The Dutch law states that a physician may perform euthanasia according to a written advance euthanasia directive when a patient is incompetent as long as all legal criteria of due care are met. This may also hold for patients with advanced dementia. We investigated the differing opinions of physicians and members of the general public on the acceptability of euthanasia in patients with advanced dementia.
CQ: The Baby Bas Ross case stirred much public debate in The Netherlands since 1988 -a newborn infant with Down's syndrome whose parents refused to consent to a surgery that would have repaired an otherwise fatal congenital anomaly. Can you share your thoughts with us on this case?HD: I was the first ethicist to comment on this case because I was a friend of Dr. Molenaar, who was the final surgical decision maker for Baby Bas. A physician and I supported (...) his decision throughout the prosecution that followed. We also summarized the case in the N.T.V.G., the Dutch Magazine of Medicine. We argued In the article that parents should have the option to make nontreatment decisions. Moreover, In cases where the physician has to perform aggressive medical interventions, there certainly must be thorough and sound justification to ensure that the decision to Intervene Is in the best interest of the child.Heleen M. Dupuis, Ph.D., is Professor of Bioethics at the Leiden University School of Medicine, where she heads the Department of Metamedica and teaches in the Department of Philosophy. She is also a member of the Institutional Review Board/Ethics Committee of the Leiden University Hospital and a member of the Ethics Committee of the Royal Dutch Society of Medicine. (shrink)
Ethicists differ considerably in their reasons for using empirical data. This paper presents a brief overview of four traditional approaches to the use of empirical data: “the prescriptive applied ethicists,” “the theorists,” “the critical applied ethicists,” and “the particularists.” The main aim of this paper is to introduce a fifth approach of more recent date (i.e. “integrated empirical ethics”) and to offer some methodological directives for research in integrated empirical ethics. All five approaches are presented in a table for heuristic (...) purposes. The table consists of eight columns: “view on distinction descriptive-prescriptive sciences,” “location of moral authority,” “central goal(s),” “types of normativity,” “use of empirical data,” “method,” “interaction empirical data and moral theory,” and “cooperation with descriptive sciences.” Ethicists can use the table in order to identify their own approach. Reflection on these issues prior to starting research in empirical ethics should lead to harmonization of the different scientific disciplines and effective planning of the final research design. Integrated empirical ethics (IEE) refers to studies in which ethicists and descriptive scientists cooperate together continuously and intensively. Both disciplines try to integrate moral theory and empirical data in order to reach a normative conclusion with respect to a specific social practice. IEE is not wholly prescriptive or wholly descriptive since IEE assumes an interdepence between facts and values and between the empirical and the normative. The paper ends with three suggestions for consideration on some of the future challenges of integrated empirical ethics. (shrink)
The Christian church had its early development in the Hellenistic, Greco-Roman world and for that reason it can certainly be stated that the church was “Hellenized”. But how should we define this Hellenization? And what should be our judgement of it? The collection of essays entitled Hellenization revisited centers on an important theme.
AimVisual functions of the dorsal stream are considered vulnerable in children with early brain damage. Considering the recognition of objects in suboptimal representations a dorsal stream dysfunction, we examined whether children with early brain damage and impaired object recognition had either general or selective dorsal stream dysfunctions.MethodIn a group of children with early brain damage we evaluated the dorsal stream functioning. To determine whether these patients had an increased risk of a dorsal stream dysfunction we compared the percentage of patients (...) with impaired object recognition, assessed with the L94, with the estimated base rate. Then we evaluated the performance levels on motion perception, visual attention and visuomotor tasks in patients with and without object recognition abnormalities. A general dorsal stream dysfunction was considered present if a patient showed at least one abnormally low score in two out of three additional dorsal stream functions.ResultsSix of the eighteen patients with object recognition problems scored abnormally low on at least two additional dorsal stream functions. This was significantly higher than the base rate. The difference of 24.1% between the patients with and without object recognition problems was not significant. Of the patients with object recognition problems 72.2% had at least 1 dorsal weakness, whereas this was only the case in 27.3% of patients without object recognition problems. Compared to patients with normal object recognition, patients with object recognition problems scored significantly more abnormally low on motion perception and visual attention but did not differ on visuomotor skills.ConclusionChildren with object recognition problems seem at risk for other dorsal stream dysfunctions, but dysfunctions might be rather specific than general. Multiple functions/aspects should be evaluated in neuropsychological assessment of children at risk. (shrink)
Objectives:Social isolation is increasing in aging societies and several studies have shown a relation with worse cognition in old age. However, less is known about the association in the oldest-old ; the group that is at highest risk for both social isolation and dementia. Methods:Analyses were based on follow-up 5 to 9 of the longitudinal German study on aging, cognition, and dementia in primary care patients and the study on needs, health service use, costs, and health-related quality of life in (...) a large sample of oldest-old primary care patients, a multi-center population-based prospective cohort study. Measurements included the Lubben Social Network Scale, with a score below 12 indicating social isolation, as well as the Mini-Mental Status Examination as an indicator of cognitive function. Results:Dementia-free study participants were M = 86.4 years old at observation onset, 68.2% were women. One third of them were socially isolated. Adjusted linear hybrid mixed effects models revealed significantly lower cognitive function in individuals with smaller social networks. Moreover, changes in an individual's social network size were significantly associated with cognitive changes over time, indicating worse cognitive function with shrinking social networks. Conclusion:Social isolation is highly prevalent among oldest-old individuals, being a risk factor for decreases in cognitive function. Consequently, it is important to maintain a socially active lifestyle into very old age. Likewise, this calls for effective ways to prevent social isolation. (shrink)
Meditation can be conceptualized as a family of complex tial to be speciﬁc about the type of meditation practice emotional and attentional regulatory training regimes under investigation. Failure to make such distinctions developed for various ends, including the cultivation of..
The nature of quantum computation is discussed. It is argued that, in terms of the amount of information manipulated in a given time, quantum and classical computation are equally efficient. Quantum superposition does not permit quantum computers to ''perform many computations simultaneously'' except in a highly qualified and to some extent misleading sense. Quantum computation is therefore not well described by interpretations of quantum mechanics which invoke the concept of vast numbers of parallel universes. Rather, entanglement makes available types of (...) computation processes which, while not exponentially larger than classical ones, are unavailable to classical systems. The essence of quantum computation is that it uses entanglement to generate and manipulate a physical representation of the correlations between logical entities, without the need to completely represent the logical entities themselves. (shrink)
In the years 1878 and 1879 the American physicist Alfred Marshall Mayer published his experiments with floating magnets as a didactic illustration of molecular actions and forms. A number of physicists made use of this analogy of molecular structure. For William Thomson they were a mechanical illustration of the kinetic equilibrium of groups of columnar vortices revolving in circles round their common centre of gravity . A number of modifications of Mayer's experiments were described, which gave configurations which were more (...) or less analogous to Mayer's arrangements. It was Joseph John Thomson who, in publications between 1897 and 1907, used Mayer's results to obtain a good deal of insight into the general laws which govern the configuration of the electrons in his atomic model. This article is mainly concerned with Mayer's experiments with floating magnets and their use by a number of physicists. Through his experiments Mayer made a significant, although small, contribution to the theory of atomic structure. (shrink)
In this paper, the authors have detected a new effect in the area of geomagnetism, related to the behavior of a magnetic dipole freely floating on water surface. An experiment is described in the present paper in which a magnetic dipole fixed upon a float placed on non- magnetized water surface undergoes displacement along with reorientation caused by fine structure of the earth's magnetic field. This fact can probably be explained by secular decrease of the earth's major dipole moment. Further, (...) a detailed study of the phenomenon may create interesting premises for its practical use, particularly for the analysis of fine structure of geomagnetic field and its time-dependent anomalies. A strange behavior of some sea fish species prior to strong earthquakes may be explained if the fish are assumed as 'live magnetic dipoles'. (shrink)
The right to bodily integrity is a controversial issue within moral, political and legal discourse. This first collection of scholarly research articles provides a comprehensive overview of the debates around the ethical and legal aspects of the right to bodily integrity and its implications in theory and practice. The selected essays examine topics such as pregnancy and reproduction, altering children's bodies, transplantation, controversial modifications and surgeries, and experimentation and dead bodies.
Introduction -- 1. The settling of a language -- 2. The Whorf hypothesis -- 3. Relativism or a universal theory? -- 4. What does language have to do with logic and mathematics? -- 5. A test bed for grammatical theories -- 6. The Chomsky hierarchy in perpsective -- 7. Reflexivity and identity in language and cognition -- 8. The generalized logic hierarchy and its cognitive implications -- 9. The intensionalization of extensions.
The goal of improving public health involves the use of different tools, with the law being one way to influence the activities of institutions and individuals. Of the regulatory mechanisms afforded by law to achieve this end, criminal law remains a perennial mechanism to delimit the scope of individual and group conduct. However, criminal law may promote or hinder public health goals, and its use raises a number of complex questions that merit exploration. This examination of the interface between criminal (...) law and public health brings together international experts from a variety of disciplines, including law, criminology, public health, philosophy and health policy, in order to examine the theoretical and practical implications of using criminal law to improve public health. (shrink)
The study aims to identify the efficiency of the university education performance from the perspective of postgraduate and undergraduate students in international and Palestinian universities. The analytical descriptive approach was used for this purpose and the questionnaire was used as a main tool for data collection. The study community consists of: post graduate students, (23850) graduate students and (146355) undergraduate students. The sample of the study was 378 graduate students and 383 undergraduate students. The random stratified sample was used. The (...) Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) was also used for data analysis. The study reached a number of results, the most important of which are: The level of efficiency of educational performance in Palestinian and international universities from the point of view of postgraduate and undergraduate students was high. And that there are significant differences between the average views of the sample of the study on the efficiency of educational performance in Palestinian and international universities attributed to the University and to the benefit of international universities. The study concluded many recommendations, the most important of which is the necessity of continuing to develop e-learning strategies that affect the efficiency of educational performance and research commensurate with the university's position in the local and international community, which puts it on the best classification between local and international universities through e-learning. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the article “Cybernetics, Reflexivity and Second-Order Science” by Louis H. Kauffman. Upshot: This commentary reflects broadly on the concept of eigenform and reflexive domains, focusing on the idea that second-order science is neither the same as nor completely distinct from ordinary living.
The theme running through these cooperative studies is the relation between automated fields of communication and control, and the various strata of human behavior. The question of the stratification of behavior is beginning to receive serious attention from the standpoints of ecology and cybernetics. One can only welcome the explorations of this imaginative group of authors in areas as promising as those of form, information, and life ; communication, information, and poetic language ; the role of information in the human (...) sciences ; physics and information ; and knowledge and information. Once again E. Paci is the one who scans the largest territory.—A. M. (shrink)