The phenomenon of the New Genetics raises complex social problems, particularly those of privacy. This book offers ethical and legal perspectives on the questions of a right to know and not to know genetic information from the standpoint of individuals, their relatives, employers, insurers and the state. Graeme Laurie provides a unique definition of privacy, including a concept of property rights in the person, and argues for stronger legal protection of privacy in the shadow of developments in human genetics. (...) He challenges the role and the limits of established principles in medical law and ethics, including respect for patient autonomy and confidentiality. This book will interest lawyers, philosophers and doctors concerned both with genetic information and issues of privacy; it will also interest genetic counsellors, researchers, and policy makers worldwide for its practical stance on dilemmas in modern genetic medicine. (shrink)
: In liberal societies (where birth control is generally accepted and available), many people decide whether or not they wish to become parents. One key question in making this decision is, What kind of parent will I be? Parenting competence can be ranked from excellent to competent to poor. Cassidy argues that those who can foresee being poor parents, or even merely competent ones, should opt not to parent.
Despite the growing importance of ‘social value’ as a central feature of research ethics, the term remains both conceptually vague and to a certain extent operationally rigid. And yet, perhaps because the rhetorical appeal of social value appears immediate and self-evident, the concept has not been put to rigorous investigation in terms of its definition, strength, function, and scope. In this article, we discuss how the anthropological concept of liminality can illuminate social value and differentiate and reconfigure its variegated approaches. (...) Employing liminality as a heuristic encourages a reassessment of how we understand the mobilization of ‘social value’ in bioethics. We argue that social value as seen through the lens of liminality can provide greater clarity of its function and scope for health research. Building on calls to understand social value as a dynamic, rather than a static, concept, we emphasize the need to appraise social value iteratively throughout the entire research as something that transforms over multiple times and across multiple spaces occupied by a range of actors. (shrink)
This article argues for the importance of conceptual clarity in the debate about the so-called right not to know. This is vital both at the theoretical and the practical level. It is suggested that, unlike many formulations and attempts to give effect to this right, what is at stake is not merely an aspect of personal autonomy and therefore cannot and should not be reduced only to a question of individual choice. Rather, it is argued that the core interests that (...) can be protected by the right not to know are better conceived of as privacy interests rather than autonomy interests. This not only helps us to understand what is in play but also informs regulatory, professional, and legal responses to handling information and taking decisions about whether or not to disclose information to persons about themselves. The practical implications of this conceptualization are explored in the context of feedback policies in health-related research. (shrink)
This article is primarily a study of the group selection controversy, with special emphasis on the period from 1962 to the present, and the rise of inclusive fitness theory. Interest is focused on the relations between individual fitness theory and other fitness theories and on the methodological imperatives used in the controversy over the status of these theories. An appendix formalizes the notion of "assertive part" which is used in the informal discussion of the methodological imperatives elicited from the controversy.
On March 14-15, 2006, at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD there took place the first Upper Ontology Summit (UOS). This was a convening of custodians of several prominent upper ontologies, key technology participants, and interested other parties, with the purpose of finding a means to relate the different ontologies to each other. The result is reflected in a joint communiqué, directed to the larger ontology community and the general public, and expressing a joint (...) intent to build bridges among the existing upper ontologies in ways designed to increase and rationalize their utilization and to enhance their semantic interoperability. (shrink)
Re-consent in research, the asking for a new consent if there is a change in protocol or to confirm the expectations of participants in case of change, is an under-explored issue. There is little clarity as to what changes should trigger re-consent and what impact a re-consent exercise has on participants and the research project. This article examines applicable policy statements and literature for the prevailing arguments for and against re-consent in relation to longitudinal cohort studies, tissue banks and biobanks. (...) Examples of re-consent exercises are presented, triggers and non-triggers for re-consent discussed and the conflicting attitudes of commentators, participants and researchers highlighted. We acknowledge current practice and argue for a greater emphasis on ‘responsive autonomy,’ that goes beyond a one-time consent and encourages greater communication between the parties involved. A balance is needed between respecting participants' wishes on how they want their data and samples used and enabling effective research to proceed. (shrink)
Based on fieldwork in Newmarket, England, and Kentucky, this paper examines the acts of looking that take place at international thoroughbred horse auctions. Racehorse caretakers employ bloodstock agents to select the yearling thoroughbred who will make the best racehorse as a 2-year-old and, hopefully, successful stallion or broodmare after retiring from the track as a 4- or 5-year old. The paper assesses the criteria used to assess yearlings: pedigree, conformation, and "that something extra."The paper concludes that the ambiguous status of (...) the bloodstock agent derives from the liminal task the agent performs, communicating with a young, nonhuman animal to discover the animal's essential properties. Selecting yearlings depends upon a process of divination that mitigates against the characterization of western thought as "rational" and opposed to decision-making processes conventionally thought of as "non-normal" or irrational. (shrink)
This pedagogical study analyzes and attempts to solve some difficulties of teaching Immanuel Kant’s Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. Even though there are obstacles to teaching Kant’s ethics, I argue that active learning techniques can overcome such obstacles. The active learning approach holds that students learn better by doing (in hands-on exercises) than just by listening (to a professor’s lectures). Twelve lesson plans are outlined in this article. The lesson plans are activities to explore and learn, then evaluate, and (...) finally reflect and review Kant’s ethics. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to describe the extent to which nurses perceive the ethical dimensions of clinical practice situations involving patients, families and health care professionals. Using the composite theory of basic moral principles and the professional standard of care established by legal custom as a framework, situations involving ethical dilemmas were gleaned from the nursing literature. They were reviewed for content validity, clarity and representativeness in a two-stage process by expert panels. The situations were presented in a (...) written format to a convenience sample of nurses (n = 125), who were primarily staff nurses (65.6%). Respondents' judgements about whether the main issue of each situation concerned ethics ranged from a low of 0.8% to a high of 40%. From analyses of the categories into which the majority of subjects placed each situation, it was concluded that these nurses generally perceived ethics as the main issue in situations that directly involve patients' autonomy. Analysis yielded unanticipated findings about the themes in ethical situations to which nurses in practice may respond. (shrink)
This paper suggests that the stories that thoroughbred breeders tell about racehorse reproduction can contribute to an understanding of their ideas about relatedness between humans. It examines the thoroughbred pedigree as it is presented in the English sales catalogue as a locus of complex ideas about heredity, fertility, and procreation. It argues that resistance within the industry to new reproductive technologies, including artificial insemination, can be understood in terms of ideas about relatedness between horses and, by implication, between people.This paper (...) is based upon extensive participant observation conducted within the horseracing industry based in the town of Newmarket, England. (shrink)
Dr Andorno and I have corresponded for some time on the question of a right not to know information. I enjoyed reading his paper and I am struck by the degree of agreement that we share. We both agree—for example, that unsolicited knowledge can be a burden which can significantly compromise an individual’s psychological integrity. We both share a desire to respect individual self determination. Also we each consider it reasonable for individuals to choose not to receive potentially harmful information. (...) I have already made these arguments, and more, elsewhere,1 but my starting point has not been autonomy, as advocated by Andorno, but rather privacy. In essence, my argument is that individuals enjoy, and are entitled to enjoy, a measure of psychological privacy which can be invaded by unwarranted disclosures of information.The reason that I prefer privacy to autonomy is not because I have any wish to “deny people the right to self determination”2 but rather because I perceive deficiencies in the autonomy model. Indeed, my approach and that of Andorno are not mutually exclusive; it is simply that my approach is broader and encompasses some of the harder cases which an autonomy based approach cannot help us to resolve. Thus, most of the substance of Andorno’s approach is subsumed within my model. I have—for example, no disagreement whatsoever with the view that if you have an indication that an individual would not wish to know then this wish should be respected. One might even establish novel means of discerning individuals’ wishes by establishing a register to record advance refusals, as Andorno …. (shrink)
We attempt in this paper to define a new field of study for philosophy: philosophy of management. We briefly speculate why the interest some managers and management writers take in philosophy has been so link reciprocated and why it needs to be. Then we suggest the scope of this new branch of philosophy andhow it relates to and overlaps with other branches. We summarise some key matters philosophers of management should concern themselves with and pursue one in some detail. We (...) conclude with an invitation. (shrink)
Martha Nussbaum is one of the most prolific and distinguished philosophers in the English-speaking world. Since 1995 she has been Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago appointed in the Law School, Philosophy Department and Divinity School. She is an Associate in the Classics Department and the Political Science Department, an Affiliate of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, a Board Member of the Human Rights Program and founder and Coordinator of a new (...) Center for Comparative Constitutionalism. The Center aims to study the social forces that affect theimplementation of constitutional rights, especially for disadvantaged groups. She visits feminists in India each year to research the activities of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the problems of poor women in different countries. In Delhi she has worked with the UN Development Programme on a project on gender and governance, and has also worked with The Lawyer’s Collective, an activist group in Delhi working on women’s rights.Born in 1947, she has taught at Harvard, Brown, and Oxford Universities and from 1986 to 1993 was a research advisor at the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) in Helsinki, a part of the United Nations University. At WIDER she worked with Amartya Sen on defining ways of measuring the quality of life, a project which combined philosophy with development economics. She has chaired the Committee on International Cooperation and the Committee on the Status of Women of the American Philosophical Association, been a member of the Association’s National Board, and (in 2000) President ofits Central Division; she has also been a member of the Council of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies. She received the Brandeis Creative Arts Award in Non-Fiction for 1990, and the PEN Spielvogel-Diamondstein Award for the best collection of essays in 1991. Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education (1997) won the Ness Book Award of the Association of American Colleges and Universities in 1998 and the Grawemeyer Prize for Education in 2002, and Sex and Social Justice (1998) won the book award of the North American Society for Social Philosophy in 2000. Her other books are: Aristotle’s De Motu Animalium (1978), The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy (1986), Love’s Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature (1990), The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics (1994), Poetic Justice: The Literary Imagination in Public Life (1996), For Love of Country (1996), Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach (2000) and Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions (2001). Among her ten edited volumes are The Quality of Life (with Amartya Sen) 1993; Women, Culture, and Development (with Jonathan Glover) 1995; Sex, Preference, and Family (with David Estlund) 1997, and Sexual Orientation and Human Rights in American Religious Traditions (with Saul Olyan) 1998. A dialogue called Emotions as Judgments of Value was staged as a play in Stockholm in 1999 and she has a contract to write a book on the genre of the philosophical dialogue for Harvard University Press.Her current work in progress includes Hiding From Humanity: Disgust and Shame in the Law (the Remarque Lectures delivered at New York University in 2001) and The Cosmopolitan Tradition (the Castle Lectures delivered at Yale University in 2000). In 2002 she delivered the Tanner Lectures at Australian National University in Canberra, under the title Beyond the Social Contract: Toward Global Justice; she also gave Tanner lectures on the same theme in Cambridge, England, in March, 2003. She has received numerous honorary degrees and is an Academician in the Academy of Finland. (shrink)
Catholic business schools may better fulfill their religious mission by integrating Catholic social ethics into the business curriculum. But doing so presents a challenge to many business instructors who are unfamiliar with the Catholic ethical tradition. The purpose of this paper is to helpovercome this difficulty by describing a pedagogy the author has used successfully to integrate Catholic social ethics into the business ethics course. The pedagogy utilizes the Model of Integrated Course Design, the Method of Shared Inquiry, and a (...) model of moral behavior grounded in the student’s worldview. This framework makes plausible a learning goal of increasing not only students’ moral awareness and moral reasoning, but their moral motivation as well—a goal particularly appropriate to a Catholic management education. Attitudes of students toward the course are examined and implications drawn for implementing it in the curriculum. (shrink)
A critical issue facing the criminal justice system today is how best to promote ethical behavior by public prosecutors. The legal profession has left much of a prosecutor’s day-to-day activity unregulated, in favor of a general, catch-all admonition to “seek justice.” In this article the author argues that professional norms are truly functional only if those working with a given ethical framework recognize the system’s implicit dependence on character. A code of professional conduct in which this dependence is not recognized (...) is both contentless and corrupting. Building on the ethics of Aristotle and modern philosophers Alasdair MacIntyre and Bernard Williams, the author argues that virtue theory can help bridge the gaps in prosecutorial ethics where other forms of moral reasoning fail. The author analyzes three especially difficult ethical problems frequently confronted by prosecutors in the field. He demonstrates not only that the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the ABA Criminal Justice Standards fail to answer any of these complex questions, but also that future attempts to more closely regulate how prosecutors should act in any of these nuanced situations are unlikely to succeed. The author argues that honesty, fairness, courage, and prudence are the primary virtues that citizens have a right to expect of their public prosecutors. He then demonstrates how these four key virtues might provide important guidance to conscientious prosecutors striving to do what is right. The author concludes by offering several insights into how the field of virtue ethics might inform both the structure and organization of government law offices, and the manner in which individual prosecutors working within these offices might perceive and fulfill their professional roles. (shrink)
Although written consent forms are standard in clinical research, there is little regulatory or empirical guidance regarding how to most effectively review consent forms with potential participants. We developed an algorithm for embedding five questions with corrective feedback while reading consent forms with potential participants, and then applied it in the context of seven clinical research studies. A substantial proportion of participants within each protocol displayed initially inadequate responses to at least one question, but after the protocol elements were explained (...) again, most people demonstrated adequate understanding of them. These data illustrate the need for more attention not just to the content of consent forms, but also to the manner in which the forms are incorporated into the consent process. Embedding explicit inquiries about key protocol elements during consent form review and giving corrective feedback appears to be a simple yet effective way to foster better understanding of disclosed information. (shrink)
There is a presumption that it is the philosophers who know the truth, and the business people who need to be told it. However, business is a unique phenomenon. At no time in human history has anything quite like this been seen before. Unreflective or no, crises or no, poverty or no, something works in this system.
The act/omission distinction is used throughout Western legal systems, and indeed elsewhere, to police the boundaries between acceptable medical practice and unacceptable interventions designed to bring about the death of patients. Without exception, it has proved impossible to maintain the distinction with any clarity. In the United Kingdom, for example, it is lawful both to withhold and to withdraw from a patient treatment that the medical ….
This article provides a philosophical account of love in relation to contemporary Marxist and post-structuralist conceptions of politics. Shifting the emphasis away from both the ontological question, “what is love?,” and the epistemological question, “how do we acquire certainty about love?,” this article advances a pedagogical question: how might love enable us to learn? To answer this question we turn to the work of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. After examining the tensions between ontological (...) and ideological conceptions of love, we explore Hardt and Negri’s work on love as part of the affective labour of the “multitude.” We then trace the development of Deleuze’s early work on love as an apprenticeship to signs to his later exploration of love in relation to multiplicity. In doing so, this article seeks to renovate the concept of love itself, framing it in terms of difference rather than merging and unity, and locating it outside the confines of the heterosexual couple and nuclear family. (shrink)
Totemism, a topic that fascinated and then was summarily dismissed by anthropologists, has been resurrected by evolutionary psychologists' recent attempts to explain religion. New approaches to religion are all based on the assumption that religious behavior is the result of evolved psychological mechanisms. We focus on two aspects of Totemism that may present challenges to this view. First, if religious behavior is simply the result of evolved psychological mechanisms, would it not spring forth anew each generation from an individual's psychological (...) mechanisms? Yet, Australian Totemism, like other forms of Totemism, is profoundly traditional, copied by one generation from the prior ones for hundreds of generations. Regardless of personal inclinations, individuals are obligated to participate. Second, it is problematic to assume that all practitioners of Totemism actually believe their religious claims. We propose an alternative explanation that accounts for the persistence of Totemism and that does not rely on an assumption that its practitioners are preliterate or naive because they have strange beliefs. We focus on Totemism as a cultural mechanism aimed at building and sustaining social relationships among close and distant kinsmen. (shrink)