The British Government is implementing some major alterations to the way health services in Great Britain are organised. As well as the introduction of competition between health care providers, their financial interests are to be linked to their output, in efforts to use market forces to increase efficiency and cut costs. This paper looks at the possible impact of these changes of health care organisation on ethical medical practice. This is investigated with particular reference to the country whose health service (...) has embraced most closely these elements of the market--the United States of America. The question to be answered is whether high standards of ethical care are ensured by factors somehow intrinsic to the medical profession, and are therefore immune to changes in the economics of health care. This assumption is shown to be questionable in light of what is known about the determinants of ethical medical practice. (shrink)
In response to recent calls to extend the underlying theories used in the literature :375–413, 2005; Craft in J Bus Ethics 117:221–259, 2013), we review the usefulness of social norm theory in empirical business ethics research. We begin by identifying the seeds of social norm theory in Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments, the Glasgow Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1759/1790) seminal work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Next, we introduce recent theory in social norm activation by Bicchieri and (...) compare the new theory to two theoretical frameworks found in the literature: Kohlberg’s Handbook of socialization theory and research, Rand McNally, Chicago, IL, 1969; in: Lickona Moral development and behavior, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, 1976) theory of moral development and Cialdini and Trost’s The handbook of social psychology, Oxford University Press, Boston, 1998) taxonomy of social norms. We argue that the new theory provides useful insights by emphasizing the ability of situational cues and information to generate common expectations for social/moral norms. The theory is particularly useful for empirical research in business ethics because it gives both organizational and individual factors a role in motivating norm-based behavior. To demonstrate this usefulness, we present examples where the theory has been effectively applied in experimental accounting research to generate new insights. We conclude by citing specific examples where the theory may prove useful in empirical business ethics research. (shrink)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that great works of literature have an impact on people's lives. Well known literary characters—Oedipus, Hamlet, Faustus, Don Quixote—acquire iconic or mythic status and their stories, in more or less detail, are revered and recalled often in contexts far beyond the strictly literary. At the level of national literatures, familiar characters and plots are assimilated into a wider cultural consciousness and help define national stereotypes and norms of behaviour. In the English speaking world, Shakespeare's (...) plays or the novels of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Dickens, and Trollope, provide imaginative material that reverberates in people's lives every bit as much as do the great historical figures, like Julius Caesar, Elizabeth I, Horatio Nelson, or Winston Churchill. What is striking is how often fictional characters from the literary tradition—like the well-loved Elizabeth Bennett, Jane Eyre, Oliver Twist, Pip, Tess of the d'Ubervilles—enter readers' lives at a highly personal level. They become, as Martha Nussbaum puts it, our ‘friends’, and for many readers the lives of these characters become closely entwined with their own. Happy and unhappy incidents in the fictional worlds are held up against similar incidents in the real lives of readers and such readers take inspiration from the courage, ingenuity, or good fortune of their fictional heroines and heroes. Nowhere is it more true that life imitates art. (shrink)
We briefly presented either the letter ‘b’ or the letter ‘h’ to participants who were instructed to respond by saying the letter that was not shown. This binary version of the exclusion task avoids problems with assessing baseline completion rates. When the letters were shown for 5–10 ms participants erroneously responded with the shown letter at a rate greater than chance. They were capable of following the instructions when the letter was shown for longer . Given the chance to wager (...) low or high on their choices after short duration stimuli, participants declined to wager high even when they were correct. Taken together these results suggest that the briefly presented stimuli were processed subconsciously. (shrink)
Experimenters generally infer whether participants have visual experiences based on metacognitive responses. We showed a well-studied blindsight participant, GY, several definitions of the term “qualia” and then questioned him about whether he felt or he experienced qualia in his normal and blind fields. We found, contrary to others who have used different methods for measuring qualia, that GY does not have qualia for stationary stimuli in his blind field. This novel method for directly assessing qualia embraces the idea that experiences (...) should be related by the experiencer, not the experimenter. (shrink)
We explored whether information processed subconsciously in blindsight is qualitatively different from normal conscious processing. On each trial the blindsight patient GY was presented with a square-wave grating either in an upper or lower quadrant of his visual field and was asked to report the opposite of its location . We found that while GY was able to follow these exclusion instructions in his normal field, he tended to erroneously respond with the real location when the grating appeared in his (...) blind field. Remarkably, his error rate actually increased with increasing grating contrast in his blind field. The interpretation of these results does not rely on subjective reports and thus cannot be criticized on the grounds that subjective reports are unreliable. We conclude that blindsight is unlike normal conscious vision. (shrink)
Background Medical schools are grappling with how best to manage industry involvement in medical education.Objective To describe a case study of industry-supported undergraduate medical education related to opioid analgesics.Method Institutional case study.Results As part of their regular curriculum, Canadian medical students attended pain pharmacotherapy lectures that contained questionable content about the use of opioids for pain management. The lectures were supported by pharmaceutical companies that market opioid analgesics in Canada and the guest lecturer was a member of speakers bureaus of (...) the same companies. These conflicts of interests were not fully disclosed. A reference book that reinforced some of the information in the lectures and that was paid for by a sponsoring company was made available to students. This is the first report of an association between industry sponsorship and the dissemination of potentially dangerous information to medical students.Conclusions This case demonstrates the need for better strategies for preventing, identifying and dealing with problematic interactions between the pharmaceutical industry and undergraduate medical education. These might include the avoidance of unnecessary conflicts of interest, more disclosure of conflicts, an open process for dealing with recognised problems and internationally harmonised conflict of interest policies. (shrink)
The question whether rights to health care should be altered by smoking behaviour involves wideranging implications for all who indulge in hazardous behaviours, and involves complex economic utilitarian arguments. This paper examines current debate in the UK and suggest the major significance of the controversy has been ignored. That this discussion exists at all implies increasing division over the scope and purpose of a nationalised health service, bestowing health rights on all. When individuals bear the cost of their own health (...) care, they appear to take responsibility for health implications of personal behaviour, but when the state bears the cost, moral obligations of the community and its doctors to care for those who do not value health are called into question. The debate has far-reaching implications as ethical problems of smokers' rights to health care are common to situations where health as a value comes into conflict with other values, such as pleasure or wealth. (shrink)
The binary exclusion task involves “subtle priming effects” and a measure of awareness that is reliable, relevant, immediate, and sensitive. This task, which meets the criteria outlined in the target article, has been used to demonstrate subconscious processing.
Descriptive Experience Sampling is a clever method for determining the form of everyday thoughts. Results using this method show that people report that some of their thoughts are unsymbolic. Here I ask three questions: Does this merely show that people know what they are thinking about but not what they are thinking? Why do people have difficulty determining the form of their thoughts? How does the act of reporting the form of thoughts affect the recall of those thoughts?
The equipoise requirement in clinical research demands that, if patients are to be randomly assigned to one of two interventions in a clinical trial, there must be genuine doubt about which is better. This reflects the traditional view that physicians must never knowingly compromise the care of their patients, even for the sake of future patients. Equipoise has proven to be deeply problematic, especially in the Third World. Some recent critics have argued against equipoise on the grounds that clinical research (...) is fundamentally distinct from clinical care, and thus should be governed by different norms. I argue against this "difference position," and instead take issue with the traditional, exclusively patient-centered account of physicians' obligations that equipoise presupposes. In place of this traditional view, I propose a Kantian test for the reasonable partiality that physicians should show their patients, focusing on its application in clinical research and medical education. (shrink)
: Most of the world now accepts the idea, first proposed four decades ago, that death means "brain death." But the idea has always been open to criticism because it doesn't square with all of our intuitions about death. In fact, none of the possible definitions of death quite works. Death, perhaps surprisingly, eludes definition, and "brain death" can be accepted only as a refinement of what is in fact a fuzzy concept.
ABSTRACT Those who wish to refute the view that it is worse to kill than to let die sometimes produce examples of cases in which an agent lets someone die but would be generally agreed to be no less reprehensible than if he had killed. It is argued that the examples produced typically possess a feature which makes their use in this context illegitimate, and that when modified to remove this feature, they provide support for the view which they were (...) designed to undermine. (shrink)
ADDRESS ETHICS WITHOUT PROPOSITIONS. By WINSTON H. F. BARNES 1 SYMPOSIUM : ARE ALL PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS OF LANGUAGE I. By STUART HAMPSHIRE 31 II. By AUSTIN DUNAN JONES 49 III. By S. KORNER 63 SYMPOSIUM : THE EMOTIVE THEORY OF ETHICS. f. By RICHARD ROBINSON 79 II. ByH. J. PATON 107 III. ByR.C. CROSS 127 SYMPOSIUM : WHAT CAN LOGIC DO FOR PHILOSOPHY I. By K. K. POPPER 141 II. By WILLIAM KNEALE 155 III. By PROFESSOR A. J. (...) AYER 167 SYMPOSIUM : THINGS AND PERSONS. I. By PROFESSOR D. M. MACKINNON 179 II. By PROFESSOR H. A. HODGES 190 III. BY J. WISDOM 202. (shrink)
This remarkable collection contains Isaiah Berlin's appreciations of seventeen people of unusual distinction in the intellectual or political world, sometimes both. The names of many of them are familiar: Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Chaim Weizmann, Albert Einstein, and others. With the exception of Roosevelt, he met them all and knew many of them well. For this expanded edition, four new portraits have been added, including those of Virginia Woolf and Edmund Wilson. This volume also contains a vivid and (...) moving account of Berlin's meetings in Russia with Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova in 1945 and 1956. Perhaps the most fascinating of these "personal impressions" is found in the epilogue, where Berlin describes the three strands in his own personality: Russian, English, and Jewish. (shrink)
In this essay, Winston C. Thompson questions the rigidity of the boundary between ideal and nonideal theory, suggesting a porosity that allows elements of both to be brought to bear upon educational issues in singularly incisive ways. In the service of this goal, Thompson challenges and extends John Rawls's theory of justice as fairness, bringing it to bear upon education in our imperfect world. By showing that this representative work of ideal theory can be meaningfully supplemented and applied to (...) the nonideal fact of race, this essay suggests that recognition of nonideal circumstances and theorizing need not void ideal theory's value to philosophy of education. Instead, the field can engage both ideal and nonideal theory on previously unavailable questions and dimensions of educational justice toward productive ends. (shrink)
Although it is commonly assumed within schools that drama has a place within moral education, there is very little theory or analysis to support the assumption. This article sketches a theoretical framework to show how and in what ways drama can make a distinctive contribution to the field. Drawing upon Stenhouse (1975) it proposes a broad distinction between moral instruction and moral induction and analyses drama's potential contribution to both areas. In so doing, it draws links between the cultural practices (...) of the theatre and those of the drama classroom, analysing the moral potential of the dramatic experience through five theoretical lenses. These include the enacted nature of dramatic narrative; the association between drama and the learning of rules; the communal function of drama as a public artform; dialogue and dialogism in drama; and the relationship between emotion, reason and moral engagement in drama. (shrink)
It is widely held that there are no indigenous roots in China for the rule of law; it is an import from the West. The Chinese legal tradition, rather, is rule by law, as elaborated in ancient Legalist texts such as the Han Feizi. According to the conventional reading of these texts, law is amoral and an instrument in the hands of a central ruler who uses law to consolidate and maintain power. The ruler is the source of all law (...) and stands above the law, so that law, in the final analysis, is whatever pleases the ruler. This essay argues, to the contrary, that the instrumentalism of the Han Feizi is more sophisticated and more principled than the conventional reading acknowledges. It suggests that, by examining the text of the Han Feizi through the lens provided by American legal theorist Lon Fuller, we can detect an explicit articulation of what Fuller called the internal morality of law. The principles of this morality are elaborated and their importance explained. In this way, the Han Feizi is retrieved as a significant reference point for thinking about legal reform in China today. (shrink)