Jehovah's Witnesses' refusal of blood: obedience to scripture and religious conscience. (1/26)

Jehovah's Witnesses are students of the Bible. They refuse transfusions out of obedience to the scriptural directive to abstain and keep from blood. Dr Muramoto disagrees with the Witnesses' religious beliefs in this regard. Despite this basic disagreement over the meaning of Biblical texts, Muramoto flouts the religious basis for the Witnesses' position. His proposed policy change about accepting transfusions in private not only conflicts with the Witnesses' fundamental beliefs but it promotes hypocrisy. In addition, Muramoto's arguments about pressure to conform and coerced disclosure of private information misrepresent the beliefs and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses and ignore the element of individual conscience. In short, Muramoto resorts to distortion and uncorroborated assertions in his effort to portray a matter of religious faith as a matter of medical ethical debate.  (+info)

Death and reductionism: a reply to John F Catherwood. (2/26)

This reply to John F Catherwood's criticism of brain-related criteria for death argues that brainstem criteria are neither reductionist nor do they presuppose a materialist theory of mind. Furthermore, it is argued that brain-related criteria are compatible with the majority of religious views concerning death.  (+info)

The human embryo in the Christian tradition: a reconsideration. (3/26)

Recent claims that the Christian tradition justifies destructive research on human embryos have drawn upon an article by the late Professor Gordon Dunstan which appeared in this journal in 1984. Despite its undoubted influence, this article was flawed and seriously misrepresented the tradition of Christian reflection on the moral status of the human embryo.  (+info)

Views regarding the training of ethics consultants: a survey of physicians caring for patients in ICU. (4/26)

BACKGROUND: Despite the expansion of ethics consultation services, questions remain about the aims of clinical ethics consultation, its methods and the expertise of those who provide such services. OBJECTIVE: To describe physicians' expectations regarding the training and skills necessary for ethics consultants to contribute effectively to the care of patients in intensive care unit (ICU). DESIGN: Mailed survey. PARTICIPANTS: Physicians responsible for the care of at least 10 patients in ICU over a 6-month period at a 921-bed private teaching hospital with an established ethics consultation service. 69 of 92 (75%) eligible physicians responded. MEASUREMENTS: Importance of specialised knowledge and skills for ethics consultants contributing to the care of patients in ICU; need for advanced disciplinary training; expectations regarding formal-training programmes for ethics consultants. RESULTS: Expertise in ethics was described most often as important for ethics consultants taking part in the care of patients in ICU, compared with expertise in law (p<0.03), religious traditions (p<0.001), medicine (p<0.001) and conflict-mediation techniques (p<0.001). When asked about the formal training consultants should possess, however, physicians involved in the care of patients in ICU most often identified advanced medical training as important. CONCLUSIONS: Although many physicians caring for patients in ICU believe ethics consultants must possess non-medical expertise in ethics and law if they are to contribute effectively to patient care, these physicians place a very high value on medical training as well, suggesting a "medicine plus one" view of the training of an ideal ethics consultant. As ethics consultation services expand, clear expectations regarding the training of ethics consultants should be established.  (+info)

Prolonging dying is the same as prolonging living--one more response to Long. (5/26)

In earlier publications, we had argued that Paul Ramsey is inconsistent because he simultaneously asserts that (i) 'all our days and years are of equal worth' and (ii) 'that it is permissible to refrain from prolonging the lives of some dying patients'. Thomas Long has suggested that we have not shown that Paul Ramsey is inconsistent. Ramsey and we, he holds, start from incommensurable metaphysical views: for Ramsey, the dying process has religious significance--God is calling his servant home. While it is normally a good thing to keep a patient alive, it would, for Ramsey, show deafness to God's call to keep a dying patient alive. It is true we do not share Paul Ramsey's religious views. It is, however, not necessary to rely on any particular metaphysical views to refute Ramsey's position. For Ramsey's view to be internally consistent, Ramsey would have to be able to distinguish between dying and non-dying patients. We examine some of Ramsey's examples and show that his practical judgements do not allow us to draw this distinction. This means that, contra Long, we hold fast to our charge that Ramsey's view is inconsistent.  (+info)

Mortality among Norwegian doctors 1960-2000. (6/26)


A time for dogma, a time for the Bible, a time for condoms: building a Catholic theology of prevention in the face of public health policies at Casa Fonte Colombo in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (7/26)


Prenatal screening in Jewish law. (8/26)

Although prenatal screening is routinely undertaken as part of a woman's antenatal care, the ethics surrounding it are complex. In this paper, the author examines the Jewish position on the permissibility of several tests, including those for Down's syndrome and Tay-Sachs disease, the latter being especially common in the Jewish community. Clearly, the status of the tests depends on whether termination of affected pregnancies is allowed, and contemporary rabbinical authorities are themselves in dispute as to the permissibility of terminating affected pregnancies. The nature of these arguments is examined and the author concludes that there are grounds on which the full range of prenatal screening is permitted in Jewish law.  (+info)