Building peace from scratch: some theoretical and technological aspects.
A peace-building process is based on activity, acceptance, understanding of political reality, communication, and empowerment. Acceptance means accepting everybody as he or she is and let each know it. This is at the heart of peace work, it is the prerequisite for effective communication, and includes accepting other even in cases of severe disagreement. Peace work requires both an understanding of political reality and the expression of one's own political opinion. Acceptance and the expression of political opinion are not at variance but complementary. Combining acceptance and understanding of the political context provides hope for real communication in which messages are both sent and received, with appreciation and interest. Empowerment implies overcoming of the feeling of powerlessness, often present in conflict by all sides and in all social groups. It includes recovery of self-respect and respect for others. Education and economic independence are important facets of the empowerment concept. Essential principles of peace-building process are responsibility, solidarity, cooperation, and nonviolence. Responsibility encompasses caring for human rights, the suffering of others, and for consequences of our own intended and unintended actions. Solidarity allows learning through listening and understanding. Even with the best intentions on both sides, cooperation may be difficult and painful. Nonviolence is a way of life. (+info
Defending diversity: affirmative action and medical education.
Affirmative action programs of all types are under attack legally and politically. Although medical schools have not been specifically targeted, their affirmative action programs, like others in higher education, are potentially in danger. This article examines the current legal status of affirmative action in medical education and concludes that a refurbished defense of such programs is essential if they are to survive impending judicial and political scrutiny. An analysis of existing case law and available evidence suggests that a carefully reinvigorated diversity argument is the tactic most likely to pass constitutional muster, as well as the justification most likely to blunt growing public and political opposition to admissions policies that take race and ethnicity into consideration. (+info
Ethical-legal problems of DNA databases in criminal investigation.
Advances in DNA technology and the discovery of DNA polymorphisms have permitted the creation of DNA databases of individuals for the purpose of criminal investigation. Many ethical and legal problems arise in the preparation of a DNA database, and these problems are especially important when one analyses the legal regulations on the subject. In this paper three main groups of possibilities, three systems, are analysed in relation to databases. The first system is based on a general analysis of the population; the second one is based on the taking of samples for a particular list of crimes, and a third is based only on the specific analysis of each case. The advantages and disadvantages of each system are compared and controversial issues are then examined. We found the second system to be the best choice for Spain and other European countries with a similar tradition when we weighed the rights of an individual against the public's interest in the prosecution of a crime. (+info
Teenagers educating teenagers about reproductive health and their rights to confidential care.(4/146)
Measuring our nation's diversity: developing a common language for data on race/ethnicity.
During the 4-year period 1993 through 1997, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) undertook a comprehensive review of the statistical standards that are used throughout the federal government to gather and publish data on race and ethnicity. The primary objective of this review was to ensure that our standards provide a common language that reflects the increasing diversity of the US population and maintains our ability to monitor compliance with civil rights laws. The review culminated with the October 1997 issuance of OMB's "Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity." In this article, we describe key aspects of the process that was undertaken to review and revise the 1977 standards. We also attempt to dispel some myths and misunderstandings that have been associated with these standards. (+info
Use of the Americans with Disabilities Act by persons with rheumatic diseases and factors associated with use.
OBJECTIVE: This study examined use of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) among persons with rheumatic diseases and assessed which factors were associated with use. METHODS: A mail survey was conducted among adult patients recruited from 21 rheumatology practices. Subjects answered questions about their inclination to use the ADA in the community or at work and about factors thought to be associated with use. The outcome was stage of behavior change, the behavior being use of the ADA. Ordinal logistic regression identified independent correlates of the outcome. RESULTS: Of 631 subjects, 47% experienced an ADA-resolvable barrier to community activity, and 63% of 183 employed subjects needed a job accommodation or experienced health discrimination. However, only 7% of the full sample and 10% of the employed subgroup had used the ADA. Factors associated with use were detailed knowledge, perception of being disabled, skill in requesting use, and health professional use suggestion. CONCLUSIONS: Although many persons with rheumatic diseases experience community barriers or need workplace accommodations, they currently underutilize the ADA. Use could be enhanced by health professional suggestion and referral or by community programs designed to address the factors identified. (+info
From the urban to the civic: the moral possibilities of the city.
Relating bioethics to the philosophy of the city creates the possibility for developing the field along paths not yet explored. In the Western tradition, the city has been understood as the venue for two quite different forms of activity and two different types of moral possibility. In one guise, the city is an urbs, a center of commerce, market exchange, and social individualism. In another guise, the city is a civitas or polis, the space of active democratic citizenship, equality under law, and civic virtue. As civitas, classical philosophers regarded the city as the place of moral growth and full human self-realization. These two possibilities of human moral and political experience in the city have given rise to distinct traditions of political theory--liberalism and civic republican and democratic theory. This article traces these conceptual configurations into the domain of contemporary bioethics, arguing that most work in the field has drawn on the liberal tradition and hence has been insufficiently critical of the moral paradigm of market individualism and unduly inattentive to the values of civitas and the civic tradition. It argues for the creation of a form of civic bioethics and explores some of the theoretical foundations that type of bioethics would require. (+info
Full parity: steps toward treatment equity for mental and addictive disorders.
The 1996 Mental Health Parity Act requiring equal annual and lifetime dollar limits for mental health benefits is to sunset 30 September 2001. This paper reviews the impact and limitations of both this law and existing state provisions and describes recent research on the actual and projected costs associated with such laws. We contend that full parity provided within the context of managed care not only is possible, but represents a "sequential" rather than a final step toward the broader goal of achieving equity in the treatment of persons with mental and addictive disorders. (+info