Utrecht, Netherlands
Utrecht, Netherlands

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Grant
Agency: Narcis | Branch: Project | Program: Completed | Phase: Physics, Chemistry and Medicine | Award Amount: | Year: 2002

The process of dying has changed substantially during the last century, in which infectious disease as the main cause of death has been replaced by degenerative disease in mostly elderly patients. The growing involvement of medicine with dying has gradually made death a medical event. During the last decade many high quality studies, from The Netherlands and elsewhere, have contributed to end-of-life care as a new area of medical research. Fundamental to high quality medical care at the end of life is that the patients disease trajectory and the patients goals of care are understood. This project is aimed at providing empirical data on the terminal stage of disease, and the preceding period during which the physician and, usually somewhat later, the patient at some time come to recognize that the disease will be fatal in the foreseeable future. Determinants of (transitions in) the quality of life in subsequent stages of lethal disease will be studied, from the perspective of the patient and the physician, as well as the consequences of such transitions for the goals of medical care and medical decision making at the end of life. Finally, the effects on population health of current practices in end-of-life decision making will be analyzed. The data will be collected by prospectively following up and interviewing cancer patients, by performing a survey among the general public and by interviewing physicians about their experiences and attitudes. The results of the project will provide information about the extent to which the quality of the last phase in life, including the dying process, is associated with factors that are known to have an impact on the incidence and outcome of disease in general, such as age, socio-economic circumstances, psychosocial status, and health-related behavior, and into the transitions people go through after a diagnosis of serious or lethal disease. The resulting insight into potentially avoidable factors associated with end-of-life suffering as opposed to factors that are irreversible or not amenable to medical care and into the patients goals and expectancies contributes to rational and high-quality medical care for seriously ill patients.


Bovenkerk B.,Ethics Institute | Meijboom F.L.B.,Ethics Institute
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics | Year: 2013

Aquaculture is the fastest growing animal-production sector in the world. This leads to the question how we should guarantee fish welfare. Implementing welfare standards presupposes that we know how to weigh, define, and measure welfare. While at first glance these seem empirical questions, they cannot be answered without ethical reflection. Normative assumptions are made when weighing, defining, and measuring welfare. Moreover, the focus on welfare presupposes that welfare is a morally important concept. This in turn presupposes that we can define the capacities of fish, which is an empirical undertaking that informs and is informed by ethical theories about the moral status of animals. In this article we want to illustrate the need for a constant interaction between empirical scientific research and ethics, in which both fields of research make their own contribution. This is not a novel claim. However, the case of fish sheds new light on this claim, because regarding fish there is still much empirical uncertainty and there is a plurality of moral views on all levels. Therefore, we do not only want to show the necessity of this interaction, but also the added value of a cooperation between ethicists and empirical scientists, such as biologists, physiologists, and ethologists. We demonstrate this by considering the different steps in the process of reflection about and implementation of fish welfare. © 2012 The Author(s).


Bovenkerk B.,Ethics Institute | Meijboom F.L.B.,Ethics Institute
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics | Year: 2012

As the world population is growing and government directives tell us to consume more fatty acids, the demand for fish is increasing. Due to declines in wild fish populations, we have come to rely more and more on aquaculture. Despite rapid expansion of aquaculture, this sector is still in a relatively early developmental stage. This means that this sector can still be steered in a favorable direction, which requires discussion about sustainability. If we want to avoid similar problems to the ones we have experienced with livestock farming, we need to generate knowledge of the biology, profitability, environmental aspects, consumer awareness, and product appreciation of particular fish species. However, the discussion about a sustainable aquaculture also raises the question how we should treat fish. This moral question is regularly addressed as a problem of applied ethics with a focus on tailoring ethical principles to practical questions. In this article we do not deny the importance of the practical accounts, but we start from the fundamental question whether and why fish matter in our moral deliberations, i. e., from the discussion on moral status. We elaborate the distinction between moral considerability and moral significance in order to show both the importance and the limitations of the discussion about moral status for practical problems in aquaculture. We illustrate these points with a case-study about the farming of a specific fish species, the African catfish. © 2011 The Author(s).


Grant
Agency: Narcis | Branch: Project | Program: Completed | Phase: Humanities | Award Amount: | Year: 1999

None


(PRLEAP.COM) August 30, 2016 - ContractWorks, the most user-friendly, secure, and affordable contract management software for compliance professionals announced that they will exhibit at The 15th Annual Compliance & Ethics Institute (CEI) in Chicago, IL from September 25-28, 2016. SCEE's annual CEI will be held at the Sheraton Grand Chicago. The event is known to be "the primary education and networking event for professionals working in the Compliance and Ethics profession across all industries" and will draw attendees from 23 countries across the globe.As an exhibitor at CEI, ContractWorks will join other providers of services and technologies designed to help compliance and ethics professionals by providing products designed for compliance, legal, IT, education, billing, and other services. The ContractWorks team can be found in the main exhibit hall, booth 102, beginning Sunday, September 26 through Tuesday, September 27 during regular exhibit viewing hours.ContractWorks' software is designed to help professionals working in compliance and ethics fully utilize current and future contracts while ensuring their information is remaining compliant and secure. With features built to assist companies in archiving and retaining critical information, ContractWorks users are able to securely manage their documentation through an encrypted and protected audit trail reporting, automated risk alerts, custom stats reporting, and internal controls ensuring appropriate access at all times.For more information, including scheduling a short demo to see the new features in more detail, go here: www.contractworks.com About:ContractWorks, by SecureDocs, Inc ., provides contract management software that focuses on usability and a simple user interface. ContractWorks offers a comprehensive feature set for companies that are keen to move away from managing contracts manually, tracking details on Excel, or struggling with an existing contract management process that's too complicated or too expensive. Located in Santa Barbara, California, and created by the engineers and team who helped develop well-known products like GoToMeeting, GoToMyPC, AppFolio, and Rightscale, SecureDocs, Inc. is dedicated to building software solutions that are highly secure, easily adopted, and affordable for any type or size of business. For more information about ContractWorks visit: www.contractworks.com


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.csmonitor.com

A sculpture of mammoths is seen in the Siberian town of Khanty-Mansiisk on June 28, 2008. —It's only a matter of time, scientists say, before we're able to bring extinct species back from the dead. The real question now: should we? Last week, a team of Harvard researchers announced they were on the brink of creating a hybrid woolly mammoth-elephant embryo, the next step on the long road to resurrecting the prehistoric creatures. As we move steadily closer to being able to bring extinct species – or something closely resembling them – to life through genetic engineering, some scientists say the technology could prove a valuable, much-needed conservation tool. But a new economic analysis suggests that bringing back extinct species may detract from, rather than add to, conservation efforts. "Given this atmosphere of a biodiversity crisis and limited resources, we really need to do the best job we possibly can," says Joseph Bennett, a biologist at Carleton University in Ottawa and lead author of the study. "If de-extinction represents a gain in biodiversity, that’s great. If it represents a Pyrrhic victory in that we could have better spent those resources to save species on their way to extinction, that's essentially a one step forward, two steps back scenario." The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, used data from New South Wales, Australia, and New Zealand to consider the cost of sustaining de-extincted populations under two scenarios. In the first scenario, a private agency funds the resurrection of an extinct species, then hands the responsibility of caring for the revived population over to the government. In the second, a private agency pays for the entire project, covering the costs of both resurrection and maintenance. The results, researchers found, didn't bode well for endangered, living species. Under the first scenario, the cost of maintaining the de-extincted species was taken directly from the government's already limited conservation budget, resulting in an overall loss for biodiversity: Roughly two species would go extinct for every one resurrected, the team concluded. The second scenario produced a small increase in biodiversity, particularly for species that would require the same conservation tools and techniques already being used to protect endangered animals. But the greatest hypothetical gains for biodiversity, the study said, came when the money required for de-extinction was instead put toward existing conservation programs for living species. In this scenario, roughly two to eight times more species were saved. In other words, Professor Bennett tells The Christian Science Monitor in a phone interview, "it makes sense to spend money on the living rather than the dead." Bennett and his team aren't the first to question whether de-extinction would help or hurt conservation efforts. Other scientists have argued that harnessing the technology to bring back extinct species, or something closely resembling them, could take away momentum from the push to protect endangered animals and give property developers an excuse to build over their natural habitats. "De-extinction just provides the ultimate 'out,' " said wildlife biologist Stanley Temple in a 2015 BBC interview. "If you can always bring the species back later, it undermines the urgency about preventing extinctions." But others see potential for saving endangered species in bringing back extinct ones, and say they don't believe funding for de-extinction and conservation are mutually exclusive. "There are certain donors that are only interested in the biotechnology involved in de-extinction, and contrary there are certain donors that ... instead chose to donate to extant endangered species after their introduction," said Ben Novak, lead researcher with Revive & Restore, a foundation that researches genetic tools to conserve endangered and extinct species. Furthermore, he told Popular Science, "de-extinct proxies offer the potential to raise more money for conservation than many extant species." For example, Mr. Novak said, an extinct animal could attract more visitors to a zoo. Another potential benefit of developing de-extinction technology, some supporters say, is that it could produce new techniques and insights to help preserve existing species. Professor Bennett acknowledges that scientists could likely learn a thing or two from studying extinct creatures. But, he points out, many of the same lessons could be learned – at a lower cost – using animals living today. Ultimately, says Ronald Sandler, director of the Ethics Institute at Northeastern University, analyzing the pros and cons of de-extinction varies from species to species. When framing a cost-benefit analysis in terms of conservation, he tells the Monitor in a phone interview, "it’s almost never going to be the case that the benefits favor engaging in de-extinction." However, Professor Sandler notes, conservation isn't the only driving force behind reviving extinct species like the woolly mammoth. "In the case of de-extinction, the most prominent arguments for it do not appeal to its being a cost-effective conservation strategy," he writes in an editorial for Nature Ecology and Evolution. Some species, he tells the Monitor, have "symbolic value" or are "culturally important." And some scientists are motivated by the scientific and technical value of the research – not the desire to create a conservation tool – while others view it as a way to "undo the harm" done by mankind in causing a species to go extinct in the first place. "There are other reasons why people want to [restore] species besides conservation," Sandler says. "Cost-benefit analyses don't capture all the value that a species can have."

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