Revisiting narratives on life that were produced in this age of machinery and war, Donna V. Jones shows how Bergson, Nietzsche, and the poets Leopold Senghor and Aimâe Câesaire fashioned the concept of life into a central aesthetic and ...
In the early twentieth century, the life philosophy of Henri Bergson summoned the _élan vital_, or vital force, as the source of creative evolution. Bergson also appealed to intuition, which focused on experience rather than discursive thought and scientific cognition. Particularly influential for the literary and political Négritude movement of the 1930s, which opposed French colonialism, Bergson's life philosophy formed an appealing alternative to Western modernity, decried as "mechanical," and set the stage for later developments in postcolonial theory and vitalist (...) discourse. Revisiting narratives on life that were produced in this age of machinery and war, Donna V. Jones shows how Bergson, Nietzsche, and the poets Leopold Senghor and Aimé Césaire fashioned the concept of life into a central aesthetic and metaphysical category while also implicating it in discourses on race and nation. Jones argues that twentieth-century vitalism cannot be understood separately from these racial and anti-Semitic discussions. She also shows that some dominant models of emancipation within black thought become intelligible only when in dialogue with the vitalist tradition. Jones's study strikes at the core of contemporary critical theory, which integrates these older discourses into larger critical frameworks, and she traces the ways in which vitalism continues to draw from and contribute to its making. (shrink)
Next SectionThe precise nature and scope of healthcare confidentiality has long been the subject of debate. While the obligation of confidentiality is integral to professional ethical codes and is also safeguarded under English law through the equitable remedy of breach of confidence, underpinned by the right to privacy enshrined in Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998, it has never been regarded as absolute. But when can and should personal information be made available for statistical and research purposes and (...) what if the information in question is highly sensitive information, such as that relating to the termination of pregnancy after 24 weeks? This article explores the case of In the Matter of an Appeal to the Information Tribunal under section 57 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, concerning the decision of the Department of Health to withhold some statistical data from the publication of its annual abortion statistics. The specific data being withheld concerned the termination for serious fetal handicap under section 1(1)d of the Abortion Act 1967. The paper explores the implications of this case, which relate both to the nature and scope of personal privacy. It suggests that lessons can be drawn from this case about public interest and use of statistical information and also about general policy issues concerning the legal regulation of confidentiality and privacy in the future. (shrink)
Objectives To investigate risk perception relating to living kidney donation, to compare the risk donors would accept with current practice and identify influential factors. Design An observational study consisting of questionnaires completed by previous living donors and the general public. Participants selected the risk they would accept from a list of options, in various scenarios. Risk communication was investigated by randomly dividing the sample and presenting risk differently. Setting Primary care (two centres) and secondary care (one centre), London. Participants 175 (...) questionnaires were sent to patients who had previously undergone living-donor nephrectomy and to members of the public consulting a general practitioner. The living-donor sample comprised 77 consecutive donors at Guy's Hospital from May 2003 to January 2005. The general-public sample was recruited from two London healthcare centres. Of the eventual 151 participants, 61 were living donors and 90 were from the general public. Main outcome measure The amount of risk a participant would accept to donate a kidney. Results 74% of participants were willing to accept a risk of death higher than 1/3000. The most commonly accepted risk was 1/2 (29%). Those presented with a ‘chance of survival’ accepted higher risks than those presented with a ‘risk of death’ (p<0.01). Greater risks were accepted when the recipient was closely related and, for some, when the recipient's prognosis was worse. No difference was observed between the living-donor and general-public groups. Conclusions Kidney donors will accept a higher risk of death than is currently quoted, especially if risks are presented in terms of chance of survival. (shrink)
The nanomedicine field is fast evolving toward complex, “active,” and interactive formulations. Like many emerging technologies, nanomedicine raises questions of how human subjects research (HSR) should be conducted and the adequacy of current oversight, as well as how to integrate concerns over occupational, bystander, and environmental exposures. The history of oversight for HSR investigating emerging technologies is a patchwork quilt without systematic justification of when ordinary oversight for HSR is enough versus when added oversight is warranted. Nanomedicine HSR provides an (...) occasion to think systematically about appropriate oversight, especially early in the evolution of a technology, when hazard and risk information may remain incomplete. This paper presents the consensus recommendations of a multidisciplinary, NIH-funded project group, to ensure a science-based and ethically informed approach to HSR issues in nanomedicine, and to integrate HSR analysis with analysis of occupational, bystander, and environmental concerns. We recommend creating two bodies, an interagency Human Subjects Research in Nanomedicine (HSR/N) Working Group and a Secretary's Advisory Committee on Nanomedicine (SAC/N). HSR/N and SAC/N should perform 3 primary functions: (1) analysis of the attributes and subsets of nanomedicine interventions that raise HSR challenges and current gaps in oversight; (2) providing advice to relevant agencies and institutional bodies on the HSR issues, as well as federal and federal-institutional coordination; and (3) gathering and analyzing information on HSR issues as they emerge in nanomedicine. HSR/N and SAC/N will create a home for HSR analysis and coordination in DHHS (the key agency for relevant HSR oversight), optimize federal and institutional approaches, and allow HSR review to evolve with greater knowledge about nanomedicine interventions and greater clarity about attributes of concern. (shrink)
Examination of naturally occurring cases in which a person reports that a word is on the tip of his or her tongue has led several theorists to propose that an important role is played by blocking words whose intrusions hinder access to the correct targets. As yet, however, the blocking mechanism appears to have received little direct investigation experimentally. It was studied here by adapting the classic method of Brown and McNeill in which a person is presented with a definition (...) of a rare word and uses it to attempt to generate that target word. The adaptation that was made was to append a potential blocking word to the presentation of each definition. The potential blocking words were either phonologically related to the target or not, either semantically related to the target or not, and either rare or not. Only the first of these factors exerted a significant effect—more cases of tip of the tongue were experienced when the potential blocking word was phonologically related to the target than when it was not. This result suggests that the recall of a word on the basis of its meaning may proceed via an intermediate stage characterised by partial retrieval of its phonology. (shrink)
BackgroundStudies on different methods to supplement the traditional informed consent process have generated conflicting results. This study was designed to evaluate whether participants who received group counseling prior to administration of informed consent understood the key components of the study and the consent better than those who received individual counseling, based on the hypothesis that group counseling would foster discussion among potential participants and enhance their understanding of the informed consent.MethodsParents of children participating in a trial of nutritional supplementation were (...) randomized to receive either group counseling or individual counseling prior to administration of the informed consent. To assess the participant's comprehension, a structured questionnaire was administered approximately 48-72 hours afterwards by interviewers who were blinded to the allocation group of the respondents.ResultsA total of 128 parents were recruited and follow up was established with 118 (90.2%) for the study. All respondents were aware of their child's participation in a research study and the details of sample collection. However, their understanding of study purpose, randomization and withdrawal was poor. There was no difference in comprehension of key elements of the informed consent between the intervention and control arm.ConclusionsThe results suggest that the group counseling might not influence the overall comprehension of the informed consent process. Further research is required to devise better ways of improving participants' understanding of randomization in clinical trials.Trial RegistrationClinical Trial Registry - India (CTRI): CTRI/2009/091/000612. (shrink)
Background: Discussions about medical errors facilitate professional learning for physicians and may provide emotional support after an error, but little is known about physicians’ attitudes and practices regarding error discussions with colleagues.Methods: Survey of faculty and resident physicians in generalist specialties in Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the US to investigate attitudes and practices regarding error discussions, likelihood of discussing hypothetical errors, experience role-modelling error discussions and demographic variables.Results: Responses were received from 338 participants . In all, 73% of (...) respondents indicated they usually discuss their mistakes with colleagues, 70% believed discussing mistakes strengthens professional relationships and 89% knew at least one colleague who would be a supportive listener. Motivations for error discussions included wanting to learn whether a colleague would have made the same decision , wanting colleagues to learn from the mistake and wanting to receive support . Given hypothetical scenarios, most respondents indicated they would likely discuss an error resulting in no harm , minor harm or major harm . Fifty-seven percent of physicians had tried to serve as a role model by discussing an error and role-modelling was more likely among those who had previously observed an error discussion .Conclusions: Most generalist physicians in teaching hospitals report that they usually discuss their errors with colleagues, and more than half have tried to role-model discussions. However, a significant number of these physicians report that they do not usually discuss their errors and some do not know colleagues who would be supportive listeners. (shrink)
Can we understand brain lateralization in humans by analysis in terms of an evolutionarily stable strategy? The attempt to demonstrate a link between lateralization in humans and that in, for example, fish appears to hinge critically on whether the isomorphism is viewed as a matter of homology or homoplasy. Consideration of human handedness presents a number of challenges to the proposed framework.
This is the first book to offer the best essays, articles, and speeches on ethics and intelligence that demonstrate the complex moral dilemmas in intelligence collection, analysis, and operations. Some are recently declassified and never before published, and all are written by authors whose backgrounds are as varied as their insights, including Robert M. Gates, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; John P. Langan, the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Professor of Catholic Social Thought at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown (...) University; and Loch K. Johnson, Regents Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia and recipient of the Owens Award for contributions to the understanding of U.S. intelligence activities. Creating the foundation for the study of ethics and intelligence by filling in the gap between warfare and philosophy, this is a valuable collection of literature for building an ethical code that is not dependent on any specific agency, department, or country. (shrink)
J. T. Hooker argues that at Il. 24.649 πικερτομων must mean ‘taunting’ and, since ‘taunting’ makes no sense, that πικερτομων must have entered our Iliad at this point from a version of the Iliad slightly different from ours in which it did make sense. I wish to argue that πικερτομων has a meaning different from ‘taunting’, which makes good sense of this, and every other, context.