Next SectionBackground There is an established link between depression and interest in hastened death in patients who are seriously ill. Concern exists over the extent of depression in patients who actively request euthanasia/physician-assisted suicide (PAS) and those who have their requests granted. Objectives To estimate the prevalence of depression in refused and granted requests for euthanasia/PAS and discuss these findings. Methods A systematic review was performed in MEDLINE and PsycINFO in July 2010, identifying studies reporting rates of depression in requests (...) for and cases of euthanasia/PAS. One author critically appraised the strength of the data using published criteria. Results 21 studies were included covering four countries. There was considerable heterogeneity in methods of assessing depression and selecting patients. In the highest quality studies, in the Netherlands and Oregon, 8–47% of patients requesting euthanasia/PAS had depressive symptoms and 2–17% of completed euthanasia/PAS cases had depressive symptoms. In the Netherlands, depression was significantly higher in refused than granted requests, and there was no significant difference in the rate of depression between euthanasia cases and similar patients who had not made a request for euthanasia. Conclusion It is unclear whether depression increases the probability of making a request for euthanasia/PAS, but in the Netherlands most requests in depressed patients are rejected, leaving a depression rate in cases that is similar to the surrounding population. Less evidence is available elsewhere, but some level of depression has been identified in patients undergoing euthanasia/PAS in all the countries studied. Whether the presence of depression is ever compatible with an ethical decision on euthanasia/PAS is discussed. (shrink)
Fifteen years into a successful career as a college professor, Ilana Blumberg encounters a crisis in the classroom that sends her back to the most basic questions about education and prompts a life-changing journey that ultimately takes her from East Lansing to Tel Aviv. As she explores how civic and religious commitments shape the culture of her humanities classrooms, Blumberg argues that there is no education without ethics. When we know what sort of society we seek to build, our (...) teaching practices follow. In vivid classroom scenes from kindergarten through middle school to the university level, Blumberg conveys the drama of intellectual discovery as she offers novice and experienced teachers a pedagogy of writing, speaking, reading, and thinking that she links clearly to the moral and personal development of her students. Writing as an observant Jew and as an American, Blumberg does not shy away from the difficult challenge of balancing identities in the twenty-first century: how to remain true to a community of origin while being a national and global citizen. As she negotiates questions of faith and citizenship in the wide range of classrooms she traverses, Blumberg reminds us that teaching - and learning - are nothing short of a moral art, and that the future of our society depends on it. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the role of regulation in the shaping new scientific facts. Fleck chose to study the origins of a diagnostic test for a disease seen as a major public health problem, that is, a ‘scientific fact’ that had a direct and immediate influence outside the closed universe of fundamental scientific research. In 1935, when Fleck wrote his book, Genesis and development of a scientific fact, he believed that the tumultuous early history of the Wassermann reaction had come (...) to an end, and that this reaction was successfully stabilized through the standardization of laboratory practices and thanks to the rise of a specific professional segment—the serologists. He could not have predicted that in the 15 years that followed the publication of his book, regulatory measures—barely metioned in his historical narrative—would play a key role in the destabilization of the original meaning of this reaction. The introduction of mass screening for syphilis—mainly via legislation that introduced obligatory premarital tests and promoted the testing of pregnant women—weakened in fine the link between Wassermann serology and infection by the etiological agent of syphilis, the bacterium Treponema pallidum. Fleck elected to study the Wassermann reaction because of its novelty, its complexity, and because it became the focus of a controversy regarding its origins. However, the Wassermann reaction was also one the first examples of a medical technology regulated by the state and incorporated into legal dispositions. It may therefore be seen as an exemplary case of the close intertwining of scientific investigations, their practical applications and regulatory practices. (shrink)
This article argues that Ludwik Fleck’s understanding of scientific observation as a social and cultural process stemmed not only from his practical experience as a bacteriologist and serologist, but also from a confrontation with ideas developed by other Polish thinkers. It discusses ideas of three such thinkers: the ophthalmologist and philosopher of medicine Zygmunt Kramsztyk, the mathematician and painter Leon Chwistek, and the playwright, painter and photographer Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz. Kramsztyk was interested in the way the observer’s preconceived idea shaped (...) observations through selection of specific visual elements and the rejection of others. Chwistek developed a theory of ‘multiple realities’ which proposed several divergent and equally valid patterns of grasping reality. In his plays, photographs, drawings and paintings Witkiewicz experimented restlessly with destabilization and transformation of the notion of a stable external reality. It links, then, debates on ‘reality’ in Poland between 1900 and 1939 to intersections of ideas derived from modern physics, psychology of perception, and avant-garde art.Keywords: Ludwik Fleck; Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz ; Leon Chwistek; Poland; Perception; Avant-garde art. (shrink)
This article examines the ways in which 1970s French feminists who participated in the Women’s Liberation Movement wielded the spectre of lesbianism as an American idiosyncrasy to counteract the politicisation of lesbianism in France. It argues that the erasure of lesbian difference from the domain of French feminism was a necessary condition for making ‘woman’ an amenable subject for incorporation into the abstract unity of the French nation, wherein heterosexuality is conceived as a democratic crucible where men and women harmoniously (...) come together and differences are deemed divisive. Looking at the history of feminism from the standpoint of a lesbian perspective reveals unforeseen continuities between French ‘feminist’ and ‘anti-feminist’ genealogies insofar as they rest on common heterosexual and racial foundations. Finally, the article demonstrates that the alleged un-Frenchness ascribed to the word ‘lesbian’ in the 1970s feminist movement spectrally returned in the 1990s when the word ‘gender’ was, in its turn, deemed radically foreign to the French culture by feminist researchers. Fiercely reactionary constituencies against the legalisation of same-sex marriage have more recently taken up this rhetorical weapon against sexual and racial minorities. (shrink)
Linguistic forms with dedicated evidential meanings have been described for a number of Australian languages (eg. Donaldson 1980, Laughren 1982, Wilkins 1989) but there has been little written on how these are used in social interaction. This paper examines evidential strategies in ordinary Garrwa conversations, by taking into account what we know more generally about the status of knowledge and epistemic authority in Aboriginal societies, and applying this understanding to account for the ways knowledge is managed in `ordinary' interactions.
Linguistic studies of evidentiality, the coding of source of knowledge, have often appeared divided into two camps: those whose focus is the semantic, morphological and typological characteristics of grammaticalized morphological evidential systems, and those whose focus is on the social functions of non-grammaticalized evidential constructions as markers of epistemic authority and responsibility. While interest in the discourse functions of all evidential systems has been growing as seen in the recent special issue of the journal Pragmatics and Society on ‘Evidentiality in (...) Interaction’, there has been little direct attention on whether the deployment of evidential strategies in discourse varies according to the grammatical status of the grammatical resources available to the speaker. This article examines the nature of both grammaticalized and non-grammaticalized evidential systems in a number of languages to show that while the underlying pragmatics of evidentiality is the same regardless of grammatical system, nonetheless grammaticalized evidential systems provide important evidence of the particular features of knowledge sources that are used in routine ways in discourse sufficiently to motivate their development into grammatical systems. (shrink)
In the inter-war period physicians elaborated numerous ‘biotherapies’ grounded in the complex interactions between physiology, bacteriology and immunology. The elaboration of these non-specific biological treatments was stimulated by the theory of generalized anaphylaxis that linked the violent reaction to a foreign protein to a broad array of chronic diseases, from asthma and urticaria to rheumatism or chronic colitis. Such diseases were perceived as the result of an ‘abnormal reactivity’ to a sensitisation of tissues and organs by bacteria and by foreign (...) proteins, a view that provided an effective bridge between new concepts derived from bacteriology and immunology and the long-standing pathological tradition. Accordingly, physicians attempted to treat these conditions through specific desensitisation and non-specific biological therapies: peptone treatment, protein therapy, haemotherapy, ‘antivirus’ or ‘opotherapy’. Therapies that attempted to neutralise the harmful effects of chronic infections through ‘desensitisation’ were not seen as marginal medical practices, but were promoted by leading advocates of the ‘Pasteurian sciences’, such as Richet, Widal, Vallery-Radot, Wright and Fleming. They also led to development of new products by the pharmaceutical industry. (shrink)
Musical Group Interaction (MGI) has been found to promote prosocial tendencies, including empathy, across various populations. However, experimental study is lacking in respect of effects of everyday forms of musical engagement on prosocial tendencies, as well as whether key aspects—such as physical co-presence of MGI participants—are necessary to enhance prosocial tendencies. We developed an experimental procedure in order to study online engagement with collaborative playlists and to investigate socio-cognitive components of prosocial tendencies expected to increase as a consequence of engagement. (...) We aimed to determine whether mereperceivedpresence of a partner during playlist-making could elicit observable correlates of social processing implicated in both MGI and prosocial behaviors more generally and identify the potential roles of demographic, musical, and inter-individual differences. Preliminary results suggest that for younger individuals, some of the social processes involved in joint music-making and implicated in empathic processes are likely to be elicited even by an assumption of virtual co-presence. In addition, individual differences in styles of listening behavior may mediate the effects of mere perceived partner presence on recognition memory. (shrink)
Pragmatic sociology is often read as a reaction to and an alternative to Bourdieu’s ‘critical sociology’. This article, in contrast, offers an assessment of pragmatic sociology in terms of its contribution to the theory of culture in general and its affinities with repertoire theory in particular. Whereas the tendency has been to conceive of repertoires as largely unstructured entities, pragmatic sociology has demonstrated a systematic interest in their internal contents and structure, which it has even expanded through its more recent (...) turn to historical and macro comparative analysis. In the process, however, pragmatic sociology has also been leaning towards a form of cultural sociology that actually challenges some major aspects of repertoire theory–thus also bringing into relief the dilemmas facing any attempt at further elaboration of what is now a growing strand of cultural theory. (shrink)
For many journalists, politicians and political scientists ministerial cabinets in Belgium equal political power. Moreover they argue that this power is, if not illegitimate, at least problematic, and so ministerial cabinets have become one of the most criticised institutions in the Belgian political system. Yet, the lack of empirical data on this controversial topic is striking, certainly when compared to the vast academic attention given to other political agents. There is an urgent need for empirical substance to the debate. This (...) incited us to set up an extensive political-sociological study on the Belgian and Flemish ministerial cabinets.In this article we present the first stage of our study: a classic insight in the composition of ministerial cabinets and - to a lesser extent - in the work environment offered by ministerial cabinets of the former government. A first descriptive analysis seems to underpin the commonly held idea of cabinets as networking, loyal, and flexible brain trusts. (shrink)
Following Levinas’ articulation that “truth is accessible only to the mind capable of experiencing an exile away from its preconceptions and prejudices,” Exile and Otherness posits that Shinran, the founder True Pure Land Buddhism, and Maimonides, a Jewish philosopher and Torah scholar, exhibit sensitivity to the neglected and suffering others.
This is a review of a collection of six essays. These essays, with the exception of one, are written by the followers of Shin Buddhism. The last essay in this collection is written from the perspective of Theravada Buddhism rather than Mahayana Buddhism. This collection is a result of the initiative by Rev. Yoshiharu Tomatsu who, as a Buddhist priest, has acquired hands-on experience in dealing with grieving Temple members and became acutely aware of the discrepancy between a medical system (...) and a ritualistic Buddhist system. While a medical system overlooks the spiritual needs of the dying, a Buddhist temple system neglects the spiritual needs of the living. This book ensued from a project that was initiated in 2006 and focused on the above-mentioned missing links, aiming to bring into conversation medical and religious practitioners. (shrink)
In Brazil, the epicenter of the Zika crisis, brown, black, and indigenous poor women living in municipalities with scarce resources were disproportionally affected. The gendered consequences of the epidemic exposed how intersectional lenses are central to understand the impact of public health emergencies in the lives of women and girls. The demand for Zika-affected children and women to be research participants is relevant for an ethical analysis of participant protection procedures during a crisis. We investigated how women experienced research participation (...) by analyzing their narratives. Two-year-long longitudinal qualitative study in Brazilian sites located in the epidemic's epicenter was performed using mixed methods: ethnography with women from two distinct states and individual semi-structured interviews with five women in different Zika-affected states, four of which were community leaders. All women in the study were mothers or grandmothers of Zika-affected children. Thematic analysis was used for data evaluation. Women perceived being pressured to participate in research and a lack of benefit sharing. Structural determinants of gender inequality, such as its effect on power distribution, were found to impact research participant protection. Formal procedures for research protocols approvals were insufficient in protecting participants because these instruments were unable to account for structural aspects. Communitarian mobilization, through WhatsApp groups, was found to be an important mechanism to create conditions to challenge oppressive structures. Strengthening public health, effective community-based participation in research planning and implantation of ethical strategies that promotes gender equality can have transformative effect on unequal power structures and promote participant protection. (shrink)
This paper compares anti-hookworm campaigns conducted in the early twentieth century in France, Germany, Brazil and West India. The populations that suffer from hookworm are not identical in the North and in the South. In tropical and semi-tropical regions hookworm is mainly found among poor peasants and is related to lack of hygiene, while in temperate climates hookworm was a professional disease of miners, a highly organized professional segment. Nevertheless, major disparities in the pattern of hookworm control did not reflect (...) the North-South divide, but a difference between campaigns. These aimed at the eradication of hookworm infection (Germany and West-India) and at alleviating the effects of this infection on populations (France and Brazil). Maps that represented the prevalence of hookworm mirrored the aims of the sanitary campaign in which they were used: eradication of parasitic worms versus the reduction of the handicap induced by these worms. In public health as well, representing is intervening. And vice versa: patterns of intervention shape representations. Ce texte compare des approches développés pour lutter contre l'ankylostomiase au debout du vingtième siècle en France, Allemagne, Brésil et Indes Occidentales. Dans les pays chauds, cette pathologie se trouve avant tout parmi les paysans pauvres, tendis que dans les pays de climat tempéré, cette infection est avant tout une maladie professionnelle des mineurs, un secteur professionnel bien structuré et doté d'un taux de syndicalisation élevé. Cependant, les différences les plus importantes ne furent pas celles entre les pays du Nord et du Sud, mais entre les campagnes qui ont eu comme but l'éradication de l'infestation (celles en Allemagne et en Indes Occidentales) et celles qui ont visé avant tout d'atténuation des ses effets sur les populations infectées (celles de France et de Brésil). Les cartes de diffusion de l'ankylostomiase furent façonnées par les buts des chercheurs: cartes utilisés dans une campagne contre le parasite ne furent pas identiques à celles utilisés dans un effort de limiter un handicap induit par une maladie. En santé publique aussi, représenter c'est intervenir. Et inversement: les modalités d'intervention façonnent des représentations. (shrink)
Preferences for options that do not secure optimal outcomes, like the ones catalogued by Sunstein, derive from two sources: cognitive heuristics and deontological rules. Although rules may stem from automatic affective reactions, they are deliberately maintained. Because strongly held convictions have important behavioral implications, it may be useful to regard cognitive heuristics and deontological rules as separate sources of nonconsequential judgment in the moral domain.
The aim of this article is to explore the implications of a specific type of anger — termed here ‘civic’ anger — with regard to the place of emotions and their relation to regimes of justification in the framework of Boltanski and Thévenot’s sociology of critical capacity. Drawing upon interviews with a sample of Israeli philanthropic mega-donors, it will highlight the distinctive features and context-bound operation of civic anger as a type of moral and political emotion that has not yet (...) received its due conceptualization. In the case at hand here, civic philanthropic anger will be shown to correspond to a cultural configuration that included regimes of justification equivalent to those already identified by Boltanski and Thévenot, but also allowed a distinctive cluster of emotions to develop into an additional, ‘quasi’ regime of justification. As such, it points to ways in which a renewed sociology of morality needs enlist the fecund idea of regimes of justification, but also draw more systematic theoretical and empirical attention to the variable and multifaceted relation between emotions and justifications in practices of moral interpretation. (shrink)