Most studies into the performance of socially responsible investment vehicles have focused on the performance of sustainable or socially responsible mutual funds. This research has been complemented recently by a number of studies that have examined the performance of sustainable investment indices. In both cases, the majority of studies have concluded that the returns of socially responsible investment vehicles have either underperformed, or failed to outperform, comparable market indices. Although the impact of sustainable indices to date has been limited, the (...) recent launch of sustainable indices by Dow Jones and FTSE suggests that more attention is being paid to the subject by financial markets, investors, and companies. This development raises a number of important issues which are reviewed in this article: (a) the performance of indices compared with their benchmark indices; (b) the methodologies employed in compiling the indices; and (c) the impact of the indices on companies and the investment community. The article concludes with a number of suggestions for areas that merit future research. (shrink)
We critically evaluate the ways in which competence in medical ethics has been evaluated. We report the initial stage in the development of a relevant, reliable and valid instrument to evaluate core critical thinking skills in medical ethics. This instrument can be used to evaluate the impact of medical ethics education programmes and to assess whether medical students have achieved a satisfactory level of performance of core skills and knowledge in medical ethics, within and across institutions.
Screening for prostate cancer with the prostate-specific antigen blood test is controversial, as evidence to date has not demonstrated such screening does more good than harm. While the potential benefit of PSA screening on reducing prostate cancer mortality has not been documented in randomized trials, many risks of PSA screening have been well documented. These risks include a substantially higher risk of a prostate cancer diagnosis over a screenee’s lifetime, false-positive and false-negative test results, possible complications from biopsies done in (...) response to suspicious test results, and substantial risks of side effects from subsequent prostate cancer treatments. Nevertheless, PSA screening is widespread in the United States, and many physicians in a national survey reported supporting routine PSA screening as well as getting PSA tests themselves, despite the lack of evidence. (shrink)
We conducted focus groups with 47 potential jurors who were presented with diferent scenarios in a hypothetical malpractice case involving failure to order a PSA test. Better documentation that a patient made an informed decision to decline a PSA test appeared to provide more medical-legal protection for physicians, especially with the use of a decision aid.
Important advances in biomedical and behavioral research ethics have occurred over the past few decades, many of them centered on identifying and eliminating significant harms to human subjects of research. Comprehensive attention has not been paid to the totality of harms experienced by animal subjects, although scientific and moral progress require explicit appraisal of these harms. Science is a public good and the prioritizing within, conduct of, generation of, and application of research must soundly address questions about which research is (...) morally defensible and valuable enough to support through funding, publication, tenure, and promotion. Likewise, educational pathways of re-imagined science are critical. (shrink)
In contemporary histories of psychology, William Moulton Marston is remembered for helping develop the lie detector test. He is better remembered in the history of popular culture for creating the comic book superhero Wonder Woman. In his time, however, he contributed to psychological research in deception, basic emotions, abnormal psychology, sexuality, and consciousness. He was also a radical feminist with connections to women's rights movements. Marston's work is an instructive case for philosophers of science on the relation between science (...) and values. Although Marston's case provides further evidence of the role that feminist values can play in scientific work, it also poses challenges to philosophical accounts of value-laden science. Marston's work exemplifies standard views about feminist value-laden research in that his feminist values help him both to criticize the research of others and create novel psychological concepts and research techniques. His scientific work includes an account of the nature of psycho-emotional health that leads to normative conclusions for individual values and conduct and for society and culture, a direction of influence that is relatively under-theorized in the literature. To understand and evaluate Marston's work requires an approach that treats science and values as mutually influencing; it also requires that we understand the relationship between science advising and political advocacy in value-laden science. (shrink)
The Mental Capacity Act is an impressive piece of legislation that deserves serious ethical attention, but much of the commentary on the Act has focussed on its legal and practical implications rather than the underlying ethical concepts. This paper examines the approach that the Act takes to best interests. The Act does not provide an account of the underlying concept of best interests. Instead it lists factors that must be considered in determining best interests, and the Code of Practice to (...) the Act states that this list is incomplete. This paper argues that this general approach is correct, contrary to some accounts of best interests. The checklist includes items that are unhelpful. Furthermore, neither the Act nor its Code of Practice provides sufficient guidance to carers faced with difficult decisions concerning best interests. This paper suggests ways in which the checklist can be developed and discusses cases that could be used in an updated Code of Practice. (shrink)
Whether or not it is coherent to place hope in a future life beyond the grave has become a central question in the larger debate about whether a materialist view of human persons can accommodate Christian belief. Hud Hudson defends a four-dimensional account of resurrection in order to avoid persistent difficulties experienced by three-dimensionalist animalism. I present two difficulties unique to Hudson’s view. The first problem of counterpart hope is a manifestation of a general weakness of four-dimensional views (...) to accommodate adequately prudential concern about one’s future self. More significantly, the second problem of quasi hope demonstrates that even if a temporal parts view can accommodate the possibility of future resurrection it necessarily leaves human beings in the dark about their individual futures and thus incapable of hope. I conclude that whatever its merits in demonstrating the possibility of resurrection, four-dimensionalist materialism cannot accommodate veridical Christian hope. (shrink)
The objective of this study is to evaluate if use of a patient decision aid, when choosing between a repeat cesarean or a trial of labor after a cesarean, reduces medical liability exposure. The authors conclude that use of a PDA conferred liability protection when potential jurors were presented with a hypothetical malpractice claim against an obstetrician following a TOLAC.