Recent discussions of religious, cultural, and/or moral diversity raise questions relevant to the descriptive and normative aims of students of religious ethics. In conversation with several illustrative works, the author takes up issues of terminology, explanations or classifications of types and origins of plurality and pluralism, the relations between pluralism as a normative theory and the aims of a liberal state, and the import of an emphasis on plurality or pluralism for the comparative study of religious ethics.
Originally published in 1935, this book charts the development of philosophy in Germany from German Humanism to Heidegger and his contemporaries. Brock also devotes an entire chapter to the lasting impact of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard on German philosophy. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in the history of German philosophy and its presentation before WWII.
This study examines the public's and physicians' willingness to support deception of insurance companies in order to obtain necessary healthcare services and how this support varies based on perceptions of physicians' time pressures. Based on surveys of 700 prospective jurors and 1617 physicians, the public was more than twice as likely as physicians to sanction deception (26% versus 11%) and half as likely to believe that physicians have adequate time to appeal coverage decisions (22% versus 59%). The odds of public (...) support for deception compared to that of physicians rose from 2.48 to 4.64 after controlling for differences in time perception. These findings highlight the ethical challenge facing physicians and patients in balancing patient advocacy with honesty in the setting of limited societal resources. (shrink)
Transplantation of vital organs has been premised ethically and legally on "the dead donor rule" (DDR)—the requirement that donors are determined to be dead before these organs are procured. Nevertheless, scholars have argued cogently that donors of vital organs, including those diagnosed as "brain dead" and those declared dead according to cardiopulmonary criteria, are not in fact dead at the time that vital organs are being procured. In this article, we challenge the normative rationale for the DDR by rejecting the (...) underlying premise that it is necessarily wrong for physicians to cause the death of patients and the claim that abandoning this rule would exploit vulnerable patients. We contend that it is ethical to procure vital organs from living patients sustained on life support prior to treatment withdrawal, provided that there is valid consent for both withdrawing treatment and organ donation. However, the conservatism of medical ethics and practical concerns make it doubtful that the DDR will be abandoned in the near future. This leaves the current practice of organ transplantation based on the "moral fiction" that donors are dead when vital organs are procured. (shrink)
Conventional medical ethics and the law draw a bright line distinguishing the permitted practice of withdrawing life-sustaining treatment from the forbidden practice of active euthanasia by means of a lethal injection. When clinicians justifiably withdraw life-sustaining treatment, they allow patients to die but do not cause, intend, or have moral responsibility for, the patient's death. In contrast, physicians unjustifiably kill patients whenever they intentionally administer a lethal dose of medication. We argue that the differential moral assessment of these two practices (...) is based on a series of moral fictions – motivated false beliefs that erroneously characterize withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in order to bring accepted end-of-life practices in line with the prevailing moral norm that doctors must never kill patients. When these moral fictions are exposed, it becomes apparent that conventional medical ethics relating to end-of-life decisions is radically mistaken. (shrink)
In this article we argue that the concept of need is as vital for moral theory as it is for moral life. In II we analyse need and its normativity in public and private moral practice. In III we describe simple cases which exemplify the moral demandingness of needs, and argue that the significance of simple cases for moral theory is obscured by the emphasis in moral philosophy on unusual cases. In IV we argue that moral theories are inadequate if (...) they cannot describe simple needs-meeting cases. We argue that the elimination or reduction of need to other concepts such as value, duty, virtue or care is unsatisfactory, in which case moral theories that make those concepts fundamental will have to be revised. In conclusion, we suggest that if moral theories cannot be revised to accommodate needs, they may have to be replaced with a fully needs-based theory. Correspondence:c1 firstname.lastname@example.org g. brock @auckland.ac.nz. (shrink)
Alzheimer's disease is characterized by amyloid-beta peptide -loaded plaques in the brain. Abeta is a cleavage fragment of amyloid-beta protein precursor and over production of APP may lead to amyloidogenesis. The regulatory region of the APP gene contains consensus sites recognized by the transcription factor, specificity protein 1 , which has been shown to be required for the regulation of APP and Abeta. To understand the role of SP1 in APP biogenesis, herein we have characterized the relative distribution and localization (...) of SP1, APP, and Abeta in various brain regions of rodent and primate models using immunohistochemistry. We observed that overall distribution and cellular localization of SP1, APP, and Abeta are similar and neuronal in origin. Their distribution is abundant in various layers of neocortex, but restricted to the Purkinje cell layer of the cerebellum, and the pyramidal cell layer of hippocampus. These findings suggest that overproduction of Abeta in vivo may be associated with transcriptional pathways involving SP1 and the APP gene. (shrink)
One way to detect, monitor and prevent adverse events with the help of Information Technology is by using ontologies capable of representing three levels of reality: what is the case, what is believed about reality, and what is represented. We report on how Basic Formal Ontology and Referent Tracking exhibit this capability and how they are used to develop an adverse event ontology and related data annotation scheme for the European ReMINE project.
Different types of consent are used to obtain human biospecimens for future research. This variation has resulted in confusion regarding what research is permitted, inadvertent constraints on future research, and research proceeding without consent. The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center's Department of Bioethics held a workshop to consider the ethical acceptability of addressing these concerns by using broad consent for future research on stored biospecimens. Multiple bioethics scholars, who have written on these issues, discussed the reasons for consent, the (...) range of consent strategies, and gaps in our understanding, and concluded with a proposal for broad initial consent coupled with oversight and, when feasible, ongoing provision of information to donors. This article describes areas of agreement and areas that need more research and dialogue. Given recent proposed changes to the Common Rule, and new guidance regarding storing and sharing data and samples, this is an important and tim.. (shrink)
Disturbing international inequalities in health abound. Life expectancy in Swaziland is half that in Japan. A child unfortunate enough to be born in Angola has 73 times as great a chance of dying before age 5 as a child born in Norway. A mother giving birth in southern sub-Saharan Africa has 100 times as great a chance of dying from her labor as one birthing in an industrialized country. For every mile one travels outward toward the Maryland suburbs from downtown (...) Washington, DC on its underground rail system, life expectancy rises by a year – reflecting the race and class inequities in American health. Are the glaring, even larger, international health inequalities also unjust? -/- All of us no doubt think they are grossly unfortunate. Many of us think they are unfair or unjust. Why should some people be at such a health disadvantage through no fault of their own, losers in a natural and social lottery assigning them birth in an unhealthy place? Others of us are troubled by the absence of the kinds of human relationships that ordinarily give rise to the claims of egalitarian justice that we make on each other – for example, being fellow citizens or even interacting in a cooperative scheme. Who has obligations of justice to reduce these international inequalities? And do those obligations hold regardless of how the inequalities came about? What institutions are accountable for addressing them? (shrink)
This article examines the changing image of war in international law and politics. In classical international law, the ideal typical image of war was a duel between equal states, represented as 'magni homines', This conception of war was based on a particular reading of the sovereign equality of states and a corresponding interpretation of the enemy in war. Due to the attempts to outlaw war and the growing enthusiasm for the use of force in the name of humanity, this image (...) of war has changed significantly. In current international relations, the use of force is increasingly defined as enforcement or a preventive action against wrong-doers, risks to international peace and security or against 'rogues'. This article examines the changing conceptions of sovereignty and war as well as the changing image of the international community that underlie this changing conceptualisation of the enemy. (shrink)
This article examines therelation between the Security Council andinternational judicial bodies. The first partexplains, on the basis of linguistic theoriesof international security, the new role assumedby the Security Council after the Cold War. Thesecond part analyses, on the basis of insightsborrowed from legal semiotics, the position ofinternational judicial organs vis-à-vis theSecurity Council (especially the InternationalCourt of Justice and the Tribunals for Rwandaand the former Yugoslavia). The article arguesthat international judicial bodies havedeveloped ways of checking the power of theSecurity Council, which (...) go beyond thetraditional modes of judicial review. Legalsemiotics offers the tools necessary tounderstand these countervailing activities andthus the relation between internationaljudicial bodies and the Security Council ingeneral. (shrink)
In Globalization and Global Justice , Nicole Hassoun offers advice on practical ways to fulfill obligations to the poor. Our recommendations must be well informed by empirical evidence, and so important research on poverty that suggests we sometimes focus inadvertently on the wrong objects in our attempted assistance efforts, deserves consideration here. We also need guidelines on how to choose from among plausible policy options on how to help the poor. I offer one and explain why some of Hassoun s (...) policy recommendations do not meet these criteria. (shrink)