In this issue of Journal of Medical Ethics, Pugh1 offers a pluralist justice-based argument in support of the spirit, if not the precise letter, of the UK approach to the use of genetic test results to underwrite life insurance. We agree with Dr Pugh’s general contention that there is ethical and philosophical support for curtailment of insurers’ access to, and use of, applicants’ GTR in underwriting. However, we disagree with the contention that broad revisionary implications of certain theories of justice (...) render them unpersuasive. In fact, despite the competing theories, the United Nations Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights has already made a clear statement on this issue. Article 6 of the Declaration,2 unanimously adopted in 1997 by 77 countries, along with a resolution for its implementation,3 states, ‘No one shall be subjected to discrimination based on genetic characteristics that is intended to infringe or has the effect of infringing human rights, fundamental freedoms and human dignity.’ Further, Article 25 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in the provision of life insurance. These statements are not contingent on the acceptability of the degree of revisionary implications. They are clear, unambiguous statements about the obligations of signatory countries. Despite this, few countries have taken steps commensurate with this expectation, possibly due to the scale of changes required for proper ratification. However, genetic discrimination is recognised as one …. (shrink)
The theory that AIDS originated from contaminated polio vaccines raises a number of challenging issues with ethical dimensions. The Journal of Medical Ethics dealt with a submission about the theory a decade ago; subsequent developments have raised further issues. Four areas of contention are addressed: whether the theory should be investigated; whether anyone should be blamed; whether defamation actions are appropriate, and whether the scientific community has a responsibility to examine unorthodox theories.
The aim of this paper is to set out some of the ontologies amongst which some forms of anti-realism must select. This provides the appropriate setting for presenting an alternative realist ontology. The argument is that the choice between the varieties of anti-realism and realism is inevitably a choice between ontologies.
Collaboration in the arts is no longer a conscious choice to make a deliberate artistic statement, but instead a necessity of artistic survival. In today’s hybrid world of virtual mobility, collaboration decentralizes creative strategies, enabling artists to carve new territories and maintain practice-based autonomy in an increasingly commercial and saturated art world. Collaboration now transforms not only artistic practices but also the development of cultural institutions, communities and personal lifestyles. This book explores why collaboration has become so integrated into a (...) greater understanding of creative artistic practice. It draws on an emerging generation of contributors—from the arts, art history, sociology, political science, and philosophy—to engage directly with the diverse and interdisciplinary nature of collaborative practice of the future. (shrink)
The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors is a working group of editors of selected medical journals that meets annually. Founded in Vancouver, Canada, in 1978, it currently consists of 11 member journals and a representative of the US National Library of Medicine. The major purpose of the Committee is to address and provide guidance for the conduct and publishing of biomedical research and the ethical tenets underpinning these activities. This advice is detailed in the Committee's Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts (...) Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication . Recently, the ICMJE has adopted an interventionist role to ensure transparency of conflict of interest revelations in the conduct and publication of industry supported research. It also pursues a policy for the lodgement with trial registries of specified details of Phase III clinical trials. Failure to comply would jeopardise publication of trial outcomes in ICMJE member journals. This policy has resulted in the coming on stream of trial registries, international agreement on trial minimal datasets and compliance with trial registration requirements. (shrink)
Editorial independence is crucial for the viability of a journal and editors have many masters - the public, the readers, the authors and the owners. Negotiating the resultant minefield requires a purposeful and independent stance. This is particularly so in instances of a relatively modern phenomenon: concerted attempts by clinical groups to influence, or even abort, publication of articles, which may threaten their practice. Moreover, modern social media facilitates this manipulation.
Although universal schooling has been adopted as a goal by international organizations, bilateral aid agencies, national governments, and non-profit organizations, little sustained international attention has been devoted to the purposes or goals of universal education. What is universal primary and secondary education intended to accomplish? This book, which grew out of a project of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, offers views from Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and South America on the purposes of universal education while considering diverse (...) cultures, religions, and professions. It is the first book in which renowned authors from around the world have proposed, considered, and debated goals of basic and secondary education, engaging in a constructive dialogue on one of the most pressing issues facing education today. (shrink)
Non-invasive prenatal testing is at the forefront of prenatal screening. Current uses for NIPT include fetal sex determination and screening for chromosomal disorders such as trisomy 21. However, NIPT may be expanded to many different future applications. There are a potential host of ethical concerns around the expanding use of NIPT, as examined by the recent Nuffield Council report on the topic. It is important to examine what NIPT might be used for before these possibilities become consumer reality. There is (...) limited research exploring views of women on possible future uses of NIPT, particularly those of women who have undergone NIPT. In this study, we examined the views of women who undertook NIPT previously on the acceptability of and interest levels in using NIPT for a number of current and possible future applications. These included several medical conditions encompassing psychiatric, neurodevelopmental and adult-onset conditions as well as non-medical traits such as intelligence. One thousand women were invited to participate and 235 eligible surveys were received. Women generally reported an interest in using NIPT for medical conditions that severely impacted quality of life and with an onset earlier in life and stressed the importance of the accuracy of the test. Concerns were raised about the use of NIPT for non-medical traits. Respondents indicated that termination of pregnancy was not their only reason for testing, particularly in the case of sex. These results can further inform the ethical debate around the increasing integration of NIPT into healthcare systems. (shrink)
Do the rich descriptions and narrative shapings of literature provide a valuable resource for readers, writers, philosophers, and everyday people to imagine and confront the ultimate questions of life? Do the human activities of storytelling and complex moral decision-making have a deep connection? What are the moral responsibilities of the artist, critic, and reader? What can religious perspectives—from Catholic to Protestant to Mormon—contribute to literary criticism? Thirty well known contributors reflect on these questions, including iterary theorists Marshall Gregory, James Phelan, (...) and Wayne Booth; philosophers Martha Nussbaum, Richard Hart, and Nina Rosenstand; and authors John Updike, Charles Johnson, Flannery O'Connor, and Bernard Malamud. Divided into four sections, with introductory matter and questions for discussion, this accessible anthology represents the most crucial work today exploring the interdisciplinary connections between literature, religion and philosophy. (shrink)
This book explores in detail the relation between ontology and ethics in the early work of Ludwig Wittgenstein, notably the _Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus_ and, to a lesser extent, the _Notebooks 1914-1916_. Self-contained and requiring no prior knowledge of Wittgenstein's thought, it is the first book-length argument that his views on ethics decisively shaped his ontological and semantic thought. The book's main thesis is twofold. It argues that the ontological theory of the _Tractatus_ is fundamentally dependent on its logical and linguistic doctrines: (...) the tractarian world is the world as it appears in language and thought. It also maintains that this interpretation of the ontology of the _Tractatus_ can be argued for not only on systematic grounds, but also via the contents of the ethical theory that it offers. Wittgenstein's views on ethics presuppose that language and thought are but one way in which we interact with reality. Although detailed studies of Wittgenstein's ontology and ethics exist, this book is the first thorough investigation of the relationship between them. As an introduction to Wittgenstein, it sheds new light on an important aspect of his early thought. (shrink)
Predictive genetic testing is now routinely offered to asymptomatic adults at risk for genetic disease. However, testing of minors at risk for adult-onset conditions, where no treatment or preventive intervention exists, has evoked greater controversy and inspired a debate spanning two decades. This review aims to provide a detailed longitudinal analysis and concludes by examining the debate's current status and prospects for the future. Fifty-three relevant theoretical papers published between 1990 and December 2010 were identified, and interpretative content analysis was (...) employed to catalogue discrete arguments within these papers. Novel conclusions were drawn from this review. While the debate's first voices were raised in opposition of testing and their arguments have retained currency over many years, arguments in favour of testing, which appeared sporadically at first, have gained momentum more recently. Most arguments on both sides are testable empirical claims, so far untested, rather than abstract ethical or philosophical positions. The dispute, therein, lies not so much in whether minors should be permitted to access predictive genetic testing but whether these empirical claims on the relative benefits or harms of testing should be assessed. (shrink)