Miracle and miracle narrative against the background of myth and demythologizing.Religio-scientific perspectives on communication, language, reality conception, myth and the world of the sacred, as well as a different angle on demythologizing, are utilised in formulating a broad theological view of miracles, miracle experiences and miracle narratives.
In academic research, many attempts have been undertaken to legitimize corporate community involvement by showing a business case for it. However, much less attention has been devoted to building understanding about the actual dynamics and challenges of managing CCI in the business context. As an alternative to existing predominantly static and top-down approaches, this paper introduces a social movement framework for analyzing CCI management. Based on the analysis of qualitative case study data, we argue that the active role of employees (...) pressuring for CCI policies and practices, as well as the organization audience responses to their efforts, are at the core of the challenges involved in managing CCI. These challenges also pose limits to how far CCI can be extended to a “business as usual” activity. (shrink)
The book aims to develop a new approach to philosophy of medicine. Much attention is paid to the relative merits of philosophical analysis in the Anglo-Saxon tradition, and phenomenology. Themes considered are cultural bias in philosophy of medicine, regular versus alternative medicine, concepts of health and disease, and the mind-body problem.
Introduction: The Dutch Euthanasia Act states that euthanasia is not punishable if the attending physician acts in accordance with the statutory due care criteria. These criteria hold that: there should be a voluntary and well-considered request, the patient’s suffering should be unbearable and hopeless, the patient should be informed about their situation, there are no reasonable alternatives, an independent physician should be consulted, and the method should be medically and technically appropriate. This study investigates whether physicians experience problems with these (...) criteria in medical practice.Methods: In 2006, questionnaires were sent to a random, stratified sample of 2100 Dutch physicians . Physicians were asked about problems in their decision-making related to requests for euthanasia or assisted suicide after enforcement of the 2002 Euthanasia Act.Results: Of all physicians who had received a request for euthanasia or assisted suicide , 25% had experienced problems in the decision-making with regard to at least one of the criteria of due care. Physicians who had experienced problems mostly indicated to have had problems related to evaluating whether or not the patient’s suffering was unbearable and hopeless and whether or not the patient’s request was voluntary or well considered .Discussion: Physicians in The Netherlands most frequently reported problems related to aspects in which they have to evaluate the patient’s subjective perspective. However, it can be questioned whether placing emphasis on these subjective aspects is an adequate fulfilment of the duties imposed on physicians, as laid down in the Dutch Euthanasia Act. (shrink)
Background: Although genetic research into Alzheimer disease (AD) is increasing, the ethical aspects of this kind of research and the differences between ethical issues related to genetic and non-genetic research into AD have not yet received much attention. Objectives: (1) To identify and compare the five ethical issues considered most important by surveyed expert panellists in non-genetic and genetic AD research and (2) to compare our empirical findings with ethical issues in genetic research in general as described in the literature. (...) Method: A modified Delphi study in two rounds Results: Genetic and non-genetic research into AD generated an approximately equal number of topics with a considerable overlap. Different priorities in the ethics of both types of research were found. Genetic research raised new topics such as “confidentiality of genetic information” and “implications of research for relatives” which changes the impact and application of existing ethical topics such as “informed consent” and is judged to have more impact on both individuals and society. A difference with the results of more theoretical approaches on ethical aspects related to AD research was also found. Conclusions: Different priorities are given to ethical issues in genetic and non-genetic research. These arise partly because genetic research causes unique and new questions, mostly related to the position of family members and the status of and access to genetic information. Differences found between the results of our empirical study and the more theoretical literature, suggest an additional value for empirical research in medical ethics. (shrink)
Health care professionals often face moral dilemmas. Not dealing constructively with moral dilemmas can cause moral distress and can negatively affect the quality of care. Little research has been documented with methodologies meant to support professionals in care for the homeless in dealing with their dilemmas. Moral case deliberation is a method for systematic reflection on moral dilemmas and is increasingly being used as ethics support for professionals in various health-care domains. This study deals with the question: What is the (...) contribution of MCD in helping professionals in an institution for care for the homeless to deal with their moral dilemmas? A mixed-methods responsive evaluation design was used to answer the research question. Five teams of professionals from a Dutch care institution for the homeless participated in MCD three times. Professionals in care for the homeless value MCD positively. They report that MCD helped them to identify the moral dilemma/question, and that they learned from other people’s perspectives while reflecting and deliberating on the values at stake in the dilemma or moral question. They became aware of the moral dimension of moral dilemmas, of related norms and values, of other perspectives, and learned to formulate a moral standpoint. Some experienced the influence of MCD in the way they dealt with moral dilemmas in daily practice. Half of the professionals expect MCD will influence the way they deal with moral dilemmas in the future. Most of them were in favour of further implementation of MCD in their organization. (shrink)
OBJECTIVES: To identify the factors that influence the assessment of reported cases of physician-assisted death by members of the public prosecution. DESIGN/SETTING: At the beginning of 1996, during verbal interviews, 12 short case-descriptions were presented to a representative group of 47 members of the public prosecution in the Netherlands. RESULTS: Assessment varied considerably between respondents. Some respondents made more "lenient" assessments than others. Characteristics of the respondents, such as function, personal-life philosophy and age, were not related to the assessment. Case (...) characteristics, i.e. the presence of an explicit request, life expectancy and the type of suffering, strongly influenced the assessment. Of these characteristics, the presence or absence of an explicit request was the most important determinant of the decision whether or not to hold an inquest. CONCLUSIONS: Although the presence of an explicit request, life expectancy and the type of suffering each influenced the assessment, each individual assessment was dependent on the assessor. The resulting danger of legal inequality and legal uncertainty, particularly in complicated cases, should be kept to a minimum by the introduction of some form of protocol and consultation in doubtful or boundary cases. The notification procedure already promotes a certain degree of uniformity in the prosecution policy. (shrink)
The use of do not resuscitate (DNR) orders in Dutch hospitals was studied as part of a nationwide study on medical decisions concerning the end of life. DNR decisions are made in 6 per cent of all admissions, and 61 per cent of all in-hospital deaths were preceded by a DNR decision. We found that in only 14 per cent of the cases had the patients been involved in the DNR decision (32 per cent of competent patients). The concept of (...) futility is analysed as these findings are discussed. We conclude that determining the effectiveness of resuscitation is a medical judgement whereas determining the proportionality (burden/benefit ratio) of it requires a discussion between doctor and patient (or his or her surrogates). Since the respondents in the cases without patient involvement gave many reasons for their decision that went beyond determining effectiveness, we conclude that more patient involvement would have been desirable. (shrink)
The explanatory gap refers to the lack of concepts for understanding “how it is that . . . a state of consciousness comes about as a result of irritating nervous tissue.” By assuming that there are colours in the outside world, Block needlessly widens this gap and Lycan and Kitcher simply fail to see the gap. When such assumptions are abandoned, an unnecessary and incomprehensible constraint disappears. It then becomes clear that the brain can use its own neural language for (...) representing aspects of the outside world. While this may not close the gap, it becomes clearer where we need new concepts. (shrink)
Background: Debates over legalisation of physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia often warn of a “slippery slope”, predicting abuse of people in vulnerable groups. To assess this concern, the authors examined data from Oregon and the Netherlands, the two principal jurisdictions in which physician-assisted dying is legal and data have been collected over a substantial period.Methods: The data from Oregon comprised all annual and cumulative Department of Human Services reports 1998–2006 and three independent studies; the data from the Netherlands comprised all four (...) government-commissioned nationwide studies of end-of-life decision making and specialised studies. Evidence of any disproportionate impact on 10 groups of potentially vulnerable patients was sought.Results: Rates of assisted dying in Oregon and in the Netherlands showed no evidence of heightened risk for the elderly, women, the uninsured , people with low educational status, the poor, the physically disabled or chronically ill, minors, people with psychiatric illnesses including depression, or racial or ethnic minorities, compared with background populations. The only group with a heightened risk was people with AIDS. While extralegal cases were not the focus of this study, none have been uncovered in Oregon; among extralegal cases in the Netherlands, there was no evidence of higher rates in vulnerable groups.Conclusions: Where assisted dying is already legal, there is no current evidence for the claim that legalised PAS or euthanasia will have disproportionate impact on patients in vulnerable groups. Those who received physician-assisted dying in the jurisdictions studied appeared to enjoy comparative social, economic, educational, professional and other privileges. (shrink)
Interactive technology assessment (iTA) provides an answer to the ethical problem of normative bias in evaluation research. This normative bias develops when relevant perspectives on the evaluand (the thing being evaluated) are neglected. In iTA this bias is overcome by incorporating different perspectives into the assessment. As a consequence, justification of decisions based on the assessment is provided by stakeholders having achieved agreement. In this article, agreement is identified with wide reflective equilibrium to show that it indeed has the potential (...) of justifying decisions. We work out several conditions for this agreement to be achievable and just. (shrink)
The King Report on Corporate Governance (1994) evoked unprecedented interest in corporate governance in South Africa. This does not mean that corporate governance was not an issue of concern before the release of this historical report. To the contrary, corporate governance in its broader sense has been at stake since the inception of the first publicly owned companies in South Africa. This article intends to give an overview of corporate governance in South Africa. It starts by making a distinction between (...) broad and narrow conceptions of corporate governance. Before applying this distinction to the practice of corporate governance in South Africa, a brief overview of the corporate landscape in South Africa is provided. Then the South African situation with regard to broad and narrow corporate governance respectively is analysed. The article ends with a discussion of the review of corporate governance that currently is in the making in South Africa. Throughout the article both the financial and ethical dimensions of corporate governance is attended to. (shrink)