It’s Friday again! Enjoy the Yale Friday Newsletter (edited for our readership), with lots of great items this week.
Some recommended reading from Steve Latham:
- The current New England Journal of Medicine has a couple of articles about the effect of the upcoming election on bioethics and health (from differing points of view), and the Hastings Center has collected the candidates’ positions and their parties’ official platforms on a number of bioethical issues. JAMA has this overview from the Kaiser Family Foundation. And there’s this from the Commonwealth Fund.
And some articles from Carol Pollard: click here.
Monday, October 22
Human Rights Workshop
Time: 6:10 PM
Location: 127 Wall St, Rm. 128
Speaker: Christof Heyns, Co-Director, Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa and Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
Topic: Protecting Life Through the UN – From Drones to the Death Penalty
Tuesday, October 23
Joint Nursing Grand Rounds
Time: 2 PM
Location: Harkness Auditorium, 333 Cedar St
Speaker: Prof. Donna Diers
Topic: Narratives of Practice, Research, Policy, and the Profession
Thursday, October 25
Human Rights Workshop
Time: 4:15 PM
Location: 127 Wall St, Faculty Lounge
Speaker: Sharmila Murthy, Fellow, Human Rights to Water & Sanitation Program, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, and Sustainability Science Program, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Topic: The Challenges of Realizing the Human Right(s) to Water and Sanitation
McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, Stanford University, Post Doctoral Fellowships
For 2013-2014, we seek up to four new post doctoral fellows. We welcome candidates with substantial normative research interests from diverse backgrounds including philosophy, the social sciences, and professional schools. We are especially interested in candidates with research interests in inequality, human rights, immigration, and environmental justice, but we welcome all applicants with strong normative interests that have some practical implications. Fellows will teach one class, participate in a Political Theory Workshop, interact with undergraduates in the Ethics in Society Honors Program and help in developing an inter-disciplinary ethics community across the campus. The appointment term is September 1, 2013 – August 31, 2014; however, the initial term may be renewed for an additional year. Applicants must have completed all requirements for their PhD by June 30, 2013. Candidates must also be no more than 3 years from the awarding of their degree (i.e., September 2010). Stanford University is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty. It welcomes applications from women and members of minority groups, as well as others who would bring additional dimensions to the university’s research and teaching missions. Salary is competitive. For information on how to access the online system to submit your application, visit our website http://ethicsinsociety.stanford.edu/grants-fellowships/postdoctoral-fellowships/. Contact person: Joan Berry at email@example.com
Postdoctoral Positions in Values and Public Policy
The University Center for Human Values and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs invite applications for postdoctoral positions in Values and Public Policy. We aim to support highly promising scholars trained in moral and political philosophy, political theory, normative economics and related areas to develop a research agenda in the ethical dimensions of public policy. Candidates selected will undertake a research project exploring a normative problem arising in an area of public policy in which the Woodrow Wilson School sponsors research. They will be affiliated with a unit of the School that can inform and support their work. They will also be invited to participate in programs of the University Center for Human Values. Candidates will be expected to contribute one course each year to the School’s undergraduate program on a topic related to ethical issues in public policy, subject to sufficient enrollment and approval by the Dean of the Faculty. Applicants must have completed the requirements for the Ph.D. by September 1, 2013 and must not have held the degree for more than three years by that date. They may not be employed by another institution during the term of their Princeton appointment. Applicants’ dissertation research need not be specifically in values and public policy, but they will be expected to demonstrate a commitment to developing a research project in this area during their time at Princeton. Projects related to environmental policy, population and health, democratic institutions and processes, information technology policy and global governance may have an advantage, although we will consider proposals related to any area in which the School sponsors research. For more information about these areas, please consult http://wws.princeton.edu/centers_programs/. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of the applicant’s previous accomplishments, the promise of the proposed research project in values and public policy, and the likelihood that the project will be enhanced by being carried out in the environment of the Woodrow Wilson School. The capacity to contribute to the University’s teaching program will also be taken into account. The term of appointment is one year, normally beginning September 1, 2013, with the expectation of renewal for one further year assuming good performance. Applicants are expected to be in residence for the duration of the appointment. Princeton offers competitive salary and employee benefits. Candidates should submit an online application at http://jobs.princeton.edu. Search for requisition number #1200508. The online system includes instructions on how to apply. A complete application will include the following materials:
1. A current curriculum vitae;
2. A research proposal (not to exceed 1,500 words), conforming to the expectations stated above. The proposal should describe what the applicant hopes to gain from carrying out the project in the Woodrow Wilson School.
3. A scholarly paper or dissertation chapter (not to exceed 12,000 words) representing the applicant’s scholarly achievement or potential;
4. Contact information for two referees, who will be asked to comment specifically on the applicant’s qualifications for the proposed research project. Referees will be contacted directly by email with instructions for uploading letters of reference.
These materials should be submitted online by Monday, December 3, 2012. We cannot accept application materials by any other method. Letters of reference are to be submitted by end of business day on Thursday, December 6, 2012. The selection committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and incomplete applications may be at a disadvantage. Decisions will be announced by Thursday, March 28, 2013. Princeton University is an equal opportunity employer and complies with applicable EEO and affirmative action regulations.
20th Annual International Vincentian Business Ethics Conference
October 17 – 19, 2013
DePaul University is pleased to host the 20th Annual International Vincentian Business Ethics Conference, October 17-19, 2013 in Chicago, IL
‘‘Business Ethics in the 21st Century: The Globalization of Corporate Responsibilities’’. The conference will address topics in all areas of business and professional ethics. A combination of formats will be used to address critical ethical issues.
This year we particularly encourage panels, presentations, or case studies that focus on global issues related to the following questions:
- What models should companies and managers develop for corporate governance in an increasingly global economy?
- How can companies market to the vast majority of the world that is in abject poverty?
- Can they address the issues of poverty and disease in less developed countries while continuing to be fiscally responsible?
- What is the role of entrepreneurs in these new markets?
Keynote Addresses: Today’s corporate leaders will address current ethical challenges in management decision-making.
Panel Sessions: Academic scholars teamed with men and women in business discuss timely, cutting edge problems and solutions concerning ethics and ethical decision making in business.
Concurrent Sessions: Innovative research and scholarship on all areas of business and professional ethics are presented through formal, academic papers.
Call for Papers: We are looking for business professionals, academics, and young scholars that have an interest in and commitment to the study and discussion of business and professional ethics. Final proposals will be selected through a blind referee process.
We require a one-page proposal, including an abstract. We are actively seeking proposals which:
- Address important issues in the field of business and professional ethics.
- Reflect timely, cutting edge insight
- Represent collaboration between academic and business professionals (including practical case studies)
Continuing our custom, a Dean’s Award is presented for the best paper, and a special award will be presented to the best young scholar’s paper.
Ethicist at Kaiser Permanente
Oakland, CA (San Francisco Bay Area)
Job Description: The Ethicist is a member of the Regional Ethics Department’s integrated ethics team. As such, the ethicist will provide support for high quality clinical ethics case consultation throughout the region, engage in preventive ethics through ethics-related policy and program review, development and dissemination, and collaborate with many of NCAL’s existing departments and programs to foster an environment grounded in integrity, transparency, accountability, fairness, respect and trust. The Ethicist will serve as an expert resource in a particular area of health care ethics, such as organization ethics, dispute resolution, communication ethics or patient and family-centered care, and will enhance the Department’s existing strengths in clinical ethics education, consultation methods, and organizational health care ethics policy development. Essential Functions:
• Under the leadership of the Director of the Regional Ethics Department, collaborates with colleagues to enhance the organization’s understanding of the role and importance of ethics in the delivery of high-quality health care and promote ethical practices at all levels.
• Contributes to ethics educational efforts, including on-site formal and informal presentations, regional and local guided discussions, conference planning, and the preparation of presentations, written materials, training tools and webinars.
• Helps develop other innovative approaches to distance learning, including website and on-line strategies (i.e. secure on-line discussions, videos, etc.) to enhance and/or supplement more conventional or traditional learning styles/opportunities.
• Regularly engages in efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of facility procedures utilized to resolve ethical conflicts and makes recommendations aimed at quality improvement, as needed.
• Approaches all ethical issues from a member and family-centered perspective and understands how to incorporate cultural and linguistic responsiveness into all departmental activities.
• Promotes open and honest communication and models tactful and effective communication.
• Facilitates consensus among stakeholders on complex ethical issues and related organizational policies.
• Identifies ethics policy gaps and works toward increasing ethics policy alignment region-wide.
• Provides resources and support to Medical Center personnel and Ethics Committees on local ethical issues.
• Analyzes consultation methods and approaches and provides recommendations for improvement strategies, where they would be beneficial.
• Reviews and develops policies as they relate to patient rights and ethics and assures compliance with accreditation and agency standards pertaining to clinical ethics and patient rights.
• Represents the Regional Ethics Department on committees and at regional and national conferences.
• Will be required to travel to facilities within NCAL as needed.
Instructor in Bioethics and Medical Humanities
The Division of Medical Humanities in the College of Medicine at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS—the state’s only health sciences institution with a medical school) seeks to appoint an instructor in bioethics. Established in 1982, the Division of Medical Humanities (www.uams.edu/humanities/) provides ethics education, consultation and other support throughout the institution and its affiliated partners—Central Arkansas VA and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The Division is particularly proud of its many offerings by nationally recognized faculty in a broad range of medical humanities, including literature, history, anthropology, and law. Applicants must have particular interests in clinical ethics as well as consultations and, more broadly, should be familiar with all aspects of bioethics, able to teach medical students, residents, faculty, and others in various areas of medical ethics and humanities. Further, applicants must have a terminal degree in a humanities discipline, law, medicine, nursing, or other health profession. The position is intended as an initial 3-year hire, evaluated and contracted annually. If the faculty member proves successful in this position, the possibility is available for negotiating a tenure-track line after initial appointment period. (Salary commensurate with appointment rank and experience.) Review of applications will begin November 1st and continue until the position is filled. The intended start date is July 1, 2013. To apply, an applicant should send a CV, three letters of recommendations, and a sample of scholarship to:
4301 W. Markham St., #646
Little Rock, AR 72205
UAMS is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
In the News
Belluck, Pam. Hospitals Ditch Formula Samples to Promote Breast-Feeding. New York Times. 15 October 2012.
For years, virtually every new mother has been sent home from the hospital with a gift bag full of free product samples, including infant formula. Now health authorities and breast-feeding advocates are leading a nationwide effort to ban formula samples, which often come in stylish bags with formula company logos. Health experts say they can sway women away from breast-feeding. Continue reading…
Gallagher, James. Intensive care ‘has lasting impact on mental health’. BBC. 14 October 2012.
Some 55% of people who survive intensive care treatment go on to develop psychological disorders, British researchers have found. A study of 157 patients at University College Hospital, in London, found high levels of depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. Continue reading…
Consumers Union. Excess medical care can be bad for your health, especially if it’s not coordinated. Washington Post. 15 October 2012.
Physicians sometimes have their own incentives for seeing patients too frequently or ordering too many tests — such as financial rewards or fear of malpractice — but patients might also contribute to the problem by mistakenly believing that more visits or more tests will keep them healthier. Continue reading…
Law and Bioethics
Associated Press. President’s bioethics panel urges new privacy protection to ensure benefits from DNA decoding. Washington Post. 10 October 2012.
It sounds like a scene from a TV show: Someone sends a discarded coffee cup to a laboratory where the unwitting drinker’s DNA is decoded, predicting what diseases lurk in his or her future. A presidential commission found that’s legally possible in about half the states — and says new protections to ensure the privacy of people’s genetic information are critical if the nation is to realize the enormous medical potential of gene-mapping. Continue reading…
Marchant, Gary. Should We Screen Kids’ Brains and Genes To ID Future Criminals? Slate. 17 October 2012.
We are now reaching a critical juncture where scientific developments in both genetics and neuroscience may soon be able to identify children with a greatly increased risk of engaging in future violent activity. In the genetics field, mutations in the MAOA gene, in combination with an abusive upbringing in the early years of life, substantially increase the risk of future antisocial and violent conduct. Continue reading…
DiSalvo, David. Neuroscientists: Mercenaries in the Courtroom. Slate. 18 October 2012.
Neuroscience can potentially be used in court to facilitate lie detection, explore the mindset of a criminal before and after a crime, and qualify the veracity of eyewitness testimony. The 2010 case U.S. v. Semrau was the first time a federal court ruled on whether fMRI-based lie detection could be considered by a jury during a criminal trial. While the court determined that the detection method wasn’t suitable for the case (and that ruling was upheld by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals recently), it nevertheless set a precedent: that fMRI will continue to be introduced in more cases for the same purpose. Continue reading…
Lubin, Joann S. What Happens When the Boss Has Cancer? Wall Street Journal. 14 October 2012.
David B. Fischer advanced to chief executive of Greif Inc. last November, a decade after he contracted a form of melanoma that usually kills within five years. Mr. Fischer disclosed he was a recent cancer survivor with a poor prognosis before the big industrial-packaging maker offered him a divisional presidency in 2004. The disclosure “showed his forthrightness and honesty,” and helped him get picked, said Chairman Michael Gasser, then CEO of Greif. Continue reading…
Roberts, Michelle. Creativity ‘closely entwined with mental illness’. BBC. 16 October 2012.
Creativity is often part of a mental illness, with writers particularly susceptible, according to a study of more than a million people. Lead researcher Dr Simon Kyaga said the findings suggested disorders should be viewed in a new light and that certain traits might be beneficial or desirable. Continue reading…
Marcus, Amy Dockser. More HIV-Positive Patients Receive Organ Transplants. Wall Street Journal. 11 October 2012.
Hospitals are increasingly willing to transplant vital and scarce organs into people who have HIV, a once-unthinkable step now made possible with drug regimens that are helping such patients live longer. Most procedures have involved kidneys and livers, but a small number of centers are transplanting hearts. Continue reading…
Marcus, Amy Dockser. A Push to Lift Ban on Infected Donors. Wall Street Journal. 11 October 2012.
Advocates for people with HIV and transplant doctors are pushing for legislation that would allow HIV-positive people to receive transplanted organs from donors who were also infected with the virus. A federal ban prevents HIV-infected organs from being transplanted. Continue reading…
Associated Press. 7 More Cancer Scientists Quit Texas Institute Over Grants. New York Times. 13 October 2012.
At least seven more scientists have resigned in protest from Texas’ embattled $3 billion cancer-fighting program, claiming that the agency in charge of it is charting a “politically driven” path that puts commercial interests before science. Continue reading…
Cyranoski, David. Stem-cell fraud hits febrile field. Nature. 16 October 2012.
Rarely has such a spectacular scientific claim been debunked so rapidly. For a few brief hours last week, Hisashi Moriguchi, a project researcher at the University of Tokyo, was riding high, lauded by his nation’s press for pioneering work on induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. His feat was said to be the first successful use in humans of a technology that days earlier had won his countryman, Kyoto University’s Shinya Yamanaka, a share of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. At a hastily convened press conference on 13 October, Moriguchi recanted. “I admit that I lied,” he told reporters, adding that his “career as a researcher is probably over”. Continue reading…
Weintraub, Karen. But How Do You Really Feel? Someday the Computer May Know. New York Times. 15 October 2012.
People are good at understanding one another’s emotions. We realize quickly that now is not a good time to approach the boss or that a loved one is having a lousy day. These skills are so essential that those without them are considered disabled. Yet until recently, our machines could not identify even seemingly simple emotions, like anger or frustration. The GPS device chirps happily even when the driver is ready to hurl it out the window. The online class keeps going even when half the students are lost in confusion. The airport security system can’t tell whether someone is behaving as if he were concealing something or is just anxious about flying. Continue reading…
In the Journals
Harrosh, Shlomir. Identifying harms. Bioethics. November 2012.
Moral disagreements often revolve around the issue of harm to others. Identifying harms, however, is a contested enterprise. This paper provides a conceptual toolbox for identifying harms, and so possible wrongdoing, by drawing several distinctions. First, I distinguish between four modes of human vulnerability, forming four ways in which one can be in a harmed state. Second, I argue for the intrinsic disvalue of harm and so distinguish the presence of harm from the fact that it is instrumental to or constitutive of a valued act, practice or way of life. Finally, I distinguish between harm and wrongdoing, arguing that while harm is a normative concept requiring justification, not all harmed states are automatically unjustified. The advantage of this view is that it refocuses the moral debate on the normative issues involved while establishing a common basis to which both sides can agree: the presence of harm to others. Continue reading…
Mailla, Pierre. Is there a Mediterranean bioethics? Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy. October 2012.
Is there a special Mediterranean approach to Bioethics and if so what are the roots of this approach? And why not a Bosphorus, or a ‘lake Michigan’ bioethics? The answer to such a question depends on the focus one takes on defining ‘Mediterranean’? On the one hand one can refer to the Mediterranean region which includes the surrounding coasts, having Europe on its northern coast line, northern Africa on its southern coast line (and these will include the north and South West coasts), and in the Eastern region countries which border with Middle-Eastern countries. This approach is the approach currently being taken by European Parliamentarians when they speak about the Mediterranean, namely including countries like France, Italy and Libya. On the other hand there is the look upon the Mediterranean as ‘Southern Europe’; this is a more ‘traditional’ way on how westerners view the Mediterranean. This common approach is often recognized when, for example, we speak of ‘Mediterranean diet’, or, ‘Mediterranean Temperament’. It would include Eastern countries like Greece and Cyprus. This article focuses on these two approaches to Mediterranean ethics after discussing issues pertaining to the region which are important to define in this context. It then analyses the need for having a Mediterranean approach to bioethical issues. Continue reading…
Rys, Sam; Deschepper, Reginald, Mortier; Freddy; Deliens, Luc; Atkinson, Douglas; Bilsen, Johan. The Moral Difference or Equivalence Between Continuous Sedation Until Death and Physician-Assisted Death: Word Games or War Games? Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. 2012.
Continuous sedation until death (CSD), the act of reducing or removing the consciousness of an incurably ill patient until death, often provokes medical-ethical discussions in the opinion sections of medical and nursing journals. Some argue that CSD is morally equivalent to physician-assisted death (PAD), that it is a form of “slow euthanasia.” A qualitative thematic content analysis of opinion pieces was conducted to describe and classify arguments that support or reject a moral difference between CSD and PAD. Arguments pro and contra a moral difference refer basically to the same ambiguous themes, namely intention, proportionality, withholding artificial nutrition and hydration, and removing consciousness. This demonstrates that the debate is first and foremost a semantic rather than a factual dispute, focusing on the normative framework of CSD. Given the prevalent ambiguity, the debate on CSD appears to be a classical symbolic struggle for moral authority. Continue reading…
Waldby, Ian Kerridge; Skene, Loane. Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the Donation of Stem Cells and Reproductive Tissue. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. 2012.
Since the late 1970s, the capacity of assisted reproductive technologies to reorder the beginnings of life has generated robust, sometimes heated social debate. The new repertoires of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and oocyte donation abruptly expanded the number of potential participants in the creation of a child and radically redistributed the spaces in which ovulation, conception, pregnancy, and birth took place. However, while stem cell research is now considered a well-regulated field in many jurisdictions, and some of the heat has gone out of the debates, it remains highly experimental and retains the capacity to generate sudden and unexpected social conundrums and bioethical issues. The articles in this symposium provide various disciplinary perspectives on the emergent social, ethical, and legal relations at play in this dynamic field. Even though the moral status of embryos is a much older issue-being central to debates about the morality of abortion, assisted reproductive technologies, and developments in research involving embryos and embryonic stem cells-it requires ongoing philosophical examination. When the papers are read together, they should inform our understanding of women’s experiences of donation and the legal, philosophical, and sociopolitical issues that underlie the donation process. Hopefully, this will improve the experience for women in the future in this important but sensitive area. Continue reading…
Timmer, John. EU regulators unimpressed by GMO study. October 12, 2012.
In late September, the University of Caen’s Gilles-Eric Séralini released a paper that claimed to show an increased incidence of tumors in rats fed either an herbicide or corn engineered to resist the herbicide. At the time, he used an unusual agreement to prevent outside experts from commenting on his work. Once they saw it, the study was generally panned. Continue reading…
Timmer, John. Meet a science committee that doesn’t get science. October 15, 2012.
In general, we only become aware of a politician’s position on scientific issues during the campaign season. And, with a few exceptions like energy and climate policy, they rarely become campaign issues for anyone other than presidential candidates. So for the most part, it’s rare to have a good picture of what our elected representatives think about science and technology. Continue reading…
Editorial. President’s bioethics panel urges new privacy protection to ensure benefits from DNA decoding. October 11, 2012.
It sounds like a scene from a TV show: Someone sends a discarded coffee cup to a laboratory where the unwitting drinker’s DNA is decoded, predicting what diseases lurk in his or her future. Continue reading…
Wu, Huizhong. Queer bioethics now an academic program at Penn. October 17, 2012.
Not many people get a chance to create a new academic field, but two Penn professors are now among the few. Lance Wahlert, an associate in the Master of Bioethics program, and Autumn Fiester, director of graduate studies in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, created the Project on Bioethics, Sexuality and Gender Identity together in spring 2010. Continue reading…
Los Angeles Times
Editorial. No on Measure B. October 18, 2012.
Performers in adult films risk their health and their very lives to do their controversial work. Despite advances in the treatment of HIV, there is not yet a cure for the virus, which causes AIDS. New, more virulent and in some cases reportedly untreatable strains of once manageable sexually transmitted diseases continue to appear: syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia. So it stands to reason that government would consider common-sense regulations to protect performers in the workplace. Just as regulations require helmets on construction sites to protect against debilitating head injuries, government could mandate that performers whose work requires sexual contact wear condoms. Continue reading…
Editorial. Mistakes, and meningitis. October 12, 2012.
The 14 people who died of fungal meningitis after they were injected with an apparently tainted steroid surely had no idea that their medication hadn’t come from a regular pharmaceutical company that meets federal standards for safety and efficacy. Rather, it had been produced by one of the nation’s “compounding pharmacies,” which used to be small operations producing customized versions of drugs for people whose particular medical issues made it difficult for them to take standard medications. Because of their small, specialized operations, such businesses have been largely exempted from inspection and regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Continue reading…
New York Times
Editorial. A Schizophrenic on death row. October 17, 2012.
The Florida Supreme Court decided on Wednesday that the state can proceed with the execution next week of a 64-year-old inmate named John Ferguson. His lawyers immediately said that they will ask the United States Supreme Court to stay the execution and to review the case on grounds that Mr. Ferguson is mentally incompetent and that executing him would violate his constitutional rights as defined by the court in two earlier decisions. Continue reading…
Editorial. An HPV Vaccine Myth Debunked. October 18, 2012.
One of the most preposterous arguments raised by religious and social conservatives against administering a vaccine to girls to protect them from human papillomavirus, or HPV, has been that it might encourage them to become promiscuous. That notion has now been thoroughly repudiated by a study published on Monday in Pediatrics, a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Continue reading…
Lemonick, Michael. When Scientists Screw Up. October 15, 2012.
On Jan. 15, 1992, an astronomer named Andrew Lyne stood up in front of several hundred colleagues at a conference in Atlanta to admit that he’d screwed up. Six months earlier, Lyne, of the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, had announced the discovery of something that seemed impossible. He had found evidence of a planet orbiting a pulsar—the burned-out husk of a star that had exploded as a supernova, a blast so violent that for a few days, it had literally outshone an entire galaxy. Continue reading…
Lomborg, Bjørn. When Good Intentions Go Bad. October 14, 2012.
Campaigners on important but complex issues, annoyed by the length of time required for public deliberations, often react by exaggerating their claims, hoping to push a single solution to the forefront of public debate. But, however well-intentioned, scaring the public into a predetermined solution often backfires: When people eventually realize that they have been misled, they lose confidence and interest. Continue reading…