could be a central mechanism for the evaluation of the acceptability of a project. We propose that the Ethical Valence Matrix may be used as a tool to measure ethical attitudes towards controversial issues, providing a metric for comparison of perceived ethical consequences for multiple stakeholder groups and for the evaluation and comparison of the ethical consequences of competing alternative issues or projects. The tool could be used to measure both public and special interest groups’ ethical attitudes and results used for the development of socially responsible policy or by science organizations as a democratizing decision aid to selection amongst projects competing for scarce research funds. (shrink)
The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated stressors have impacted the daily lives and sleeping patterns of many individuals, including university students. Dreams may provide insight into how the mind processes changing realities; dreams not only allow consolidation of new information, but may give the opportunity to creatively “play out” low-risk, hypothetical threat simulations. While there are studies that analyze dreams in high-stress situations, little is known of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted dreams of university students. The aim of this (...) study was to explore how the dream content of students was affected during the university COVID-19 lockdown period. Using online survey methods, we analyzed dream recall content using the Hall-Van de Castle dream coding system and Fisher's exact tests for sex comparisons. Preliminary results indicate that female students experienced more nightmares as compared to male students. Dream analysis found that, relative to normative American College Student samples generated pre-COVID-19, women were more likely to experience aggressive interactions in their dream content, including increased physical aggression. Results indicate that university students did experience changes in dream content due to the pandemic lockdown period, with women disproportionally affected. These findings can aid universities in developing support programs for students by bringing forth an understanding of students' concerns and anxieties as they process the “new normal” of social distancing. (shrink)
The concept of freedom is one which Hegel thought of very great importance; indeed, he believed that it is the central concept in human history. ‘Mind is free’, he wrote, ‘and to actualise this, its essence – to achieve this excellence – is the endeavour of the worldmind in world-history’ . Those who already have an interest in Hegel will doubtless be interested in his views on a topic which he thought so important; on the other hand, the many philosophers (...) who are either indifferent to or hostile to Hegel may point out that it does not follow that, because the subject of freedom interested Hegel, his views about this subject are of general interest. It will be the aim of this paper to show that they are of general interest; in the meantime, it may be recalled that Isaiah Berlin has argued that Hegel's concept of freedom is one of a type, called by him the concept of positive freedom, which is ‘at the heart of many of the nationalist, communist, authoritarian and totalitarian creeds of our day’. It will surely be worth while to see to what extent this is true of Hegel, and to what extent Hegel's views about freedom are true. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with two theories of history—those of Hegel and of Marx. Its primary aim is to clarify. The writings of Hegel are notoriously obscure, and those of Marx have been variously interpreted, so there is room for a paper which tries to ensure that when the theories of history propounded by Marx and Hegel are criticized, what are criticized are views which they actually held. It is no part of this paper's thesis that, in his theory of (...) history, Marx consciously borrowed from Hegel. But it will be argued that there is more of Hegel in Marx than is sometimes supposed, and that if this fact is ignored one seriously distorts Marx. (shrink)
Properties sometimes attributed to the “particle” aspect of a neutron, e.g., mass and magnetic moment, cannot straightforwardly be regarded in the Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics as localized at the hypothetical position of the particle. This is shown by examining a series of effects in neutron interferometry. A related thought-experiment also provides a variation of a recent demonstration that which-way detectors can appear to behave anomolously in the Bohm theory.
J. S. Bell's classic 1966 review paper on the foundations of quantum mechanics led directly to the Bell nonlocality theorem. It is not widely appreciated that the review paper contained the basic ingredients needed for a nonlocality result which holds in certain situations where the Bell inequality is not violated. We present in this paper a systematic formulation and evaluation of an argument due to Stairs in 1983, which establishes a nonlocality result based on the Bell-Kochen-Specker “paradox” in quantum mechanics.
The astute manger should be aware that, in organizations, the deck is frequently ‘stacked’ against higher levels of ethical behavior. This deck stacking occurs because of socialization processes, environmental influences, and the organization hierarchy. As a result of bosses using hierarchical leverage to take the ethical dimension of decision-making away from subordinates, the stage is set for a they-made-me-do-it defense of their moral integrity by these subordinates if and when violations of ethical norms come to light. There is also at (...) work, however, an I-made-them-do-it situation in which professionals who prefer to ‘nest’ in the more technical aspects of their work ‘delegate’ — upward — to their bosses ethical decision-making. Understanding these dynamics is crucial in an age which is especially sensitized to the ethical facet of organizational behavior. (shrink)