Background Euthanasia is a topic of intense ethical debate and it is illegal in most countries at present, including Sri Lanka. The aim of this descriptive cross-sectional study of medical students and practicing doctors was to explore the acceptance of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide, and factors influencing this opinion. Methods A customised online questionnaire which explored opinions on euthanasia was administered to first and final year medical undergraduates in University of Colombo and practicing doctors with more than 5 years (...) of work experience at The National Hospital of Sri Lanka. Attitudes on euthanasia and PAS were also assessed with the attitudes towards euthanasia Scale, which is a 10-item questionnaire. Results A total of 425 individuals responded, which included 143 first-year medical undergraduates, 141 final-year medical undergraduates and 141 practicing doctors. More participants favoured legalizing euthanasia than those directly opposing it, but a significant proportion remained undecided. The mean scores of ATE questionnaire from the whole sample were generally unfavourable towards euthanasia/PAS. Accepting euthanasia as an option for oneself was the strongest predictor of favouring euthanasia/PAS or supporting its legalization. Conclusion In this cross-sectional survey, more respondents supported legalisation of euthanasia in Sri Lanka than those openly opposing it. Yet, a significant minority that responded as “undecided” for legalisation, were more likely to have unfavourable ATE. (shrink)
There is a growing literature on the concept of e-trust and on the feasibility and advisability of “trusting” artificial agents. In this paper we present an object-oriented model for thinking about trust in both face-to-face and digitally mediated environments. We review important recent contributions to this literature regarding e-trust in conjunction with presenting our model. We identify three important types of trust interactions and examine trust from the perspective of a software developer. Too often, the primary focus of research in (...) this area has been on the artificial agents and the humans they may encounter after they are deployed. We contend that the humans who design, implement, and deploy the artificial agents are crucial to any discussion of e-trust and to understanding the distinctions among the concepts of trust, e-trust and face-to-face trust. (shrink)
Until recently there has been little contact between the mind-brain debate in philosophy and the debate in psychiatry about the nature of mental illness. In this paper some of the analogies and disanalogies between the two debates are explored. It is noted in particular that the emphasis in modern philosophy of mind on the importance of the concept of action has been matched by a recent shift in the debate about mental illness from analyses of disease in terms of failure (...) of functioning to analyses of illness in terms of failure of action. The concept of action thus provides a natural conduit for two-way exchanges of ideas between philosophy and psychiatry. The potential fruitfulness of such exchanges is illustrated with an outline of the mutual heuristic significance of psychiatric work on delusions and philosophical accounts of Intentionality. (shrink)
From the perspective of values-based practice, there is much of interest in Lorenzo Gilardi and Giovanni Stanghellini's "I am a Schizophrenic." Their dialogue exhibits many of the key elements of VBP, it exemplifies the particular challenges presented by VBP in mental health, it illustrates the power of phenomenology in meeting these challenges, and it points by extension to an insight into contemporary psychiatry's professional identity as a medical profession.VBP is a resource for working with values—with what matters or is important (...) to those concerned—in healthcare. Avoiding preset answers, it offers instead a process that supports those concerned in a given situation... (shrink)
This edited volume illustrates the central importance of diversity of human values throughout healthcare. The readings are organised around the main stages of the clinical encounter from the patient's perspective. This introductory chapter opens up crucial issues of methodology and of practical application in this highly innovative approach to the role of ethics in healthcare.
This volume of articles, literature and case studies illustrates the central importance of human values throughout healthcare. The readings are structured around the main stages of the clinical encounter from the patient's perspective.
This volume illustrates the central importance of diversity of human values throughout healthcare. The readings are organized around the main stages of the clinical encounter from the patient's perspective. They run from staying well and 'first contact' through to either recovery or to long-term illness, death and dying.
This article is a response to the proposal, made by Thornton elsewhere in this special issue of PPP, that the "space of reasons" (as defined by the work particularly of Sellars and McDowell) might contain the conceptual resources for naturalizing biological function statements without reducing their ostensibly teleological meanings to the "space of causes". I agree with Thornton, (1) that ordinary reductive naturalism (as in Wakefield's work) is unable to mark the key distinction between a functional system's function(s) and its (...) other properties, and (2) that his proposed non-reductive naturalism (or neo-naturalism) is able to mark this distinction. I disagree with him, though, that neo-naturalism is value-free. The space of reasons certainly contains much that is important for psychopathology (meanings, notably). I argue, though, against Thornton, that neo-naturalism is able to define functions only because the "space of reasons" smuggles into the language of biology an evaluative element of meaning, deeply hidden but still logically operative, in the teleological sense in which biological functions are explanatory. In the final section of the paper, I set Thornton's proposal in a wider historical perspective. (shrink)
Decision-making depends on bringing evidence together with values: decision theory for example employs probabilities and utilities; health economic decisions employ measures such as quality of life. The hypothesis guiding this chapter is that bringing evidence together with values in clinical decision-making requires an exercise of phronesis. Our aim however is not to justify our guiding hypothesis. It is rather to outline an account of phronesis that is in principle fit for the purposes of clinical decision-making if our guiding hypothesis is (...) correct. The chapter has three sections. Section 1 describes the growing gap between evidence and values in clinical decision-making: the missing link, we suggest, required to bridge this gap, is an appropriate account of phronesis. Section 2 provides an initial characterisation of the required account of phronesis via Michael Polanyi’s twin stipulation on the nature of tacit knowledge. Section 3 then fills out the required account using John McDowell’s characterisation of phronesis as a situation specific but at the same time conceptually structured form of practical discernment. A McDowellian account of phronesis, we argue, in satisfying Polanyi’s twin stipulation, provides an in-principle bridge between evidence and values. We conclude with a note on some of the further requirements if the gap is to be bridged not only in principle but in practice too. (shrink)
Marie Stenlund’s careful reading of values-based practice and her demonstration of its links with Martha Nussbaum’s Capabilities Framework are innovative theoretically and have potentially important implications for policy and practice in mental health. As she indicates the two approaches converge in a number of key respects. Notably, both recognise the diversity of individual human values. This diversity crucially underpins contemporary person-centred conceptions of recovery in mental health based on quality of life as defined by reference to the values of the (...) person concerned rather than that of a generic professional ‘needs assessment’.1 2 Where the two theories diverge, too, Stenlund finds practically important consequences. Thus Nussbaum’s Capabilities Framework, as Stenlund indicates, is outcomes-oriented, while values-based practice focuses on process. The two approaches are not however thereby necessarily inconsistent. Drawing on early accounts of values-based practice, Stenlund suggests a degree of implicit blurring between it and Nussbaum’s capabilities. Here we need to be careful: values-based practice does not regard recovery as an outcome; it …. (shrink)
Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.Karl marx’s distinction between interpreting the world and changing it points by extension to the state of contemporary philosophy and psychiatry. The 1990s resurgence of interdisciplinary work in this area was driven equally by phenomenological scholarship and by initiatives in analytic philosophy. The former reflected the focus in phenomenology on ‘what it is like’ to experience a given mental symptom with the aim of reconstructing the (...) life-worlds of people experiencing mental disorders, while the latter reflected directly or indirectly the influence of J. L. Austin and others from... (shrink)
In the current climate of dramatic advances in the neurosciences, it has been widely assumed that the diagnosis of mental disorder is a matter exclusively for value-free science. Starting from a detailed case history, this paper describes how, to the contrary, values come into the diagnosis of mental disorders, directly through the criteria at the heart of psychiatry's most scientifically grounded classification, the American Psychiatric Association's DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). Various possible interpretations of the prominence of values in psychiatric (...) diagnosis are outlined. Drawing on work in the Oxford analytic tradition of philosophy, it is shown that, properly understood, the prominence of psychiatric diagnostic values reflects the necessary engagement of psychiatry with the diversity of individual human values. This interpretation opens up psychiatric diagnostic assessment to the resources of a new skills-based approach to working with complex and conflicting values (also derived from analytic philosophy) called 'values-based practice.' Developments in values-based practice in training, policy and research in mental health are briefly outlined. The paper concludes with an indication of how the integration of values-based with evidence-based approaches provides the basis for psychiatric practice in the twenty-first century that is both science-based and person-centred. (shrink)
These are exciting times for philosophy and psychiatry. After drifting apart for most of this century, the two disciplines, if not yet fully reconciled, are suddenly at least on speaking terms. With hindsight we may wonder why they should have ignored each other for so long. As Anthony Quinton pointed out in a lecture to the Royal Institute of Philosophy a few years ago, it is remarkable that philosophers, in a sense the experts on rationality, should have had so little (...) to say about the phenomena of irrationality. There have been partial exceptions, of course. Descartes and Kant both touched on madness; and there were, notably, important philosophical influences on the development of modern psychiatry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Yet even John Locke, who was a doctor as well as philosopher, confined himself to a fair-l y superficial distinction between what we should now call mental illness and mental defect—those with, in Locke's view, respectively too many ideas and too few. (shrink)
Ten years ago the Royal Institute of Philosophy marked the establishment of the Society for Applied Philosophy with a series of public lectures, published in an earlier book in this series, under the title Philosophy and Practice. Looking back it i s hard to believe this was only ten years ago. Applied philosophy still has its critics. But it is now so pervasive, so much the norm, that it seems to have been with us always. Law, medicine, education, nursing, the (...) environment, politics, economics … almost it seems, no subject is quite respectable nowadays without its philosophy and its philosophical exponents. (shrink)
This article explores the role of an international open society of mental health stakeholders in raising awareness of values and thereby reducing the vulnerability of psychiatry to abuse. There is evidence that hidden values play a key role in rendering psychiatry vulnerable to being used abusively for purposes of social or political control. Recent work in values-based practice aimed at raising awareness of values between people of different ethnic origins has shown the importance of what we call “values auto-blindness” – (...) a lack of awareness of one’s own values as a key part of our background “life-world” – in driving differential rates of involuntary psychiatric treatment between ethnic groups. It is argued that the vulnerability of psychiatry to abuse stems from values auto-blindness operating on the judgments of rationality implicit in psychiatric diagnostic concepts. Acting like a “hall of mirrors,” an international open society of mental health stakeholders would counter the effects of values auto-blindness through enhanced mutual understanding of the values embedded in our respective life-worlds across and between the diverse perspectives of its constituents. The article concludes by noting that a model for the required open society is available in the contemporary interdisciplinary field of philosophy and psychiatry. (shrink)
For the first time in several years, the El Nino-Southern Oscillation did not dominate regional climate conditions around the globe. A weak La Niña dissipated to ENSO-neutral conditions by spring, and while El Nino appeared to be emerging during summer, this phase never fully developed as sea surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific uncharacteristically returned to neutral conditions. Nevertheless, other large-scale climate patterns and extreme weather events impacted various regions during the year. A negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation (...) from mid-January to early February contributed to frigid conditions in parts of northern Africa, eastern Europe, and western Asia. A lack of rain during the 2012 wet season led to the worst drought in at least the past three decades for northeastern Brazil. Central North America also experienced one of its most severe droughts on record. The Caribbean observed a very wet dry season and it was the Sahel's wettest rainy season in 50 years. Overall, the 2012 average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces ranked among the 10 warmest years on record. The global land surface temperature alone was also among the 10 warmest on record. In the upper atmosphere, the average stratospheric temperature was record or near-record cold, depending on the dataset. After a 30-year warming trend from 1970 to 1999 for global sea surface temperatures, the period 2000-12 had little further trend. This may be linked to the prevalence of La Niña-like conditions during the 21st century. Heat content in the upper 700 m of the ocean remained near record high levels in 2012. Net increases from 2011 to 2012 were observed at 700-m to 2000-m depth and even in the abyssal ocean below. Following sharp decreases in global sea level in the first half of 2011 that were linked to the effects of La Niña, sea levels rebounded to reach records highs in 2012. The increased hydrological cycle seen in recent years continued, with more evaporation in drier locations and more precipitation in rainy areas. In a pattern that has held since 2004, salty areas of the ocean surfaces and subsurfaces were anomalously salty on average, while fresher areas were anomalously fresh. Global tropical cyclone activity during 2012 was near average, with a total of 84 storms compared with the 1981-2010 average of 89. Similar to 2010 and 2011, the North Atlantic was the only hurricane basin that experienced above-normal activity. In this basin, Sandy brought devastation to Cuba and parts of the eastern North American seaboard. All other basins experienced either near- or below-normal tropical cyclone activity. Only three tropical cyclones reached Category 5 intensity-all in the Western North Pacific basin. Of these, Super Typhoon Bopha became the only storm in the historical record to produce winds greater than 130 kt south of 7°N. It was also the costliest storm to affect the Philippines and killed more than 1000 residents. Minimum Arctic sea ice extent in September and Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent in June both reached new record lows. June snow cover extent is now declining at a faster rate than September sea ice extent. Permafrost temperatures reached record high values in northernmost Alaska. A new melt extent record occurred on 11-12 July on the Greenland ice sheet; 97% of the ice sheet showed some form of melt, four times greater than the average melt for this time of year. The climate in Antarctica was relatively stable overall. The largest maximum sea ice extent since records begain in 1978 was observed in September 2012. In the stratosphere, warm air led to the second smallest ozone hole in the past two decades. Even so, the springtime ozone layer above Antarctica likely will not return to its early 1980s state until about 2060. Following a slight decline associated with the global financial crisis, global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production reached a record 9.5 ± 0.5 Pg C in 2011 and a new record of 9.7 ± 0.5 Pg C is estimated for 2012. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased by 2.1 ppm in 2012, to 392.6 ppm. In spring 2012, for the first time, the atmospheric CO2 concentration exceeded 400 ppm at 7 of the 13 Arctic observation sites. Globally, other greenhouse gases including methane and nitrous oxide also continued to rise in concentration and the combined effect now represents a 32% increase in radiative forcing over a 1990 baseline. Concentrations of most ozone depleting substances continued to fall. (shrink)
To many who develop and use free software, the GNU General Public License represents an embodiment of the meaning of free software. In this paper we examine the definition and meaning of free software in the context of three events surrounding the GNU General Public License. We use a case involving the GPU software project to establish the importance of Freedom 0 in the meaning of free software. We analyze version 3 of the GNU General Public License and conclude that (...) although a credible case can be made that the added restrictions are consistent with the definition of free software, the case requires subtle arguments. Strong arguments against the added restrictions are less subtle, and may therefore be more convincing to many users and developers. We also analyze the Affero General Public License and conclude that it is inconsistent with the definition of free software. (shrink)
The US neutrino community gathered at the Workshop on the Intermediate Neutrino Program at Brookhaven National Laboratory February 4-6, 2015 to explore opportunities in neutrino physics over the next five to ten years. Scientists from particle, astroparticle and nuclear physics participated in the workshop. The workshop examined promising opportunities for neutrino physics in the intermediate term, including possible new small to mid-scale experiments, US contributions to large experiments, upgrades to existing experiments, R&D plans and theory. The workshop was organized into (...) two sets of parallel working group sessions, divided by physics topics and technology. Physics working groups covered topics on Sterile Neutrinos, Neutrino Mixing, Neutrino Interactions, Neutrino Properties and Astrophysical Neutrinos. Technology sessions were organized into Theory, Short-Baseline Accelerator Neutrinos, Reactor Neutrinos, Detector R&D and Source, Cyclotron and Meson Decay at Rest sessions.This report summarizes discussion and conclusions from the workshop. (shrink)
This introduction to the Journal of Business Research special issue on anti-consumption briefly defines and highlights the importance of anticonsumption research, provides an overview of the latest studies in the area, and suggests an agenda for future research on anti-consumption.
We apply an online optimization process based on machine learning to the production of Bose-Einstein condensates. BEC is typically created with an exponential evaporation ramp that is optimal for ergodic dynamics with two-body s-wave interactions and no other loss rates, but likely sub-optimal for real experiments. Through repeated machine-controlled scientific experimentation and observations our ’learner’ discovers an optimal evaporation ramp for BEC production. In contrast to previous work, our learner uses a Gaussian process to develop a statistical model of the (...) relationship between the parameters it controls and the quality of the BEC produced. We demonstrate that the Gaussian process machine learner is able to discover a ramp that produces high quality BECs in 10 times fewer iterations than a previously used online optimization technique. Furthermore, we show the internal model developed can be used to determine which parameters are essential in BEC creation and which are unimportant, providing insight into the optimization process of the system. (shrink)
A search is presented for anomalous quartic gauge boson couplings in vector-boson scattering. The data for the analysis correspond to 20.2 fb-1 of s=8 TeV pp collisions and were collected in 1972 by the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. The search looks for the production of WW or WZ boson pairs accompanied by a high-mass dijet system, with one W decaying leptonically and a W or Z decaying hadronically. The hadronically decaying W/Z is reconstructed as either two small-radius (...) jets or one large-radius jet using jet substructure techniques. Constraints on the anomalous quartic gauge boson coupling parameters α4 and α5 are set by fitting the transverse mass of the diboson system, and the resulting 95% confidence intervals are -0.024<α4<0.030 and -0.028<α5<0.033. (shrink)
Introduction Stored human samples and the establishment of biobanks are increasing in the world. Along with this there are the questions of ethics that arise such as the correct method of obtaining informed consent for research on stored samples and the policies involved in collaborative research using collected samples. This study is an attempt to evaluate the researchers, academics and policy makers' views on these ethical aspects. Methods This was an anonymised study involving a Sri Lankan population of researchers, ethics (...) committee members, and policy makers. A self administered questionnaire was utilised as the study instrument. The questionnaire captured four major areas of interest: demographic characteristics of respondents, their attitudes on informed consent policy, their opinion on rights of collaborating researchers, their attitudes on dealing with international differences in regulatory frameworks. Results The study included 55 responders with 40/55 agreeing that donors should receive the option of giving informed consent for future research, with 31/55 considering multiple- type consent options most appropriate. Regarding the issue of shared samples in collaborative research majority agreed that source country ethics review committee approval was necessary 53/55. Conclusion The study concludes that sample donors should be given the option of giving advance consent to unspecified future research provided that future research is approved by an ethics committee. In collaborative research, it is necessary to involve ethics committees from donor countries in the research approval process. (shrink)
This article presents an overview ofregulations, guidelines and societal debates ineight member states of the EC about a)embryonic and fetal tissue transplantation(EFTT), and b) the use of human embryonic stemcells (hES cells) for research into celltherapy, including `therapeutic' cloning. Thereappears to be a broad acceptance of EFTT inthese countries. In most countries guidance hasbeen developed. There is a `strong' consensusabout some of the central conditions for `goodclinical practice' regarding EFTT.International differences concern, amongstothers, some of the informed consent issuesinvolved, and the (...) questions whether anintermediary organisation is necessary, whetherthe methods of abortion may be influenced bythe possible use of EFT, and whether EFTTshould only be used for the experimentaltreatment of rare disorders. The potential useof hES cells for research into cell therapy hasgiven a new impetus to the debate about (human)embryo research. The therapeutic prospects withregard to the retrieval and research use of hEScells appear to function as a catalyst for theintroduction of less restrictive regulationsconcerning research with spare embryos, atleast in some European countries. It remains tobe seen whether the prospect of treatingpatients suffering from serious disorders withtransplants produced by therapeutic cloningwill decrease the societal and moral resistanceto allowing the generation of embryos for`instrumental' use. (shrink)
The law of informed consent to medical treatment has recently been extensively overhauled in England. The 2015 Montgomery judgment has done away with the long-held position that the information to be disclosed by doctors when obtaining valid consent from patients should be determined on the basis of what a reasonable body of medical opinion agree ought to be disclosed in the circumstances. The UK Supreme Court concluded that the information that is material to a patient’s decision should instead be judged (...) by reference to a new two-limbed test founded on the notions of the ‘reasonable person’ and the ‘particular patient’. The rationale outlined in Montgomery for this new test of materiality, and academic comment on the ruling’s significance, has focused on the central ethical importance that the law now accords to respect for patient autonomy in the process of obtaining consent from patients. In this paper, we dispute the claim that the new test of materiality articulated in Montgomery equates with respect for autonomy being given primacy in re-shaping the development of the law in this area. We also defend this position, arguing that our revised interpretation of Montgomery’s significance does not equate with a failure by the courts to give due legal consideration to what is owed to patients as autonomous decision-makers in the consent process. Instead, Montgomery correctly implies that doctors are ethically obliged to attend to a number of relevant ethical considerations in framing decisions about consent to treatment, which include subtle interpretations of the values of autonomy and well-being. Doctors should give appropriate consideration to how these values are fleshed out and balanced in context in order to specify precisely what information ought to be disclosed to a patient as a requirement of obtaining consent, and as a core component of shared decision-making within medical encounters more generally. (shrink)
The apolipoprotein E gene plays an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease , and amyloid plaque comprised mostly of the amyloid-beta peptide ) is one of the major hallmarks of AD. However, the relationship between these two important molecules is poorly understood. We examined how A treatment affects APOE expression in cultured cells and tested the role of the transcription factor NF-B in APOE gene regulation. To delineate NF-B's role, we have characterized a 1098 nucleotide segment containing the (...) 5'-flanking region of the human APOE gene . Sequence analysis of this region suggests the presence of two potential NF-B elements. To demonstrate promoter activity, the region was cloned upstream of a promoterless luciferase gene. This segment was able to drive expression of luciferase in transient transfections of human fetal glial cells. Promoter activity was stimulated twofold by A treatment. Pretreatment with double-stranded DNA decoy oligonucleotides against NF-B reduced A stimulation. Deletion and mutagenetic analyses demonstrated that the distal NF-B element was functional and showed a strong DNA-protein complex band in gel shift analysis, similar to that from control NF-B consensus element. An anti-inflammatory and anti-NF-B drug, sodium salicylate, significantly blocked A-induced APOE promoter function. Our data provide evidence that upregulation of APOE by A in astroglial cells is mediated by an NF-B-element present in the 5'-flanking region of the APOE gene. (shrink)
ZusammenfassungMit den Fortschritten im Bereich der psychiatrisch-genetischen Forschung gehen auch intensive Diskussionen bezüglich der daraus erwachsenden Implikationen einher. Hoffnungen wie Befürchtungen gegenüber der neuen Technologie und deren Folgen werden gleichermaßen zum Ausdruck gebracht. Über die Einstellung der Bevölkerung und insbesondere der Patienten mit affektiven oder schizophrenen Erkrankungen und ihrer Angehörigen in Deutschland war bisher allerdings wenig bekannt. Daher führten wir im Rahmen des Deutschen Humangenomprojektes erstmals eine Studie durch, um die Einstellungen und ihre beeinflussenden Faktoren zu erfassen. Wir entwickelten einen (...) Fragebogen zur Erfassung der Erwartungen, Hoffnungen und Befürchtungen sowie der die Einstellung beeinflussenden Faktoren. Hiermit wurde eine repräsentative Stichprobe von 3077 Personen aus der Allgemeinbevölkerung am Telefon befragt. Weiterhin wurden mit 316 Patienten und 163 Angehörigen persönliche standardisierte Interviews anhand des Fragebogens durchgeführt. Die Mehrzahl der Befragten hatte eine positive Einstellung zu psychiatrisch-genetischer Forschung, äußerte jedoch gleichzeitig ethische Bedenken. Übereinstimmend waren die Befragten der Ansicht, dass Informationen aus genetischen Untersuchungen vertraulich behandelt werden sollten. Kleine, aber signifikante Unterschiede zwischen den Gruppen zeigten sich bezüglich der Einstellung zu präsymptomatischer genetischer Diagnostik. Unsere Ergebnisse weisen auf eine Ambivalenz der Befragten gegenüber der psychiatrisch-genetischen Forschung und Untersuchung hin: Neben einer überwiegend positiven Einstellung wurden auch moralische Bedenken geäußert. (shrink)