Responding to recent concerns about the reliability of the published literature in psychology and other disciplines, we formed the X-Phi Replicability Project to estimate the reproducibility of experimental philosophy. Drawing on a representative sample of 40 x-phi studies published between 2003 and 2015, we enlisted 20 research teams across 8 countries to conduct a high-quality replication of each study in order to compare the results to the original published findings. We found that x-phi studies – as represented in our sample (...) – successfully replicated about 70% of the time. We discuss possible reasons for this relatively high replication rate in the field of experimental philosophy and offer suggestions for best research practices going forward. (shrink)
Some societies tolerate or encourage high levels of chickenpox infection among children to reduce rates of shingles among older adults. This tradeoff is unethical. The varicella zoster virus (VZV) causes both chickenpox and shingles. After people recover from chickenpox, VZV remains in their nerve cells. If their immune systems become unable to suppress the virus, they develop shingles. According to the Exogenous Boosting Hypothesis (EBH), a person’s ability to keep VZV suppressed can be ‘boosted’ through exposure to active chickenpox infections. (...) We argue that even if this hypothesis were true, immunization policies that discourage routine childhood varicella vaccination in order to prevent shingles for other people are unethical. Such policies harm children and treat them as mere means for the benefit of others, and are inconsistent with how parents should treat their children and physicians should treat their patients. These policies also seem incompatible with institutional transparency. (shrink)
The paper attempts to explore the implications of Kant's moral criticism of suicide in the case of euthanasia. The paper argues that since Kant's criticism of suicide is essentially directed towards rational beings who are in full control of their rational faculty. It would hence not be applicable in case of individuals who are suffering from dementia and who have expressed a prior desire to be euthanized in such a scenario.
In a recent paper published in this journal, Giubilini, Douglas and Savulescu argue that we have given insufficient weight to the moral importance of fairness in our account of the best policies for non-medical exemptions to childhood immunization requirements. They advocate for a type of policy they call Contribution, according to which parents must contribute to important public health goods before their children can receive NMEs to immunization requirements. In this response, we argue that Giubilini, Douglas and Savulescu give insufficient (...) weight to the moral importance parental liberty in ways that count against their preferred type of NMEs policy and threaten public support for mandatory vaccination laws and public health initiatives generally. (shrink)
Parents in the US and other societies are increasingly refusing to vaccinate their children, even though popular anti-vaccine myths – e.g. ‘vaccines cause autism’ – have been debunked. This book explains the epistemic and moral failures that lead some parents to refuse to vaccinate their children. First, some parents have good reasons not to defer to the expertise of physicians, and to rely instead upon their own judgments about how to care for their children. Unfortunately, epistemic self-reliance systematically distorts beliefs (...) in areas of inquiry in which expertise is required. Second, vaccine refusers and mainstream medical authorities are often committed to different values surrounding health and safety. For example, while vaccine advocates stress that vaccines have low rates of serious complications, vaccine refusers often resist vaccination because it is ‘unnatural’ and because they view vaccine-preventable diseases as a ‘natural’ part of childhood. Finally, parents who refuse vaccines rightly resist the utilitarian moral arguments – ‘for the greater good’ – that vaccine advocates sometimes make. Unfortunately, vaccine refusers also sometimes embrace a pernicious hyper-individualism that sanctions free-riding on herd immunity and that cultivates indifference to the interpersonal and social harms that unvaccinated persons may cause. (shrink)
Two new documents from the Committee on Bioethics of the American Academy of Pediatrics expand the terrain for parental decision making, suggesting that pediatricians may override only those parental requests that cross a harm threshold. These new documents introduce a broader set of considerations in favor of parental authority in pediatric care than previous AAP documents have embraced. While we find this to be a positive move, we argue that the 2016 AAP positions actually understate the importance of informed and (...) voluntary parental involvement in pediatric decision making. This article provides a more expansive account of the value of parental permission. In particular, we suggest that an expansive role for parental permission may reveal facts and values relevant to their child's treatment, encourage resistance to suboptimal default practices, improve adherence to treatment, nurture children's autonomy, and promote the interests of other family members. (shrink)
Political communities across the world have recently sought to tackle rising rates of vaccine hesitancy and refusal, by implementing coercive immunization programs, or by making existing immunization programs more coercive. Many academics and advocates of public health have applauded these policy developments, and they have invoked ethical reasons for implementing or strengthening vaccine mandates. Others have criticized these policies on ethical grounds, for undermining liberty, and as symptoms of broader government overreach. But such arguments often obscure or abstract away from (...) the diverse values that are relevant to the ethical justifications of particular political communities’ vaccine‐mandate policies. We argue for an expansive conception of the normative issues relevant to deciding whether and how to establish or reform vaccine mandates, and we propose a schema by which to organize our thoughts about the ways in which different kinds of vaccine‐mandate policies implicate various values. (shrink)
When a patient lacks decision-making capacity, then according to standard clinical ethics practice in the United States, the health care team should seek guidance from a surrogate decision-maker, either previously selected by the patient or appointed by the courts. If there are no surrogates willing or able to exercise substituted judgment, then the team is to choose interventions that promote a patient’s best interests. We argue that, even when there is input from a surrogate, patient preferences should be an additional (...) source of guidance for decisions about patients who lack decision-making capacity. (shrink)
I argue that a parental prerogative to sometimes prioritize the interests of one’s children over the interests of others is insufficient to make the parental refusal of routine childhood vaccines morally permissible. This is because the moral permissibility of vaccine refusal follows from such a parental prerogative only if the only (weighty) moral reason in favor of vaccination is that vaccination is a means for promoting the interests of others. However, there are two additional weighty moral reasons in favor of (...) routine vaccination: fairness and concern for the vulnerable. These moral reasons in favor of vaccination are not defeated by a parental prerogative to prioritize the interests of one’s children over the interests of others. (shrink)
Techniques from behavioral economics—nudges—may help physicians increase pediatric vaccine compliance, but critics have objected that nudges can undermine autonomy. Since autonomy is a centrally important value in healthcare decision-making contexts, it counts against pediatric vaccination nudges if they undermine parental autonomy. Advocates for healthcare nudges have resisted the charge that nudges undermine autonomy, and the recent bioethics literature illustrates the current intractability of this debate. This article rejects a principle to which parties on both sides of this debate sometimes seem (...) committed: that nudges are morally permissible only if they are consistent with autonomy. Instead, I argue that, at least in the case of pediatric vaccination, some autonomy-undermining nudges may be morally justified. This is because parental autonomy in pediatric decision-making is not as morally valuable as the autonomy of adult patients, and because the interests of both the vaccinated child and other members of the community can sometimes be weighty enough to justify autonomy-infringing pediatric vaccination nudges. This article concludes with a set of worries about the effect of pediatric vaccination nudges on parent-physician relationships, and it calls on the American Academy of Pediatrics to draw on scientific and bioethics research to develop guidelines for the use of nudges in pediatric practice and, in particular, for the use of pediatric vaccination nudges. (shrink)
Recent increases in the rates of parental refusal of routine childhood vaccination have eroded many countries’ “herd immunity” to communicable diseases. Some parents who refuse routine childhood vaccines do so because they deny the mainstream medical consensus that vaccines are safe and effective. I argue that one reason these vaccine denialists disagree with vaccine proponents about the reasons in favor of vaccination is because they also disagree about the sorts of practices that are conducive to good reasoning about healthcare choices. (...) Vaccine denialists allocate epistemic authority more democratically than do mainstream medical professionals. They also sometimes make truth ascriptions for nonepistemic reasons, fail to recognize legitimate differences in expertiseand competence, and seek uncritical affirmation of their existing beliefs. By focusing on the different epistemic values and practices of vaccine denialists and mainstream medical professionals, I locate my discussion of vaccine denialism within broader debates about rationality. Furthermore, I argue that gender inequality and gendered conceptions of reason are important parts of the explanation of vaccine denialism. Accordingly, I draw upon feminist work—primarily feminist social epistemology—to help explain and evaluate this form of vaccine refusal. (shrink)
Background: Previous research shows that pediatricians inconsistently utilize the ethics consultation service (ECS). Methods: Pediatricians in two suburban, Midwestern academic hospitals were asked to reflect on their ethics training and utilization of ECS via an anonymous, electronic survey distributed in 2017 and 2018, and analyzed in 2018. Participants reported their clinical experience, exposure to formal and informal ethics training, use of formal and informal ethics consultations, and potential barriers to formal consultation. Results: Less experienced pediatricians were more likely to utilize (...) formal ethics consultation and more likely to have formal ethics training. The most commonly reported reasons not to pursue formal ECS consultation were inconvenience and self-reported expertise in pediatric ethics. Conclusions: These results inform ongoing discussions about ethics consultation among pediatricians and the role of formal ethics training in both undergraduate and graduate medical education. (shrink)
Many advocate practices of ‘local food’ or ‘locavorism’ as a partial solution to the injustices and unsustainability of contemporary food systems. I think that there is much to be said in favor of local food movements, but these virtues are insufficient to immunize locavorism from criticism. In particular, three duties of international ethics—beneficence, repair and fairness—may provide reasons for constraining the developed world’s permissible pursuit of local food. A complete account of why (and how) the fulfillment of these duties constrains (...) locavorism will require extensive empirical evidence about the relationship between agricultural demand-led industrialization, international trade (rules), and local food practices. In this paper I can only gesture at some of this evidence and, for that reason, my policy prescriptions are merely provisional. Instead, the upshot of this paper is that advocates of locavorism ought to be attentive to the empirical-dependence of the moral permissibility of their projects. As local food ‘scales up’—and comes to be embraced as a goal of political communities—these concerns should receive even greater attention. (shrink)
Oppression can be unjust from a luck egalitarian point of view even when it is the consequence of choices for which it is reasonable to hold persons responsible. This is for two reasons. First, people who have not been oppressed are unlikely to anticipate the ways in which their choices may lead them into oppressive conditions. Facts about systematic phenomena (like oppression) are often beyond the epistemic reach of persons who are not currently subject to such conditions, even when they (...) possess adequate information about the particular consequences of their choices. Second, people may be (much) less responsible for remaining in oppressive conditions, even if they are responsible for entering circumstances of oppression. Oppression that results from a person’s choice may cause or contribute to dramatic changes in that person, and these changes may be sufficient to undermine the person’s responsibility for the results of her earlier choice. (shrink)
Children’s preferences about medical treatment—like the preferences of other patients—hold moral weight in decision-making that is independent of considerations of autonomy or best interests. In light of this understanding of the moral value of patient preferences, the American Academy of Pediatrics could strengthen the ethical foundation for its formal guidance on pediatric assent.
In a recent article, "Can One Both Contribute to and Benefit from Herd Immunity?", Lucie White argues that vaccine refusal is more like free riding than we have claimed that it is. Here, we critically reply to White’s arguments.
This paper builds on previous research about the potential downsides of food sovereignty activism in relatively wealthy societies by developing a three-part taxonomy of harms that may arise in such contexts. These are direct opposition, false equivalence, and diluted goals and methods. While this paper provides reasons to resist complacency about wealthy-world food sovereignty, we are optimistic about the potential for food sovereignty in wealthy societies, and we conclude by describing how wealthy-world food sovereignty can be a location of either (...) transnational solidarity or nonharmful forms of cooptation. (shrink)
The capacity to designate a surrogate is not simply another kind of medical decision-making capacity. A patient with DMC can express a preference, understand information relevant to that choice, appreciate the significance of that information for their clinical condition, and reason about their choice in light of their goals and values. In contrast, a patient can possess the CDS even if they cannot appreciate their condition or reason about the relative risks and benefits of their options. Patients who lack DMC (...) for many or most kinds of medical choices may nonetheless possess the CDS, particularly since the complex means-ends reasoning required by DMC is one of the first capacities to be lost in progressive cognitive diseases. That is, patients with significant cognitive decline or mental illness may still understand what a surrogate does, express a preference about a potential surrogate, and be able to provide some kind of justification for that selection. Moreover, there are many legitimate and relevant rationales for surrogate selection that are inconsistent with the reasoning criterion of DMC. Unfortunately, many patients are prevented from designating a surrogate if they are judged to lack DMC. When such patients possess the CDS, this practice is ethically wrong, legally dubious and imposes avoidable burdens on healthcare institutions. There are no data in this work. (shrink)
We agree with Emily Walsh (2020) that the current preferences of patients with dementia should sometimes supersede those patients’ advance directives. We also agree that consensus clinical ethics guidance does a poor job of explaining the moral value of such patients’ preferences. Furthermore, Walsh correctly notes that clinicians are often averse to treating patients with dementia over their objections, and that this aversion reflects clinical wisdom that can inform revisions to clinical ethics guidance. But Walsh’s account of the moral value (...) of the preferences of patients with dementia suffers from three major problems: (1) it does not engage the actual practices of clinical ethics; (2) it provides an inadequate account of why these patients’ preferences matter; and (3) it offers a poor explanation of clinicians’ intuitions in these cases. Her arguments engage a philosophical debate that is largely irrelevant to clinical practice and she therefore leaves pressing real-world clinical ethics questions unaddressed. After underscoring some of Walsh’s main points, we will discuss each of these shortcomings. (shrink)
A recent American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) clinical report states that it is an acceptable option for pediatric care clinicians to dismiss families who refuse vaccines. This is a clear shift in guidance from the AAP, which previously advised clinicians to “endeavor not to discharge” patients solely because of parental vaccine refusal. While this new policy might be interpreted as encouraging or recommending dismissal of vaccine-refusing families, it instead expresses tolerance for diverse professional approaches. This is unlike the earlier guidance, (...) which promoted a unified response to vaccine refusal. In fact, the resolution (which was presented at the AAP’s Annual Leadership Forum) that led to this clinical report also calls on the AAP “to continue to support pediatricians who continue to provide health care to children of parents who refuse to immunize their children.” However, the shift toward embracing dismissal as an acceptable response to vaccine refusal may erode professional solidarity. Pediatricians are clearly divided on this question; most do not dismiss vaccine-refusing families. By declaring that dismissal is an acceptable option, the AAP has sanctioned a practice that may be unfair to the many clinicians who do not dismiss these families. Clinicians who adopt a policy of dismissal toward families who refuse vaccines might impose burdens on colleagues who remain willing to offer care to those families, and their actions might show insufficient commitment to the efforts of their profession to promote health for all children. (shrink)
Conscientious objectors to military service are either general objectors or selective objectors. The former object to all wars; the latter object to only some wars. There is widespread popular and political support in western liberal democracies for exemptions for general objectors, but currently there is little support for exemptions for selective objectors. Many who advocate exemptions for selective objectors attempt to build upon the strength of support that is enjoyed by exemptions for general objectors. They argue that selective objectors ? (...) like general objectors ? sincerely believe that it would be deeply morally wrong for them to fight in the wars to which they object. I argue that a stronger moral case for exemptions for selective objectors relies upon a different claim: selective objections are often accurate. It is often immoral to fight in the wars to which selective objectors object. While some advocates of exemptions for selective objectors have identified accuracy as a reason for offering exemptions, they have usually not adequately distinguished sincerity from accuracy. However, keeping these two moral reasons for exemptions distinct clarifies and strengthens the moral case for exemptions for selective conscientious objectors. (shrink)
Leaders of the world’s largest food sovereignty movement, La Vía Campesina, have argued that gender justice is a core component of food justice. On their view, food justice requires an end to violence against women and a guarantee of women’s equal social and political status. However, some have wondered what gender justice has to do with food. In particular, they have worried that La Vía Campesina’s embrace of radical gender egalitarianism cannot be grounded in food-related concerns. My goal in this (...) paper is to respond to these objections, and to show that La Vía Campesina’s efforts to promote gender justice may be grounded in its broader food justice goals. (shrink)
In a paper recently published in this journal, Navin and Largent argue in favour of a type of policy to regulate non-medical exemptions from childhood vaccination which they call ‘Inconvenience’. This policy makes it burdensome for parents to obtain an exemption to child vaccination, for example, by requiring parents to attend immunization education sessions and to complete an application form to receive a waiver. Navin and Largent argue that this policy is preferable to ‘Eliminationism’, i.e. to policies that (...) do not allow non-medical exemptions, because Inconvenience has been shown to maintain exemption rates low while not harming parents by forcing them to do something that goes against their beliefs. We argue that it is at least doubtful that Inconvenience is ethically preferable to Eliminationism: while the latter disregards the value of liberty, Inconvenience disregards the value of fairness in the distribution of the burdens entailed by the preservation of a public good like herd immunity. We propose a variant of Inconvenience, which we call ‘Contribution’, which we think is preferable to the versions of Inconvenience discussed by Navin and Largent in that it successfully strikes a balance between the values of parents’ liberty, fairness and expected utility. (shrink)
Alternative Food Networks (AFNs), which include local food and Fair Trade, work to mitigate some of the many shortcomings of mainstream food systems. If AFNs have the potential to make the world’s food systems more just and sustainable (and otherwise virtuous) then we may have good reasons to scale them up. Unfortunately, it may not be possible to increase the market share of AFNs while preserving their current forms. Among other reasons, this is because there are limits to both the (...) productive capacities of small owner-operated farms and to the distribution capacities of Farmers Markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). These limits tell in favor of AFN partnerships with larger producers and distributors. But some advocates of AFNs have worried that these partnerships would sacrifice too much. (shrink)
Context In response to outbreaks of vaccine‐preventable disease and increasing rates of vaccine refusal, some political communities have recently implemented coercive childhood immunization programs, or they have made existing childhood immunization programs more coercive. Many other political communities possess coercive vaccination policies, and others are considering developing them. Scholars and policymakers generally refer to coercive immunization policies as “vaccine mandates.” However, mandatory vaccination is not a unitary concept. Rather, coercive childhood immunization policies are complex, context‐specific instruments. Their legally and morally (...) significant features often differ, and they are imposed by political communities in varying circumstances and upon diverse populations. Methods In this paper, we introduce a taxonomy for classifying real‐world and theoretical mandatory childhood vaccination policies, according to their scope (which vaccines to require), sanctions and severity (which kind of penalty to impose on vaccine refusers, and how much of that penalty to impose), and selectivity (how to enforce or exempt people from vaccine mandates). Findings A full understanding of the operation of a vaccine mandate policy (real or potential) requires attention to the separate components of that policy. However, we can synthesize information about a policy's scope, sanctions, severity, and selectivity to identify a further attribute—salience —which identifies the magnitude of the burdens the state imposes on those who are not vaccinated. Conclusion Our taxonomy provides a framework for forensic examination of current and potential mandatory vaccination policies, by focusing attention on those features of vaccine mandates that are most relevant for comparative judgments. (shrink)
Vaccine refusal forces us to confront tensions between many values, including scientific expertise, parental rights, children’s best interests, social responsibility, public trust, and community health. Recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable and emerging infectious diseases have amplified these issues. The prospect of a coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine signals even more friction on the horizon. In this contentious sociopolitical landscape, it is therefore more important than ever for clinicians to identify ethically justified responses to vaccine refusal.
Latent in John Rawls’s discussion of envy, resentment and voluntary social segregation is a plausible (partial) explanation of two striking features of contemporary American life: (1) widespread complacency about inequality and (2) decreased political participation, especially by the least advantaged members of society.
We are pleased to have received such a varied set of commentaries on our target article, “Pox Parties for Grannies? Chickenpox, Exogenous Boosting, and Harmful Injustices,” and we are thankful for the opportunity to respond to some of them here. We regret that space limitations preclude us from responding to each. In what follows we will begin by addressing commentaries that expand the application of our arguments. We will then correct some seeming misunderstandings about our distinctions, arguments and thesis. We (...) will conclude by showing, pace our critics, that our view does not entail a rejection of COVID-19 related “lock-downs,” duties of “easy rescue” for children, nor loving relationships between children and their (elderly) family members. (shrink)
Many political philosophers argue that a principle of ‘fair equality of opportunity’ ought to extend beyond national borders. I agree that there is a place for FEO in a theory of global justice. However, I think that the idea of cross-border FEO is indeterminate between three different principles. Part of my work in this paper is methodological: I identify three different principles of cross-border fair equality of opportunity and I distinguish them from each other. The other part of my work (...) in this paper is normative: I argue that we should endorse only two of the three principles of cross-border fair equality of opportunity and that we shouldreject the third. Importantly, I think that we should reject the one version of transnational fair equality of opportunity that most advocates of such a principle appear to endorse. (shrink)
Among Anglo-American philosophers, contemporary debates about global economic justice have often focused upon John Rawls’s Law of Peoples. While critics and advocates of this work disagree about its merits, there is wide agreement that, if today’s wealthiest societies acted in accordance with Rawls’s Duty of Assistance, there would be far less global poverty. I am skeptical of this claim. On my view, the Duty of Assistance is unlikely to require the kinds and amounts of assistance that would be sufficient to (...) eradicate much global poverty. This is because the DA cannot require societies to rapidly or radically change their ways life, and because the kinds and amounts of assistance that are most likely to eradicate global poverty would cause rapid and radical changes to the ways of life of the societies that undertook them. (shrink)
Joseph Carens’ groundbreaking article on immigration ethics begins with the observation that “[b]orders have guards and the guards have guns”. I begin my article with a similar observation: border guards have syringes. Aliens who do not want to be turned away by a border guard’s gun must often agree to be injected with vaccines. While Carens challenges the popular consensus that states have an expansive moral right to forcibly restrict migration, my focus is narrower. I will evaluate the claim that (...) states have an expansive moral right to require migrants to become vaccinated. In particular, I will examine and.. (shrink)
Two core questions in pediatric ethics concern when and how physicians are ethically permitted to intervene in parental treatment decisions (intervention principles), and the goals or values that should direct physicians’ and parents’ decisions about the care of children (guidance principles). Lainie Friedman Ross argues in this issue of The Journal of Clinical Ethics that constrained parental autonomy (CPA) simultaneously answers both questions: physicians should intervene when parental treatment preferences fail to protect a child’s basic needs or primary goods, and (...) both physicians and parents should be guided by a commitment to protect a child’s basic needs and primary goods. In contrast, we argue that no principle—neither Ross’s CPA, nor the best interest standard or the harm threshold—can serve as both an intervention principle and a guidance principle. First, there are as many correct intervention principles as there are different kinds of interventions, since different kinds of interventions can be justified under different conditions. Second, physicians and parents have different guidance principles, because the decisions physicians and parents make for a child should be informed by different values and balanced by different (potentially) conflicting commitments. (shrink)
Vaccine refusers often seem motivated by disgust, and they invoke ideas of purity, contamination and sanctity. Unfortunately, the emotion of disgust and its companion ideas are not directly responsive to the probabilistic and statistical evidence of research science. It follows that increased efforts to promulgate the results of vaccine science are not likely to contribute to increased rates of vaccination among persons who refuse vaccines because of the ‘ethics of sanctity’. Furthermore, the fact that disgust-based vaccine refusal is not monolithic (...) – vaccine refusers manifest disgust at different objects and invoke different ideas about purity and contamination – further complicates public health efforts to increase vaccination rates. (shrink)
In The Idea of Human Rights (hereafter IHR), Charles Beitz advocates a different approach to questions about the nature and aims of human rights. He advances a ‘practical conception’, which turns to the role that human rights play in contemporary political discourse to arrive at answers about the structure and function of human rights. As Beitz says, ‘we take the functional role of human rights in international discourse and practice as basic: it constrains our conception of a human right from (...) the start’ (103). Accordingly, we answer questions about the structure and function of human rights practice (eg, about the relevant participants in the practice or its public discursive role) with a sort of philosophical anthropology. Instead of looking to fundamental moral ideas to discover the nature and aims of human rights discourse, we instead turn to the ‘linguistic commitments one would undertake if one were to participate in good faith in the … practice’ (106). We interpret the relevant international texts, the public political culture of human rights practice, and actions by states, international institutions and non-governmental organisations so as to ‘attend to the practical inferences that would be drawn by competent participants in the practice from what they regard as valid claims of human rights’ (102). From these sources we can construct an interpretation of the nature and purpose of human rights. (shrink)
G. A. Cohen wanted to rescue justice and equality from John Rawls and his followers. In this, his final book, Cohen presents a clear, focused, and all-together powerful attack on the Rawlsian approach to political philosophy and distributive justice.
Privacy is widely valued, especially in individualistic cultures, because people want to control access to their bodies and to information about their personal choices. Privacy can promote a variety of goods. It can protect intimacy among friends and colleagues and create trusting relations of tolerance among strangers. Privacy can promote dignity, since it can be embarrassing to disclose secret or unconsidered thoughts or opinions, or to reveal one’s naked body or other private spaces. Privacy can also contribute to our individuality, (...) self-respect, and autonomy; and privacy can protect us from a wide array of emotional or psychological harms associated with unwanted publicity. Privacy can also further important political and legal goods, including property rights, fraud prevention, and non-discrimination. (shrink)
Background Since 2015, Michigan has required parents who request nonmedical exemptions (NMEs) from school or daycare immunization mandates to receive education from local public health staff (usually nurses). This is unlike most other US states that have implemented mandatory immunization counseling, which require physicians to document immunization education, or which provide online instruction. -/- Purpose To attend to the activity and dispositions of the public health staff who provide “waiver education”. -/- Method This study reports results of focus group interviews (...) with 39 of Michigan's vaccine waiver educators (37 nurses), conducted during 2016 and 2017, and analyzed in 2018. -/- Findings Four themes emerged from analysis of the transcripts of these interviews: Participants had (1) complex and nuanced observations and evaluations of parents' judgments and feelings about vaccines and vaccine education; (2) sympathetic attitudes about alternative vaccine schedules; (3) critical and supportive evaluations of institutional policies and the background political context of immunization education; and (4) consistent commitments to respect parents, affirm their values, and protect their rights. Discussion These results show that public health nurses are sensitive to the burdens mandatory immunization education places on families, the motivations for parents' requests for nonmedical exemptions, and the values implicated by personal immunization decisions and government immunization policies. In light of the unique training, experiences, and public reputation of nurses, there is good reason for additional investigation into the roles that nurses can play in immunization education and in vaccine mandate policies, more generally. (shrink)
Marshall and O’Leary’s thoughtful response to our article suggests that dismissal policies are ethically justifiable because they might induce parents to immunize their children. This outcome is conceivable, but we have only anecdotes about how often it occurs. Such evidence became the thin reed on which the American Academy of Pediatrics rested its new policy of tolerating the practice of dismissing vaccine-hesitant parents. It seems likely that relatively few parents would agree to vaccinate because they were threatened with dismissal. Other (...) heavy-handed interventions have failed to move most such parents. When Washington state made nonmedical exemptions more difficult to obtain, nearly two-thirds of vaccine refusers were unmoved and their children remained unvaccinated. Even if dismissal threats led some parents to accept vaccines, this alone would not justify a dismissal policy. The benefits would still have to be weighed against the risks of dismissing those families who do not change their minds. (shrink)
This essay builds on various critiques of the relationship between the voice and autonomous individual subjectivity, briefly tracking the specific history through which the voice transformed into an ideal object representing the liberal subject of post-Enlightenment thought. This paper asks: what are we to make of those enfleshed voices that do not conform to the ideal voice of the self-possessed liberal subject? What are we to make of those voices that refuse the imperative of improvement that underpins social and economic (...) contractualism? How might we attend to the sonicity of those voices that refuse to individuate, possess, and accumulate? And what fugitive modes of speech might be transmitted by such un-formed and un-organized voices? Against the idealized voice of liberalism, and the gendered and racialized exclusions that this voice implies, I propose a mode of fugitive listening that allows us to open our ears to the noisy voices and modes of speech that sound outside the locus of politics proper. Indebted to the Black radical tradition, fugitive listening attends to sonic practices that refuse the given grounds of representation. I argue that fugitive listening is a practice that can be situated in what Stefano Harney and Fred Moten call ‘the undercommons’. The essay concludes by turning to gossip, figuring this noisy modality of speech as central to undercommon spaces shaped by Black performance. (shrink)
In Globalization and Global Justice, Nicole Hassoun advocates a political philosophy that is deeply-informed by empirical work and a utopianism that is constrained by considerations of real-world feasibility. As Hassoun acknowledges, these features are unusual for philosophical work, and she is right to think that the global justice literature needs to be more focused on practical questions and better-informed by facts about international political economy (15-7). However, it is also a mark of good political philosophy that its arguments succeed and (...) that its analyses move philosophical discussions forward. Unfortunately, Globalization and Global Justice often fails on these points. (shrink)