One potentially valuable use of cloning is to provide a source of tissues or organs for transplantation. The most important objection to this use of cloning is that a human clone would be the sort of entity that it would be seriously wrong to kill. I argue that entities of the sort that you and I essentially are do not begin to exist until around the seventh month of fetal gestation. Therefore to kill a clone prior to that would not be to kill someone like you or me but would be only to prevent one of us from existing. And even after one of us begins to exist, the objections to killing it remain comparatively weak until its psychological capacities reach a certain level of maturation. These claims support the permissibility of killing a clone during the early stages of its development in order to use its organs for transplantation. (+info)
Mental disorder and clinical care in people convicted of homicide: national clinical survey.
OBJECTIVES: To estimate the rate of mental disorder in those convicted of homicide and to examine the social and clinical characteristics of those with a history of contact with psychiatric services. DESIGN: National clinical survey. SETTING: England and Wales. SUBJECTS: Eighteen month sample of people convicted of homicide. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Offence related and clinical information collected from psychiatric court reports on people convicted of homicide. Detailed clinical data collected on those with a history of contact with psychiatric services. RESULTS: 718 homicides were reported to the inquiry between April 1996 and November 1997. Of the 500 cases for whom psychiatric reports were retrieved, 220 (44%; 95% confidence interval 40% to 48%) had a lifetime history of mental disorder, while 71 (14%; 11% to 17%) had symptoms of mental illness at the time of the homicide. Of the total sample, 102 (14%; 12% to 17%) were confirmed to have been in contact with mental health services at some time, 58 (8%; 6% to 10%) in the year before the homicide. The commonest diagnosis was personality disorder (20 cases, 22%; 13% to 30%). Alcohol and drug misuse were also common. Only 15 subjects (18%; 10% to 26%) were receiving intensive community care, and 60 (63%; 53% to 73%) were out of contact at the time of the homicide. CONCLUSIONS: There are substantial rates of mental disorder in people convicted of homicide. Most do not have severe mental illness or a history of contact with mental health services. Inquiry findings suggest that preventing loss of contact with services and improving the clinical management of patients with both mental illness and substance misuse may reduce risk, but clinical trials are needed to examine the effectiveness of such interventions. (+info)
Unnatural sudden infant death.
AIM: To identify features to help paediatricians differentiate between natural and unnatural infant deaths. METHOD: Clinical features of 81 children judged by criminal and family courts to have been killed by their parents were studied. Health and social service records, court documents, and records from meetings with parents, relatives, and social workers were studied. RESULTS: Initially, 42 children had been certified as dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and 29 were given another cause of natural death. In 24 families, more than one child died; 58 died before the age of 6 months and most died in the afternoon or evening. Seventy per cent had experienced unexplained illnesses; over half were admitted to hospital within the previous month, and 15 had been discharged within 24 hours of death. The mother, father, or both were responsible for death in 43, five, and two families, respectively. Most homes were disadvantaged--no regular income, receiving income support--and mothers smoked. Half the perpetrators had a history of somatising or factitious disorder. Death was usually by smothering and 43% of children had bruises, petechiae, or blood on the face. CONCLUSIONS: Although certain features are indicative of unnatural infant death, some are also associated with SIDS. Despite the recent reduction in numbers of infants dying suddenly, inadequacies in the assessment of their deaths exist. Until a thorough postmortem examination is combined with evaluation of the history and circumstances of death by an experienced paediatrician, most cases of covert fatal abuse will go undetected. The term SIDS requires revision or abandonment. (+info)
Injuries in Pakistan: directions for future health policy.
Injuries result in major financial and productivity losses to nations while inflicting tremendous personal burden on the injured and their families. Two-thirds of the global deaths from injuries occur in the developing world, consuming substantial health sector resources. Pakistan is a developing country with a population of 136 million and no reported estimate of the national impact of injuries. This study presents a profile of injuries in Pakistan, estimates the impact on the country and recommends strategies to further delineate this important public health problem. A methodical review of published, unpublished and government literature was undertaken and data collected for all types of injuries principally over the 1982-1994 period. Motor vehicle injuries, homicides, assaults, work-related injuries, poisonings and risk factors have been included. Selected epidemiological estimates have been generated and the WHO motorization index has been used to assess road-side accident risk. The lack of reliable data and under-reporting of work-related injuries is revealing. The rising time trend in all injuries, the significant loss of life from injuries and the age of those injured have a critical impact on the national economy and health system. Data on injuries in Pakistan are primarily recorded by police authorities and used for legal purposes. Pakistan must institute an information system to evaluate the true impact of injuries and develop national safety standards. Implementation of such standards is especially important for road traffic safety and occupational health in industrial units within the country. (+info)
Income inequality and homicide rates in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
OBJECTIVES: This study determined the effect of income inequality on homicide rates in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. METHODS: We conducted an ecological study at 2 geographical levels, municipalities in the state of Rio de Janeiro and administrative regions in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro. The association between homicide and income inequality was tested by multiple regression procedures, with adjustment for other socioeconomic indicators. RESULTS: For the municipalities of Rio de Janeiro State, no association between homicide and income concentration was found an outcome that can be explained by the municipalities' different degrees of urbanization. However, for the administrative regions in the city of Rio de Janeiro, the 2 income inequality indicators were strongly correlated with the outcome variable (P < .01). Higher homicide rates were found precisely in the sector of the city that has the greatest concentration of slum residents and the highest degree of income inequality. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that social policies specifically aimed at low-income urban youth, particularly programs to reduce the harmful effects of relative deprivation, may have an important impact on the homicide rate. (+info)
Challenge of Goodness II: new humanitarian technology, developed in croatia and bosnia and Herzegovina in 1991-1995, and applied and evaluated in Kosovo 1999.
This paper presents improvements of the humanitarian proposals of the Challenge of Goodness project published earlier (1). In 1999 Kosovo crisis, these proposals were checked in practice. The priority was again on the practical intervention - helping people directly - to prevent, stop, and ease suffering. Kosovo experience also prompted us to modify the concept of the Challenge of Goodness. It should include research and education (1. redefinition of health, 2. confronting genocide, 3. university studies and education, and 4. collecting experience); evaluation (1. Red Cross forum, 2. organization and technology assessment, 3. Open Hand - Experience of Good People); activities in different stages of war or conflict in: 1. prevention (right to a home, Hate Watch, early warning), 2. duration (refugee camps, prisoners-of-war camps, global hospital, minorities), 3. end of conflict (planned, organized, and evaluated protection), 4. post conflict (remaini ng and abandoned populations, prisoners of war and missing persons, civilian participation, return, and renewal). Effectiveness of humanitarian intervention may be performed by politicians, soldiers, humanitarian workers, and volunteers, but the responsibility lies on science. Science must objectively collect data, develop hypotheses, check them in practice, allow education, and be the force of good, upon which everybody can rely. Never since the World War II has anybody in Europe suffered in war and conflict so much as peoples in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. We should search for the meaning of their suffering, and develop new knowledge and technology of peace. (+info)
Relationship of psychopathology to the human serotonin1B genotype and receptor binding kinetics in postmortem brain tissue.
Knockout of the 5-HT1B gene in mice results in increased aggression, as well as alcohol and cocaine consumption. Given the clinical association of aggression, suicide, alcoholism, and substance abuse, we studied relationship of psychopathology to the human 5-HT1B receptor gene (N = 178) and postmortem human 5-HT1B receptor binding (N = 96) in the brain. The sample comprised: 71 suicide victims, 107 nonsuicides, 45 with a history of major depression and 79 without, 64 with a history of a alcoholism or substance abuse and 60 without, as well as 36 with a history of pathological aggression and 42 without. Single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) analysis and DNA sequencing techniques were used to screen the coding region of the human 5-HT1B receptor gene in genomic DNA isolated from postmortem human brain tissue. Two common polymorphisms were identified in the 5-HT1B receptor gene, involving a silent C to T substitution at nucleotide 129 and a silent G to C substitution at nucleotide 861 of the coding region. These polymorphisms were found with the same frequency in the suicide and the nonsuicide groups and in those with and without a history of major depression, alcoholism, or pathological aggression. The binding indices (Bmax and KD of the 5-HT1B receptor in prefrontal cortex also did not differ in suicides and controls, major depression, alcoholism, and cases with a history of pathological aggression. The C129 or G861 allele had 20% fewer 5-HT1B receptor compared to the 129T or 861C allele. We did not identify a relationship between suicide, major depression, alcoholism, or pathological aggression with 5-HT1B receptor binding indices or genotype. (+info)
Mortality associated with use of weapons in armed conflicts, wartime atrocities, and civilian mass shootings: literature review.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the implications of variation in mortality associated with use of weapons in different contexts. DESIGN: Literature review. SETTINGS: Armed conflicts and civilian mass shootings, 1929-96. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Mortality from wounds. RESULTS: During the fighting of war the number of people wounded is at least twice the number killed and may be 13 times as high; this ratio of the number wounded to the number killed results from the impact of a weapon system on human beings in the particular context of war. When firearms are used against people who are immobilised, in a confined space, or unable to defend themselves the wounded to killed ratio has been lower than 1 or even 0. CONCLUSIONS: Mortality from firearms depends not only on the technology of the weapon or its ammunition but also on the context in which it is used. The increased mortality resulting from the use of firearms in situations other than war requires a complex interaction of factors explicable in terms of wound ballistics and the psychology of the user. Understanding these factors has implications for recognition of war crimes. In addition, the lethality of conventional weapons may be increased if combatants are disabled by the new non-lethal weapons beforehand; this possibility requires careful legal examination within the framework of the Geneva Conventions. (+info)