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  Subjects -> PHILOSOPHY (Total: 762 journals)
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Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.479
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 7  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1386-7423 - ISSN (Online) 1572-8633
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2469 journals]
  • On the relation between decision quality and autonomy in times of
           patient-centered care: a case study

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      Abstract: Abstract It is commonplace that care should be patient-centered. Nevertheless, no universally agreed-upon definition of patient-centered care exists. By consequence, the relation between patient-centered care as such and ethical principles cannot be investigated. However, some research has been performed on the relation between specific models of patient-centered care and ethical principles such as respect for autonomy and beneficence. In this article, I offer a detailed case study on the relationship between specific measures of patient-centered care and the ethical principle of respect for autonomy. Decision Quality Instruments (DQIs) are patient-centered care measures that were developed by Karen Sepucha and colleagues. The model of patient-centered care that guided the development of these DQIs pays special attention to the ethical principle of respect for autonomy. Using Jonathan Pugh’s theory of rational autonomy, I will investigate how the DQIs relate to patient autonomy. After outlining Pugh’s theory of rational autonomy and framing the DQIs accordingly (Part I), I will investigate whether the methodological choices made while developing these DQIs align with respect for autonomy (Part II). My analysis will indicate several tensions between DQIs and patient autonomy that could result in what I call “structural paternalism.” These tensions offer us sufficient reasons, especially given the importance of the ethical principle of respect for autonomy, to initiate a more encompassing debate on the normative validity of Decision Quality Instruments. The aim of the present paper is to highlight the need for, and to offer a roadmap to, this debate.
      PubDate: 2022-08-09
       
  • Beyond ethical post-mortems

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      Abstract: Abstract: After WWII ethics has gone through a process of professionalization, developing approaches to ethical case deliberation as well as methods of practicing ethics in research and innovation (R&I). This process is described as having advantages and disadvantages. In addition, it is pointed out that foresight has been incorporated into ethical case deliberation with relative ease, whilst the incorporation of foresight in methods of practicing ethics in (R&I) has turned out to be more challenging. It is finally stressed that in a world with fast changing emerging technologies, ethicists ' to remain relevant - will have to further improve their foresight analysis skills in relation to (R&I).
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
  • Vulnerability, Moral responsibility, and Moral Obligations: the case of
           Industrial Action in the Medical and Allied Professions

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      Abstract: Abstract The article addresses issues at the nexus of physician industrial action, moral agency, and responsibility. There are situations in which we find ourselves best placed to offer aid to those who may be in vulnerable positions, a behavior that is consistent with our everyday moral intuitions. In both our interpersonal relationships and social life, we make frequent judgments about whether to praise or blame someone for their actions when we determine that they should have acted to help a vulnerable person. While the average person is unlikely to confront these kinds of situations often, those in the medical professions, physicians especially, may confront these and similar situations regularly. Therefore, when physicians withhold their services for whatever reason in support of industrial action, it raises issues of moral responsibility to patients who may be in a vulnerable position. Using theories of moral responsibility, vulnerability, and ethics, this paper explores the moral implications of physician industrial action. We explore issues of vulnerability of patients, as well as the moral responsibility and moral agency of doctors to patients. Determining when a person is vulnerable, and when an individual becomes a moral agent, worthy of praise or blame for an act or non-action, is at the core of the framework. Notwithstanding the right of physicians to act in their self-interest, we argue that vulnerability leads to moral obligations, that physicians are moral agents, and the imperatives of their obligations to patients clear, even if limited by certain conditions. We suggest that both doctors and governments have a collective responsibility to prevent harm to patients and present the theoretical and practical implications of the paper.
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
       
  • The significance of Emmanuel Levinas’ ethics of responsibility for
           medical judgment

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      Abstract: Abstract At a time when the practice of medicine is subject to technical and biopolitical imperatives that give rise to defensive bioethics, it is essential to revitalize the ethical dimensions of care at the very heart of the clinic, in order to give new meaning to the moral responsibility that inhabits it. This contribution seeks to meet this challenge by drawing on the ethical resources of the work of Emmanuel Levinas. In Levinas’ view, ethical responsibility is the response to the injunction, the interpellation, of the other’s face, and humaneness is conceived entangled in the other’s face. Against this background, I suggest that Levinas’ philosophical insight constitutes a turning point from a traditional to a new conception of responsibility that may bear great significance to a renewed understanding of an hermeneutics and an ethics of care. By drawing on this aspect of Levinas’ thought, I would like to reveal the ethical core of an ethics of clinical care that shapes a new insight on medical judgment.
      PubDate: 2022-07-31
       
  • Pathologies and the Healing of the soul: medical terms as metaphors in
           philosophy

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper critically examines the metaphorical use of medical terms in philosophy. Three examples selected from distinct philosophical contexts demonstrate that such terms have been employed as metaphors both to describe the practice of philosophising and historically to diagnose philosophical positions. The selected examples are (i) the title of Avicenna’s main philosophical work, The Book of Healing, (ii) the criticism of medical metaphors in Enlightenment philosophy, and (iii) recent historical diagnoses in philosophy. The underlying epistemological assumptions of all three contexts are reconstructed to critically analyse the medical metaphors. Through this tripartite synopsis, I arrive at a normative conclusions medical metaphors, such as the “healing of the soul” or “pathology of reason”, do not stand up to the critique of Enlightenment and are obsolete against the theoretical background of my reference texts.
      PubDate: 2022-07-18
       
  • Patient autonomy, clinical decision making, and the Phenomenological
           reduction

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      Abstract: Abstract Phenomenology gives rise to certain ontological considerations that have far-reaching implications for standard conceptions of patient autonomy in medical ethics, and, as a result, the obligations of and to patients in clinical decision-making contexts. One such consideration is the phenomenological reduction in classical phenomenology, a core feature of which is the characterisation of our primary experiences as immediately and inherently meaningful. This paper builds on and extends the analyses of the phenomenological reduction in the works of Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty in order to identify and explain its implications for our current understanding of the principle of respect for patient autonomy and the norms of clinical decision making.
      PubDate: 2022-07-07
       
  • Issues for a phenomenology of illness – transgressing
           psychologizations

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      Abstract: Abstract Phenomenology of illness has grown increasingly popular in recent times. However, the most prominent phenomenologists of illness defend a psychologizing notion of phenomenology, which argues that illness is primarily constituted by embodied experiences, feelings, and emotions of suffering, alienation etc. The article argues that this gives rise to three issues that need to be addressed. (1) How is the theory of embodiment compatible with the strong distinction between disease and illness' (2) What is the difference between problematic embodiment and illness' (3) How is existential edification, that illness can give rise to according to the phenomenologists, to be understood' The article then engages in an analysis of Heidegger’s and Waldenfels’ phenomenology with the ambition of developing a notion of existence, which can transgress the psychologization of illness. Rather than arguing that illness is constituted by experiences of suffering and alienation, it emphasizes that broaches upon conatively guided activities constitute illness.
      PubDate: 2022-07-07
       
  • Systemising triage: COVID-19 guidelines and their underlying theories of
           distributive justice

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      Abstract: Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic has been overwhelming public health-care systems around the world. With demand exceeding the availability of medical resources in several regions, hospitals have been forced to invoke triage. To ensure that this difficult task proceeds in a fair and organised manner, governments scrambled experts to draft triage guidelines under enormous time pressure. Although there are similarities between the documents, they vary considerably in how much weight their respective authors place on the different criteria that they propose. Since most of the recommendations do not come with ethical justifications, analysing them requires that one traces back these criteria to their underlying theories of distributive justice. In the literature, COVID-19 triage has been portrayed as a value conflict solely between utilitarian and egalitarian elements. While these two accounts are indeed the main antipodes, I shall show that in fact all four classic theories of distributive justice are involved: utilitarianism, egalitarianism, libertarianism, and communitarianism. Detecting these in the documents and classifying the suggested criteria accordingly enables one to understand the balancing between the different approaches to distributive justice—which is crucial for both managing the current pandemic and in preparation for the next global health crisis.
      PubDate: 2022-07-07
       
  • How to gain evidence for causation in disease and therapeutic
           intervention: from Koch’s postulates to counter-counterfactuals

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      Abstract: Abstract Researchers, clinicians, and patients have good reasons for wanting answers to causal questions of disease and therapeutic intervention. This paper uses microbiologist Robert Koch’s pioneering work and famous postulates to extrapolate a logical sequence of evidence for confirming the causes of disease: association between individuals with and without a disease; isolation of causal agents; and the creation of a counterfactual (demonstrating that an agent is sufficient to reproduce the disease anew). This paper formally introduces counter-counterfactuals, which appear to have been used, perhaps intuitively, since the time of Koch and possibly earlier. An argument is presented that counter-counterfactuals (disease-preventers) are a useful tool for identifying necessary causes of disease, and sometimes must be used in place of isolation which is not always possible. In addition, a logical sequence of causal evidence for a therapeutic intervention is presented: creating a counterfactual (demonstrating that the intervention is sufficient to change the natural course of a disease), comparisons between subjects in receipt of treatment versus those who are not (typically within a randomised controlled trial, which can quantify effects of intervention), and counter-counterfactuals (treatment-preventers, which can identify the intervention’s mechanisms of action).
      PubDate: 2022-07-06
       
  • Maternal epigenetic responsibility: what can we learn from the
           pandemic'

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper examines the construction of maternal responsibility in transgenerational epigenetics and its implications for pregnant women. Transgenerational epigenetics is suggesting a link between maternal behaviour and lifestyle during pregnancy and the subsequent well-being of their children. For example, poor prenatal diet and exposure to maternal distress during pregnancy are linked to epigenetic changes, which may cause health problems in the offspring. In this field, the uterus is seen as a micro-environment in which new generations can take shape. Because epigenetics concerns how gene expression is influenced by the social realm, including a range of environmental conditions such as stress, diet, smoking, exercise, exposure to chemicals, pollution, and environmental hazards, the research findings in this area have direct policy relevance. For policy makers, rather than controlling this complex range of determinants of health, isolating and targeting maternal body and responsibilising mothers for the control of this micro-environment might seem feasible. Yet, examining the maternal body in isolation as a powerful environment to shape the health of next generations not only responsibilises women for the environment that they cannot control but also makes them a target for intrusive and potentially exploitative biomedical interventions. Even though ‘social factors’ are increasingly considered in epigenetics writing, the phrase is usually taken as self-explanatory without much elaboration. Drawing on the Covid-19 pandemic, this paper moves the current debate forward by providing consolidated examples of how individuals, including pregnant women, have little control over their environment and lifestyle. As evidenced by the pandemic’s disproportionate effects on people with low socioeconomic or poor health status, some pregnant women bore considerable physical and psychological stress which combined with other stress factors such as domestic violence.
      PubDate: 2022-06-15
       
  • Intergenerational contract in Ageing Democracies: sustainable Welfare
           Systems and the interests of future generations

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      Abstract: Abstract As the assumptions of perpetual economic and population growth no longer stand, the welfare systems built on such promises are in peril. Policymakers must reallocate the responsibility for providing care between generations. Democratic theories can help establish procedures for finding solutions, particularly in ageing democratic countries. By analysing existing representative and deliberative democratic theories, this paper explores how the interests of future generations could be included in such procedures. A hypothetical social health insurance scheme with the pay-as-you-go financial arrangement is selected as an illustrative case. This paper argues that due to the intrinsic bias towards the current generation, both representative and deliberative democratic health policymaking are limited in making decisions that account for future generations. Instead, their interests could be at best represented by benevolent representatives.
      PubDate: 2022-06-13
       
  • The limitations of liberal reproductive autonomy

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      Abstract: Abstract The common liberal understanding of reproductive autonomy – characterized by free choice and a principle of non-interference – serves as a useful way to analyse the normative appeal of having certain choices open to people in the reproductive realm, especially for issues like abortion rights. However, this liberal reading of reproductive autonomy only offers us a limited ethical understanding of what is at stake in many kinds of reproductive choices, particularly when it comes to different uses of reproductive technologies and third-party reproduction. This is because the liberal framework does not fully capture who benefits from which reproductive options, the extent of the risks and harms involved in various reproductive interventions, and the reasons for why people are driven to make certain reproductive choices.
      PubDate: 2022-06-10
       
  • Ethico-Political aspects of clinical judgment in opportunistic screening
           for cognitive impairment: Arendtian and aristotelian perspectives

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      Abstract: Abstract This article examines a population-based opportunistic screening practice for cognitive impairment that takes place at a hospital in Sweden. At the hospital, there is a routine in place that stipulates that all patients over the age of 65 who are admitted to the ward will be offered testing for cognitive impairment, unless they have been tested within the last six months or have been diagnosed with any form of cognitive impairment. However, our analysis shows that this routine is not universally and mechanically applied. Rather, the health care professionals have developed and use an ethico-political judgment, concerning, for example, whom to test, when to offer the tests, and how to explain and perform them. This article explores the role and practice of this form of judgment, emphasising its political and ethical nature. The analysis is based on qualitative interviews with professionals and patients, and draws on the theories of Aristotle and Hannah Arendt.
      PubDate: 2022-06-10
       
  • Possibilities and paradoxes in medicine: love of order, loveless order and
           the order of love

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      Abstract: Abstract We have a desire to discover and create order, and our constitution, including our rational faculties, indicates that we are predisposed for such productivity. This affinity for order and the establishment of order is fundamental to humans and naturally also leaves its mark on the medical discipline. When this profession is made subject to criticism, frequently in terms of well-used reproofs such as reductionism, reification and de-humanisation, this systematising productivity is invariably involved in some way or other. It is, however, problematic that we rarely delve deeper and ask what order means, or reflect on its underlying, omnipresent and self-evident role. In order to approach this challenge, we initially and briefly place order in a conceptual and historical context. In what follows, we examine order explicitly, i.e. made an object of study, by taking a closer look at extensive multidisciplinary efforts to uncover the secrets of all its facets. Here we also try to identify some systems of order in medical science, including methodological and procedural order, which are indispensable as well as a source of problems. In the sections that follow, order is not defined as an explicit object of study, but comes to light in some exploratory and philosophising projects based on physics, mathematics and phenomenology . Each of these lets order and that which is ordered emerge in ways that may also shed light on opportunities and paradoxes in the medical domain. Key themes here include the Gordian knot of psyche – soma, the order of disorder and the patient as Other.
      PubDate: 2022-06-09
       
  • Solidarity and Public Health

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      Abstract: Abstract We argue that an unqualified use of the term solidarity in public health is not only equivocal but problematic toward the ends of public health. The term may be deployed normatively by public health advocates to strengthen the bonds among public health practitioners and refer to an ideal society in which the importance of interdependence among members ought to be acknowledged throughout the polity. We propose an important distinction between partisan solidarity and societal solidarity. Because any moralized belief in a vision of a broad societal solidarity will be a contested political ideal, political reality would limit solidarity based on such a vision to partisan solidarity. An idealized vision of societal solidarity is simply not politically feasible in pluralistic, liberal, democratic societies. However, although societal solidarity is unlikely with respect to any particular policy, it might be hoped for with respect to constitutional procedures that provide boundaries for the agon of the political process. We suggest that moralizing assertions of a solidaristic ideal in a pluralistic society might be counterproductive to generating the political support necessary for public health per se and establishing legitimate public health policy. A pragmatic political approach would be for public health advocates to generate sufficient strong political support for those public health policies that are most amenable to the political and social realities of a time and place.
      PubDate: 2022-06-09
       
  • How to evaluate the quality of an ethical deliberation' A pragmatist
           proposal for evaluation criteria and collaborative research

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      Abstract: Abstract Ethics designates a structured process by which important human values and meanings of life are understood and tackled. Therein, the ability to discuss openly and reflect on (aka deliberation) understandings of moral problems, on solutions to these problems, and to explore what a meaningful resolution could amount to is highly valued. However, the indicators of what constitutes a high-quality ethical deliberation remain vague and unclear. This article proposes and develops a pragmatist approach to evaluate the quality of deliberation. Deliberation features three important moments: (1) broadening and deepening the understanding of the situation, (2) envisioning action scenarios, (3) coming to a judgment based on the comparative evaluation of scenarios. In this paper, we propose seven criteria to evaluate ethical deliberations: (1) collaborative diversity, (2) experiential literacy, (3) organization of experiences, (4) reflective capacity to instrumentalize the experiences of others, (5) interactional creativity, (6) openness of agents, (7) quality of the reformulation of scenarios. These criteria are explained and applied to the three moments of deliberation. Based on these criteria, three kinds of outcomes for deliberations are identified and discussed: good ethical deliberations, partial ethical deliberations, bad ethical deliberations. Our proposal will guide researchers and practitioners interested in the evaluation of the quality of ethical deliberations. It provides a reference tool that allows them to identify the possible limitations of a deliberation and to implement actions aimed at correcting these limitations in order to achieve the desired qualitative objectives.
      PubDate: 2022-06-09
       
  • Evaluating emotions in medical practice: a critical examination of
           

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      Abstract: Abstract In this article I propose to reframe debates about ideals of emotion in medicine, abandoning the current binary setup of this debate as one between ‘clinical detachment’ and empathy. Inspired by observations from my own field work and drawing on Sky Gross’ anthropological work on rituals of practice as well as Henri Lefebvre’s notion of rhythm, I propose that the normative drive of clinical practice can be better understood through the notion of attunement. In this framework individual types of emotions are not, as such, appropriate or inappropriate, but are evaluated depending on their synchronicity with the specific rhythms of the practice. To set up this proposal, I show how typical arguments about emotions in medicine—what I call emotion-entity focused frameworks—are insufficient. I then draw on ethnographic observations from two orthopaedic departments and interviews with medical practitioners to show (1) how clinical practice is driven by rhythmicity, shaped in the case of orthopaedic surgery by a clinical aim of efficient, controlled intervention, and (2) how clinicians continuously refer to this drive and the flow of rhythms when evaluating inappropriate or problematic emotion. I argue that the use of a rhythm framework rather than ideals of detachment or empathy allows for a sensitivity to the complexity and situation-dependent elements of emotional ideals in clinical practice; and I end by proposing the term ‘attuned concern’—which stresses the importance of regulation and adjustment to circumstances rather than of maintaining a constant distance/involvement—as a more fitting alternative to ‘clinical detachment’.
      PubDate: 2022-06-06
       
  • Making Biomedical Sciences publications more accessible for machines

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      Abstract: Abstract With the rapidly expanding catalogue of scientific publications, especially within the Biomedical Sciences field, it is becoming increasingly difficult for researchers to search for, read or even interpret emerging scientific findings. PubMed, just one of the current biomedical data repositories, comprises over 33 million citations for biomedical research, and over 2500 publications are added each day. To further strengthen the impact biomedical research, we suggest that there should be more synergy between publications and machines. By bringing machines into the realm of research and publication, we can greatly augment the assessment, investigation and cataloging of the biomedical literary corpus. The effective application of machine-based manuscript assessment and interpretation is now crucial, and potentially stands as the most effective way for researchers to comprehend and process the tsunami of biomedical data and literature. Many biomedical manuscripts are currently published online in poorly searchable document types, with figures and data presented in formats that are partially inaccessible to machine-based approaches. The structure and format of biomedical manuscripts should be adapted to facilitate machine-assisted interrogation of this important literary corpus. In this context, it is important to embrace the concept that biomedical scientists should also write manuscripts that can be read by machines. It is likely that an enhanced human–machine synergy in reading biomedical publications will greatly enhance biomedical data retrieval and reveal novel insights into complex datasets.
      PubDate: 2022-06-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11019-022-10069-0
       
  • The Deception of Certainty: how Non-Interpretable Machine Learning
           Outcomes Challenge the Epistemic Authority of Physicians. A
           deliberative-relational Approach

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      Abstract: Abstract Developments in Machine Learning (ML) have attracted attention in a wide range of healthcare fields to improve medical practice and the benefit of patients. Particularly, this should be achieved by providing more or less automated decision recommendations to the treating physician. However, some hopes placed in ML for healthcare seem to be disappointed, at least in part, by a lack of transparency or traceability. Skepticism exists primarily in the fact that the physician, as the person responsible for diagnosis, therapy, and care, has no or insufficient insight into how such recommendations are reached. The following paper aims to make understandable the specificity of the deliberative model of a physician-patient relationship that has been achieved over decades. By outlining the (social-)epistemic and inherently normative relationship between physicians and patients, I want to show how this relationship might be altered by non-traceable ML recommendations. With respect to some healthcare decisions, such changes in deliberative practice may create normatively far-reaching challenges. Therefore, in the future, a differentiation of decision-making situations in healthcare with respect to the necessary depth of insight into the process of outcome generation seems essential.
      PubDate: 2022-05-10
      DOI: 10.1007/s11019-022-10076-1
       
  • Medicine and machines

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      PubDate: 2022-04-02
      DOI: 10.1007/s11019-022-10080-5
       
 
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