Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal
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Environmental justice, values, and scientific expertise.
We consider these two proposals in connection with a case study of disputed research on the topic of environmental justice and argue that the second proposal has several advantages over the first....
Kantian condemnation of commerce in organs.
Opponents of commerce in organs sometimes appeal to Kant's Formula of Humanity to justify their position. Kant implies that anyone who sells an integral part of his body violates this principle and thereby acts wrongly. Although appeals to Kant's Formula are apt, they are less helpful than they migh...
Religion, genetics, and sexual orientation: the Jewish tradition.
This paper probes the implications of a genetic basis for sexual orientation for traditional branches of Judaism, which are struggling with how accepting to be of noncelibate gays and lesbians in their communities. The paper looks at the current attitudes toward homosexuality across the different br...
How to justify enforcing a Ulysses contract when Ulysses is competent to refuse.
I argue that providers respect an agent's autonomy not retrospectively--by reference to his or her past wishes-and not merely synchronically--so that the agent gets what he or she wants right now-but diachronically and prospectively, acting so that the agent can shape his or her circumstances as the...
Better brains, better selves? The ethics of neuroenhancements.
We are, and doing so seems wrong, even if the exact reasons for the unease are difficult to define. Many of the standard arguments against neuroenhancements--that they are unsafe, that they violate the distinction between therapy and enhancements, that they undermine equality, and that they will be...
Getting the ethics right regarding research in the emergency setting: lessons from the PolyHeme study.
Research in emergency settings (RES) has become a major public issue with urgent policy implications. Significant attention has focused recently on RES in response to the trial of PolyHeme, a synthetic blood substitute, in trauma victims in hemorrhagic shock. Unfortunately, the discussion of the Pol...
Procedural misconceptions and informed consent: insights from empirical research on the clinical trials industry.
This paper provides a simultaneously reflexive and analytical framework to think about obstacles to truly informed consent in social science and biomedical research. To do so, it argues that informed consent often goes awry due to procedural misconceptions built into the research context. The concep...
Continuing the dialogue: a reply to Bernard Gert.
Continuing the dialogue begun in the March 2006 issue of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, I suggest that Bernard Gert's response to my paper does not adequately address the criticisms I make of his theory's application to bioethics cases.
Broadening the bioethics agenda.
When should "riskier" subjects be excluded from research participation?
The exclusion of potential subjects based on increased risks is a common practice in human subjects research. However, there are no guidelines to ensure that this practice is conducted in a systematic and fair way. This gap in the literature and regulation is addressed by a specific account of a "co...