Using an approach developed in the context of human bioethics, we argue that chimpanzees in research can be regarded as vulnerable subjects. This vulnerability is primarily due to communication barriers and situational factors—confinement and dependency—that make chimpanzees particularly susceptible to risks of harm and exploitation in experimental settings. In human research, individuals who are deemed vulnerable are accorded special protections. Using conceptual and moral resources developed in the context of research with vulnerable humans, we show how chimpanzees warrant additional safeguards (...) against harm and exploitation paralleling those for human subjects. These safeguards should include empowering third parties to act as surrogate decision makers for chimpanzees, ensuring participant “assent,” and avoiding recruitment of animal subjects based merely on convenience. (shrink)
ObjectivesThe purpose of the current study was to examine whether a self-report measure identifies prenatal substance use and predicts resulting adverse birth outcomes in a large cohort using electronic medical records.MethodsPregnant patients who were admitted between 2014 and 2015 at Christiana Care Health System and delivered singleton birth were included in the analyses. Participant demographic information, pregnancy comorbidities, self-reported substance use, and birth outcomes were retrieved from electronic medical records. Detailed descriptive analyses of prenatal substance use were conducted, and logistic (...) models were evaluated for the associations between substance use and each birth outcome.ResultsThe average maternal age was 30 years, 37% receiving Medicaid. Over 58% were White, 26% were Black, and 13% were Hispanic. Cigarette smoking only showed the highest prevalence among substance u... (shrink)
There is an intriguing recent effort to develop a valid cosmological argument on the basis of quite minimal assumptions.1 Indeed, the basis of the new cosmological argument is so slight that it is likely to make even a conscientious theist suspicious – to say nothing of our vigilant atheists. In Section 1 we present the background assumptions and central premises of the new cosmological argument. We are sympathetic to the conclusion that there necessarily exists an intelligent and powerful creator of (...) the actual universe, but we show in Section 2 that the new cosmological argument cannot establish this claim. Speciﬁcally, we show by reductio ad absurdum that the new argument is unsound, and that every plausibly modiﬁed version of the argument is also unsound.2 We close our discussion with a diagnosis of what went wrong in the new cosmological argument. Our conclusion is that this intriguing new argument promises considerably more than it can show. (shrink)
This is the first chapter to our edited collection of essays on the nature and ethics of blame. In this chapter we introduce the reader to contemporary discussions about blame and its relationship to other issues (e.g. free will and moral responsibility), and we situate the essays in this volume with respect to those discussions.
Current UK legislation is impacting upon the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of medical record-based research aimed at benefiting the NHS and the public heath. Whereas previous commentators have focused on the Data Protection Act 1998, the Health and Social Care Act 2001 is the key legislation for public health researchers wishing to access medical records without written consent. The Act requires researchers to apply to the Patient Information Advisory Group for permission to access medical records without written permission. We present a (...) case study of the work required to obtain the necessary permissions from PIAG in order to conduct a large scale public health research project. In our experience it took eight months to receive permission to access basic identifying information on individuals registered at general practices, and a decision on whether we could access clinical information in medical records without consent took 18 months. Such delays pose near insurmountable difficulties to grant funded research, and in our case £560 000 of public and charitable money was spent on research staff while a large part of their work was prohibited until the third year of a three year grant. We conclude by arguing that many of the current problems could be avoided by returning PIAG’s responsibilities to research ethics committees, and by allowing “opt-out” consent for many public health research projects. (shrink)
Blame is usually discussed in the context of the free will problem, but recently moral philosophers have begun to examine it on its own terms. If, as many suppose, free will is to be understood as the control relevant to moral responsibility, and moral responsibility is to be understood in terms of whether blame is appropriate, then an independent inquiry into the nature and ethics of blame will be essential to solving (and, perhaps, even fully understanding) the free will problem. (...) In this article we first survey and categorize recent accounts of the nature of blame – is it action, belief, emotion, desire, or something else? – and then we look at several proposed requirements on appropriate blame that look beyond the transgressor himself, considerations that will form part of a full account of the ethics of blame. (shrink)
Christian Protestants typically affirm both the essential moral perfection of heaven and the sufficiency of saving faith. Yet these two commitments generatean apparently self-destructive dilemma—one I call the dilemma of sanctification. The prima facie puzzle can be resolved in at least three ways. In this paper, I articulate the dilemma of sanctification in some detail and offer an argument against a widely-held Protestant solution I call provisionism. This constitutes indirect support for the solution I find most promising, namely, a doctrine (...) of purgatory. I close by sketching a model of purgatory consistent with Protestant soteriology. (shrink)
One mark of interpersonal relationships is a tendency to blame. But what precise evaluations and responses constitute blame? Is it most centrally a judgment, or is it an emotion, or something else? Does blame express a demand, or embody a protest, or does it simply mark an impaired relationship? What accounts for its force or sting, and how similar is it to punishment?The essays in this volume explore answers to these questions about the nature of blame, but they also explore (...) the various norms that govern the propriety of blame. The traditional question is whether anyone ever deserves to be blamed, but the essays here provide a fresh perspective by focusing on blame from the blamer's perspective instead. Is our tendency to blame a vice, something we should work to replace with more humane ways of relating, or does it rather lie at the very heart of a commitment to morality? What can we legitimately expect of each other, and in general, what sort of attitude do would-be blamers need to have in order to have the standing to blame? Hypocritical or self-righteous blame seems objectionable, but why?The contributions to this volume aim to give us a fuller picture of the nature and norms of blame, and more generally of the promises and perils of membership in the human moral community. (shrink)
Blame is usually discussed in the context of the free will problem, but recently moral philosophers have begun to examine it on its own terms. If, as many suppose, free will is to be understood as the control relevant to moral responsibility, and moral responsibility is to be understood in terms of whether blame is appropriate, then an independent inquiry into the nature and ethics of blame will be essential to solving the free will problem. In this article we first (...) survey and categorize recent accounts of the nature of blame – is it action, belief, emotion, desire, or something else? – and then we look at several proposed requirements on appropriate blame that look beyond the transgressor himself, considerations that will form part of a full account of the ethics of blame. (shrink)
No one has written more insightfully on the promises and perils of human agency than Gary Watson, who has spent a career thinking about issues such as moral responsibility, blame, free will, addiction, and psychopathy. This special edition of OSAR pays tribute to Watson's work by taking up and extending themes from his pioneering essays.
BackgroundInformed consent forms are intended to facilitate research enrollment decisions. However, the technical language in institutional templates can be unfamiliar and confusing for decision-makers. Standardized language describing financial implications of participation, namely compensation for injury and costs of care associated with participating, can be complex and could be a deterrent for potential participants. This standardized language may also be misleading in the context of comparative effectiveness trials of standard care interventions, in which costs and risk of injury associated with participating (...) may not differ from regular medical care. In addition, the revised U.S. Common Rule contains a new requirement to present key information upfront; the impact of how this requirement is operationalized on comprehension and likelihood of enrollment for a given study is unknown.MethodsTwo online surveys assessed the impact of changes to compensation for injury language and changes to the key information page on both likelihood of enrollment in and understanding of a hypothetical comparative effectiveness trial.ResultsLikelihood of enrolling was not observed to be different between the standard and tailored language forms in Study 1 ; however, the tailored language group had a higher frequency of understanding the compensation for injury process specific to the trial. Modifications to the key information sheet in Study 2 did not affect likelihood of enrolling ; however, understanding of randomization differed by form.ConclusionsThese findings suggest that refining consent forms to clarify key information and tailoring compensation for injury language to the nature of the study, especially in the context of comparative effectiveness trials, may help to improve study comprehension but may not impact enrollment. (shrink)
The aim of this study was to analyze the association between physical activity and eating habits during the COVID-19 pandemic among Brazilian adults. A sample of 1,929 participants answered an online survey, however 1,874 were included in the analysis. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on eating habits was assessed inquiring about participants' intake of fruits, vegetables, fried foods, and sweets during the pandemic. Physical activity was assessed by asking participants about their weekly frequency, intensity and number of minutes/hours engaging (...) in structured physical activities per week. Participants were then stratified into categories based on moderate-to-vigorous intensity and into active or inactive. Increased sweets consumption was the most commonly reported change to eating habits, followed by an increase in the consumption of vegetables, fruits, and fried foods. Physical activity practice was related to lower consumption of fried foods and sweets. A cluster analysis revealed subjects with higher the level of physical activity was more likely to follow a healthy diet. Thus, physical activity was positively associated with healthier eating habits. Health authorities must recommend regular physical as a strategy to improve overall health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Future studies should address the physical activity interventions to improve health status during a pandemic. (shrink)
The individual management of online identity, as part of a wider politics of personal information, privacy, and dataveillance, is an area where public policy is developing and where the public sector attempts to intervene. This paper attempts to understand the strategies and methods through which the UK government and public sector is engaging in online identity management. The analysis is framed by the analytics of government and governmentality. This approach draws attention to the wide assemblage of public and private actors (...) with shared regimes of practice and fields of visibility, as well as to the extent to which individual actors are made responsible for their own identity management. The paper also uses communication and discursive research to examine the potential failings of engagement efforts. Communication theory suggested that the assumption of individual responsibility, alongside linguistic distortions created by this way of understanding the problematic of identity management, complicate and fundamentally limit engagement activity. (shrink)
Death in the Clinic fills a gap in contemporary medical education by explicitly addressing the concrete clinical realities about death with which practitioners, patients, and their families continue to wrestle. Visit our website for sample chapters!
A growing body of literature has examined managers’ use of restorative practices in the workplace. However, little is currently known about why managers use restorative practices as opposed to alternative responses. We employed a qualitative interview technique to develop an inductive model of managers’ restorative versus punitive response in the context of employee wrongdoing. The findings reveal a set of key motivating and moderating influences on the manager’s decision to respond to wrongdoing in a restorative versus punitive manner. The findings (...) also suggest that managers’ personal needs and perceived duties in the aftermath of employee wrongdoing are generally more consistent with restorative responses than punishment responses, which helps explain managers’ use of restorative workplace practices. (shrink)
Although informed consent is important in clinical research, questions persist regarding when it is necessary, what it requires, and how it should be obtained. The standard view in research ethics is that the function of informed consent is to respect individual autonomy. However, consent processes are multidimensional and serve other ethical functions as well. These functions deserve particular attention when barriers to consent exist. We argue that consent serves seven ethically important and conceptually distinct functions. The first four functions pertain (...) principally to individual participants: providing transparency; allowing control and authorization; promoting concordance with participants' values; and protecting and promoting welfare interests. Three other functions are systemic or policy focused: promoting trust; satisfying regulatory requirements; and promoting integrity in research. Reframing consent around these functions can guide approaches to consent that are context sensitive and that maximize achievable goals. (shrink)
Ruchkin et al. ascribe a pivotal role to long-term memory representations and binding within working memory. Here we focus on the interaction of working memory and long-term memory in supporting on-line representations of experience available to guide on-going processing, and we distinguish the role of frontal-lobe systems from what the hippocampus contributes to relational long-term memory binding.
Although O'Regan & Noë (O&N) claim that the world may serve as the viewers' external visual memory, findings from the field of memory research have demonstrated the existence of internal visual representations. These representations are stored in the viewer's brain, contain information regarding visual objects and their relations, guide subsequent exploration of the visual world and promote change detection.