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Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

Yaming Li, Jianhui Li
Death with dignity is a significant issue in modern bioethics. In modern healthcare, the wide use of new technologies at the end of life has caused heated debate on how to protect human dignity. The key point of contention lies in the different understandings of human dignity and the dignity of death. Human dignity has never been a clear concept in Western ethical explorations, and the dignity of death has given rise to more confusions. Although there is no such term as "dignity" in Confucian ethics, there are discussions of a number of ideas related to human dignity and the dignity of death...
October 5, 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Hane Htut Maung
Diagnoses in medicine are often taken to serve as explanations of patients' symptoms and signs. This article examines how they do so. I begin by arguing that although some instances of diagnostic explanation can be formulated as covering law arguments, they are explanatory neither in virtue of their argumentative structures nor in virtue of general regularities between diagnoses and clinical presentations. I then consider the theory that medical diagnoses explain symptoms and signs by identifying their actual causes in particular cases...
September 16, 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Georg Spielthenner
This essay concerns itself with the methodology of practical ethics. There are a variety of methods employed in ethics. Although none have been firmly established as dominant, it is generally agreed that casuistry, or the case-based method, is one important strategy commonly used for resolving ethical issues. Casuists compare the case under consideration to a relevantly similar (analogous) precedent case in which judgements have already been made, and they use these earlier judgements to determine the proper resolution of the present case...
October 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Henrik Vogt, Bjørn Hofmann, Linn Getz
Systems medicine, which is based on computational modelling of biological systems, is emerging as an increasingly prominent part of the personalized medicine movement. It is often promoted as 'P4 medicine' (predictive, preventive, personalized, and participatory). In this article, we test promises made by some of its proponents that systems medicine will be able to develop a scientific, quantitative metric for wellness that will eliminate the purported vagueness, ambiguity, and incompleteness-that is, normativity-of previous health definitions...
October 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Alicia Hall
The principle of beneficence directs healthcare practitioners to promote patients' well-being, ensuring that the patients' best interests guide treatment decisions. Because there are a number of distinct theories of well-being that could lead to different conclusions about the patient's good, a careful consideration of which account is best suited for use in the medical context is needed. While there has been some discussion of the differences between subjective and objective theories of well-being within the bioethics literature, less attention has been given to the questions of what work a theory of well-being needs to do in bioethics and which standards of success ought to be used in selecting a theory of well-being for use in medicine...
October 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Hillel D Braude
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Jennifer Prah Ruger
Against a backdrop of non-ideal political and legal conditions, this article examines the health capability paradigm and how its principles can help determine what aspects of health care might legitimately constitute positive health care rights-and if indeed human rights are even the best approach to equitable health care provision. This article addresses the long American preoccupation with negative rights rather than positive rights in health care. Positive health care rights are an exception to the overall moral range and general thrust of U...
August 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Daniel Brudney
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Sarah Conly
The right to health care is a right to care that (a) is not too costly to the provider, considering the benefits it conveys, and (b) is effective in bringing about the level of health needed for a good human life, not necessarily the best health possible. These considerations suggest that, where possible, society has an obligation to provide preventive health care, which is both low cost and effective, and that health care regulations should promote citizens' engagement in reasonable preventive health care practices...
August 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Gopal Sreenivasan
There are various grounds on which one may wish to distinguish a right to health care from a right to health. In this article, I review some old grounds before introducing some new grounds. But my central task is to argue that separating a right to health care from a right to health has objectionable consequences. I offer two main objections. The domestic objection is that separating the two rights prevents the state from fulfilling its duty to maximise the health it provides each citizen from its fixed health budget...
August 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
John Tasioulas, Effy Vayena
This article offers an integrated account of two strands of global health justice: health-related human rights and health-related common goods. After sketching a general understanding of the nature of human rights, it proceeds to explain both how individual human rights are to be individuated and the content of their associated obligations specified. With respect to both issues, the human right to health is taken as the primary illustration. It is argued that (1) the individuation of the right to health is fixed by reference to the subject matter of its corresponding obligations, and not by the interests it serves, and (2) the specification of the content of that right must be properly responsive to thresholds of possibility and burden...
August 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
S Matthew Liao
Many international declarations state that human beings have a human right to health care. However, is there a human right to health care? What grounds this right, and who has the corresponding duties to promote this right? Elsewhere, I have argued that human beings have human rights to the fundamental conditions for pursuing a good life. Drawing on this fundamental conditions approach of human rights, I offer a novel way of grounding a human right to health care.
August 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
David A Reidy
This article begins by clarifying and noting various limitations on the universal reach of the human right to health care under positive international law. It then argues that irrespective of the human right to health care established by positive international law, any system of positive international law capable of generating legal duties with prima facie moral force necessarily presupposes a universal moral human right to health care. But the language used in contemporary human rights documents or human rights advocacy is not a good guide to the content of this rather more modest universal moral human right to health care...
August 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
James W Nickel
Linkage arguments, which defend a controversial right by showing that it is indispensable or highly useful to an uncontroversial right, are sometimes used to defend the right to health care (RHC). This article evaluates such arguments when used to defend RHC. Three common errors in using linkage arguments are (1) neglecting levels of implementation, (2) expanding the scope of the supported right beyond its uncontroversial domain, and (3) giving too much credit to the supporting right for outcomes in its area...
August 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Clair Morrissey
The discussion of the nature and value of dignity in and for bioethics concerns not only the importance of the concept but also the aims of bioethics itself. Here, I challenge the claim that the concept of dignity is useless by challenging the implicit conception of usefulness involved. I argue that the conception of usefulness that both opponents and proponents of dignity in bioethics adopt is rooted in a narrow understanding of the role of normative theory in practical ethical thinking. I then offer an alternate understanding of the nature and value of dignity...
June 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Zohar Lederman, Alexandra Cernat, Eleonora Gregori Ferri, Franco Galbo, Guiomar Micol Andrea Levi-Setti, Mayli Mertens, Bryanna Moore, Olga Riklikiene, Jamie Vescio, Sheena Eagan Chamberlin
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Stefan Dragulinescu
This article considers the prospects of inference to the best explanation (IBE) as a method of confirming causal claims vis-à-vis the medical evidence of mechanisms. I show that IBE is actually descriptive of how scientists reason when choosing among hypotheses, that it is amenable to the balance/weight distinction, a pivotal pair of concepts in the philosophy of evidence, and that it can do justice to interesting features of the interplay between mechanistic and population level assessments.
June 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
David Wendler, Rebecca Johnson
The prevailing "segregated model" for understanding clinical research sharply separates it from clinical care and subjects it to extensive regulations and guidelines. This approach is based on the fact that clinical research relies on procedures and methods-research biopsies, blinding, randomization, fixed treatment protocols, placebos-that pose risks and burdens to participants in order to collect data that might benefit all patients. Reliance on these methods raises the potential for exploitation and unfairness, and thus points to the need for independent ethical review and more extensive informed consent...
June 2016: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
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