Objectives: To investigate the current situation of completing the informed consent for do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders among the competent patients with terminal illness and the ethical dilemmas related to it. Participants: This study enrolled 152 competent patients with terminal cancer, who were involved in the initial consultations for hospice care. Analysis: Comparisons of means, analyses of variance, Student’s t test, χ2 test and multiple logistic regression models. Results: After the consultations, 117 (77.0%) of the 152 patients provided informed consent for hospice (...) care and DNR orders. These included 21 patients (17.9%) who signed the consent by themselves, and 96 (82.1%) whose consent sheet was signed only by family members. The reasons why patients were not involved in the discussions toward the consent (n = 82) included poor physical or psychological condition (44.9%), concerns of the consultant hospice team (37.2%), and the family’s refusal (28.2%). On a multivariate analysis, patients’ awareness of their poor prognosis (odds ratio = 4.07, 95% confidence interval = 2.05 to 8.07) and their understanding of hospice care (2.27, 1.33 to 3.89) were two independent factors (p<0.01) that influenced their participation in the discussions or their personal signature in the informed consent. Conclusion: The family-oriented culture in Asian countries may violate the principles of the Patient Self-Determination Act and the requirements of the Hospice Care Law in Taiwan, which inevitably poses an ethical dilemma. Earlier truth-telling and continuing education of the public by hospice care workers will be helpful in solving such ethical dilemmas. (shrink)
The purposes of research were to describe the neonatal clinicians' personal views and attitudes on neonatal ethical decision-making, to identify factors that might affect these attitudes and to compare the attitudes between neonatal physicians and neonatal nurses in Taiwan. Research was a cross-sectional design and a questionnaire was used to reach different research purposes. A convenient sample was used to recruit 24 physicians and 80 neonatal nurses from four neonatal intensive care units in Taiwan. Most participants agreed with suggesting a (...) do not resuscitate (DNR) order to parents for dying neonates (86.5%). However, the majority agreed with talking to patients about DNR orders is difficult (76.9%). Most participants agree that review by the clinical ethics committee is needed before the recommendation of ‘DNR’ to parents (94.23%) and nurses were significantly more likely than physicians to agree to this (p=0.043). During the end-of-life care, most clinicians accepted to continue current treatment without adding others (70%) and withholding of emergency treatments (75%); however, active euthanasia, the administration of drug to end-of-life, was not considered acceptable by both physicians and nurses in this research (96%). Based on our research results, providing continuing educational training and a formal consulting service in moral courage for neonatal clinicians are needed. In Taiwan, neonatal physicians and nurses hold similar values and attitudes towards end-of-life decisions for neonates. In order to improve the clinicians' communication skills with parents about DNR options and to change clinicians' attitudes for providing enough pain-relief medicine to dying neonates, providing continuing educational training and a formal consulting service in moral courage are needed. (shrink)
The Protein Ontology (PRO) provides a formal, logically-based classification of specific protein classes including structured representations of protein isoforms, variants and modified forms. Initially focused on proteins found in human, mouse and Escherichia coli, PRO now includes representations of protein complexes. The PRO Consortium works in concert with the developers of other biomedical ontologies and protein knowledge bases to provide the ability to formally organize and integrate representations of precise protein forms so as to enhance accessibility to results of protein (...) research. PRO (http://pir.georgetown.edu/pro) is part of the Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry. (shrink)
The emergence of new biological traits is landmarks of evolutionary progress. However, when, how, and why do they appear? We propose a universal mechanism, a Buffering Mechanism of Evolution to understand these questions. We speculate that all organisms possess this potential buffer capacity. This capacity would be triggered by the pressures, natural or artificial, to express the intrinsic potential variants. The potential buffer capacity of the organism increases for further selections as evolutionary progress occurs. The higher the evolutionary level of (...) the organism, the greater the potential buffer capacity, and importantly, the buffer capacity versus the pressures of selections will result. However, when the pressures are far more than the potential capacity of the targets, the natural or artificial pressures then compromise the genetic buffering system resulting in possible species extinction if the emergence of new traits fails. (shrink)
This study investigated the differences between past and future temporal discounting in terms of neural activity in relation to temporal distance. Results show that brain regions are engaged differently in past and future temporal discounting. This is likely because past temporal discounting requires memory reconstruction, whereas future temporal discounting requires the processing of uncertainty about the future. In past temporal discounting, neural activity differed only when preferences were made between rewards received one hour prior and rewards received further in the (...) past. The peak amplitudes of P2 and P3 varied as the temporal distance increased from 2 weeks to 50 years. In future temporal discounting, neural activity differed only when preferences were evaluated between two delayed rewards. The delay conditions and had a significant influence on P2 and N2. Findings indicate the existence of different decision-making systems operating in past and future temporal discounting. (shrink)
The practice of respecting patients’ autonomy is rooted in the healthcare professionals’ empathy for patients’ situations, without which appropriate supports to the patients during the informed consent process may be remarkably moderated. The purpose of this study was to explore elective surgery patients’ experiences during their decision-making process. This research was conducted using a phenomenological approach, and the data analysis was guided by Colaizzi’s method. A total of 17 participants were recruited from a hospital in southern Taiwan. Two major themes (...) emerged from the analyses: (a) a voluntary yet necessary alternative—to undergo a surgery and (b) alternatives compelled by the unalterable decision—the surgery. It was concluded that unless healthcare professionals can empathize with the distressed situation of their patients who are facing elective surgery, the practice of informed consent may become merely a routine. Nurses can be the best advocates for patients and facilitators to enhance communication between patients and healthcare personnel. (shrink)
This highly readable translation of the major works of the 18th- century philosopher Etienne Bonnot, Abbe de Condillac, a disciple of Locke and a contemporary of Rousseau, Voltaire, and Diderot, shows his influence on psychiatric diagnosis as well as on the education of the deaf, the retarded, and the preschool child. Published two hundred years after Condillac's death, this translation contains treatises which were, until now, virtually unavailable in English: A Treatise on Systems, A Treatise of the Sensations, Logic.