Journals

Narrative Identity in Third Party Reproduction: Normative Aspects and Ethical Challenges

Journal of Bioethical Enquiry - Mon, 2017-12-11 23:00
AbstractIn the last few decades, assisted reproduction has introduced new challenges to the way people conceive and build their families. While the numbers of donor-conceived (DC) individuals have increased worldwide, there are still many controversies concerning access to donor information. Is there a fundamental moral right to know one ’s genetic background? What does identity in DC families mean? Is there any relationship between identity formation and disclosure of genetic origins? These questions are addressed by analysing core regulatory discourse (ethical recommendations and codes of practice). This analysis shows that the notion ofnarrative identity is suitable for defining and answering these questions. This review analyses the meaning of resemblance in DC families and the way d...
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Beyond Trust: Plagiarism and Truth

Journal of Bioethical Enquiry - Mon, 2017-12-11 23:00
AbstractAcademic misconduct distorts the relationship between scientific practice and the knowledge it produces. The relationship between science and the knowledge it produces is, however, not something universally agreed upon. In this paper I will critically discuss the moral status of an act of research misconduct, namely plagiarism, in the context of different epistemological positions. While from a positivist view of science, plagiarism only influences trust in science but not the content of the scientific corpus, from a constructivist point of view both are at stake. Consequently, I argue that discussions of research misconduct and responsible research ought to be explicitly informed by the authors ’ views on the relationship between science and the knowledge it produces. (Source: J...
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An Exploration of the Protective Effects of Investigators ’ Ethical Awareness upon Subjects of Drug Clinical Trials in China

Journal of Bioethical Enquiry - Sun, 2017-12-10 23:00
This article analyses deficiencies in the protection of subjects in clinical drug trials under China ’s current laws and regulations; it emphasizes that investigators, as practitioners who have direct contact with subjects, play significant roles in protecting and safeguarding subjects’ rights and interests. The paper compares the status quo in China in this area to that of other countries and discusses ways China might enhance the protection of rights and interests of trial subjects, such as enhancing the ethical awareness of investigators through training, improving laws and regulations, and strengthening the communication between investigators and ethics committees. (Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
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Predictive Psychiatric Genetic Testing in Minors: An Exploration of the Non-Medical Benefits

Journal of Bioethical Enquiry - Sun, 2017-12-10 23:00
AbstractPredictive genetic testing for susceptibility to psychiatric conditions is likely to become part of standard practice. Because the onset of most psychiatric diseases is in late adolescence or early adulthood, testing minors could lead to early identification that may prevent or delay the development of these disorders. However, due to their complex aetiology, psychiatric genetic testing does not provide the immediate medical benefits that current guidelines require for testing minors. While several authors have argued non-medical benefits may play a crucial role in favour of predictive testing for other conditions, little research has explored such a role in psychiatric disorders. This paper outlines the potential non-medical benefits and harms of psychiatric genetic testing in min...
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Disclosure is Inadequate as a Solution to Managing Conflicts of Interest in Human Research

Journal of Bioethical Enquiry - Sun, 2017-12-10 23:00
This article discusses some of the problems of relying on disclosure as a solution to address conflicts of interest in research, including the added complexities around institutional conflicts of interest. The case of Dan Markingson illustrates these issues and highlights the vulnerable position relying on disclosure as a solution leaves research participants in. (Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
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Mode 2 Knowledge Production in the Context of Medical Research: A Call for Further Clarifications

Journal of Bioethical Enquiry - Sun, 2017-12-10 23:00
AbstractThe traditional researcher-driven environment of medical knowledge production is losing its dominance with the expansion of, for instance, community-based participatory or participant-led medical research. Over the past few decades, sociologists of science have debated a shift in the production of knowledge from traditional discipline-based (Mode 1) to more socially embedded and transdisciplinary frameworks (Mode 2). Recently, scholars have tried to show the relevance of Mode 2 knowledge production to medical research. However, the existing literature lacks detailed clarifications on how a model of Mode 2 knowledge production can be constructed in the context of medical research. This paper calls for such further clarifications. As a heuristic means, the advocacy for a controversia...
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Knowing, Anticipating, Even Facilitating but Still not Intending: Another Challenge to Double Effect Reasoning

Journal of Bioethical Enquiry - Sun, 2017-12-10 23:00
AbstractA recent administrative law decision in Victoria, Australia, applied double effect reasoning in a novel way. Double effect reasoning has hitherto been used to legitimate treatments which may shorten life but where the intent of treatment is pain relief. The situation reviewed by the Victorian tribunal went further, supporting actions where a doctor agrees to provide pentobarbitone (Nembutal) to a patient at some time in the future if the patient feels at that time that his pain is unbearable and he wants to end his life. The offer to provide the drug was described as a palliative treatment in that it gave reassurance and comfort to the patient. Double effect reasoning was extended in this instance to encompass potentially facilitating a patient ’s death. This extension further mu...
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The Myth of Universality: The UNESCO “Philosophers’ Committee” and the Making of Human Rights

Law & Social Enquiry - Fri, 2017-12-08 05:55

This article reexamines one of the most enduring questions in the history of human rights: the question of human rights universality. By the end of the first decade after the end of the Cold War, debates around the legitimacy and origins of human rights took on new urgency, as human rights emerged as an increasingly influential rubric in international law, transnational development policy, social activism, and ethical discourse. At stake in these debates was the fundamental status of human rights. Based in part on new archival research, this article offers an alternative interpretation of the rediscovery by scholars in the late 1990s of a 1947 UNESCO survey that purported to demonstrate the universality of human rights through empirical evidence. The article argues that this contested intellectual history reflects the enduring importance of the “myth of universality”—a key cultural narrative that we continue to use to find meaning across the long, dark night of history.

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The Labor Judge Unleashed: Rule of Law and Labor Rights in “Neoliberal” Chile

Law & Social Enquiry - Thu, 2017-12-07 03:56

Hoping to improve labor justice, some Latin American countries have reformed their labor courts without necessarily buttressing working-class power. Class power theories make us skeptical of these state-centric strategies for labor rights. Will the “rule-of-law” reforms work? This article reports ethnographic evidence collected by the author in the Chilean labor courts during 2009–2010, and secondary sources. It compares contemporary labor courts, reformed but in an otherwise “neoliberal” context, with the unreformed labor courts of the “socialist” years (1970–1972) to gauge the efficacy of rule-of-law reforms. Results show that despite the neoliberal context, the labor courts were more responsive to workers' claims than under socialism. Rule of law and procedural rules matter for effective labor rights.

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Unsettled Times for American Families

Law & Social Enquiry - Tue, 2017-12-05 08:01

In Caring for Our Own: Why There Is No Political Demand for New American Social Welfare Rights (2014), Sandra Levitsky reveals how an enduring ideology of family responsibility and a decoupling of social support groups from organized advocacy constrains mass legal mobilization to address long-term elderly care in the United States. This essay argues that American families have entered an unsettled period linked to social inequality, young adult living arrangements, immigration, and institutional shifts related to LGBTQ families, workplace-family conflict, and the criminalization of elder abuse. These changes to the family may create the conditions for questioning the ideology of family responsibility and new possibilities for collective action with potentially contradictory meanings and lines of action, including politicization and legal mobilization.

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Controlling futures? Online Genetic Testing and Neurodegenerative Disease

Journal of Bioethical Enquiry - Thu, 2017-11-30 23:00
AbstractOnline personalized genetic testing services offer accessible and convenient options for satisfying personal curiosity about health and obtaining answers about one ’s genetic provenance. They are especially attractive to healthy people who wish to learn about their future risk of disease, as Paul Mason’s (2017) case study of “Jordan” illustrates. In this response, we consider how online genetic testing services are used by people diagnosed with a common neurodegenerative disease, Parkinson’s disease, to gain a sense of certainty regarding the future. (Source: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry)
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Comparative Administrative Law and Political Structure †

Oxford Journal of Legal Studies - Thu, 2017-11-30 00:00
AbstractComparative Administrative law is a difficult subject. It is necessary to steer a course between the assumption that all systems are singular, shaped by a plethora of distinctive features that are never replicated elsewhere; and the equally extreme assumption that differences are merely on the surface, such that if propositions are stated at a sufficiently abstract level, then there will be commonality between all systems. The ascription of cause and effect when considering the rationale for differences is equally challenging, and is the principal focus of this review article, which considers the strengths and weaknesses of a structural explanation for divergence in administrative law in different countries.
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Cultural Spillovers: Copyright, Conceptions of Authors, and Commercial Practices

Law & Society Review - Wed, 2017-11-29 16:20

Economists, sociologists, and legal scholars agree that intellectual-property law is fundamental to markets because legal control over copying motivates creative production. But in many markets, such as fashion and databases, there is little or no intellectual-property protection, yet producers still create innovative products and earn profits. Research on such “negative spaces” in intellectual-property law reveals that social norms can constrain copying and support creative production. This insight guided our analysis of markets for American literature before the Civil War, in both magazines (a negative space, where intellectual-property law did not apply) and books (a positive space, where intellectual-property law did apply). We observed similar understandings of authors and similar commercial practices in both spaces because many authors published the same work in both spaces. Based on these observations, we propose that cultural elements that develop in positive spaces may spill over to related negative spaces, inducing changes in buyers' and sellers' behavior in negative spaces. Our historical approach also revealed nuances—shades of gray—beyond the sharp distinction typically drawn between negative and positive spaces. In the 1850s, a few large-circulation magazine publishers began to claim copyright, but many still allowed reprinting and none litigated to protect copyright.

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Table of Contents

Journal of Law and Society - Tue, 2017-11-28 15:32
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The Effects of Changes to Legal Aid on Lawyers' Professional Identity and Behaviour in Summary Criminal Cases: A Case Study

Journal of Law and Society - Tue, 2017-11-28 15:32

This article explores the effects of changes to legally aided representation on criminal cases in magistrates' courts according to data collected in an area of south-east England. I consider the political factors that motivated changes to legal aid and suggest how these issues affecting lawyers' understanding of their role, and how that understanding affects the relationships between defendants, lawyers, and the magistrates' courts. I argue that the research indicates a potential relation between solicitors' risk-taking behaviour in obtaining funding and the reintroduction of means testing: remuneration rates affect the service that defendants receive and the reintroduction of means testing decreased efficiency in summary criminal courts. Ultimately, I argue that changes to legal aid funding have increased lawyers' uncertainty about their role, leaving them torn between acting efficiently and providing a good level of service.

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Starting Out on a Judicial Career: Gender Diversity and the Appointment of Recorders, Circuit Judges, and Deputy High Court Judges, 1996–2016

Journal of Law and Society - Tue, 2017-11-28 15:32

This article is a quantitative study of those who are appointed Recorders and Circuit Judges, and who are authorized or appointed as Deputy High Court Judges. It considers the period 1996–2016, being the twenty years that straddle either side of the creation of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC). A key focus is the gender diversity of these appointments and how this has changed over time, including whether the transfer of appointments to the JAC has made a difference to gender diversity or whether increases in the proportions of female judges are attributable solely to a changing demographic among the pool of lawyers from which such judges tend to be appointed. Who are appointed to these positions is significant both because of the importance of the positions themselves, but also because they comprise the pool from which, as a practical reality, the Senior Judiciary is appointed.

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Overseeing Criminal Justice: The Supervisory Role of the Public Prosecution Service in China

Journal of Law and Society - Tue, 2017-11-28 15:32

The Chinese public prosecution service, the procuracy, is modelled on the Soviet Union system and has been accorded the controversial function of supervising other legal institutions in the criminal justice system. Drawing upon my own empirical data on the prosecution of crime in China, this article critically examines the way the power of supervision operates from an internal perspective. It argues that the power of supervision has been used as an institutional asset to secure the interests of the procuracy by analysing its oversight of police investigations and court decisions, the way prosecutors perceive themselves, and the efficacy of the supervision in a comparative context. The current status of the procuracy dictates that it is unable to undertake the role of supervision to safeguard the criminal process.

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Power Relations in Employment Disputes

Journal of Law and Society - Tue, 2017-11-28 15:32

This article reconceptualizes the operation of power relations in employment disputes. We draw on Foucault's theory of neo-liberal governance to inform our analysis of empirical data exploring how low-income workers make decisions about whether to engage with the Employment Tribunal system. Particular focus is placed on the ways the state governs employment disputes to achieve ideologically driven objectives. We conclude: first, that power relations in employment disputes operate across a range of institutions and individuals, and that the state's role is powerful and ongoing; secondly, that power relations operate to shape not just the objective context that workers find themselves in when experiencing an employment dispute but also workers' subjective moral codes about appropriate courses of action to take; and thirdly, that despite the powerful influence of the state, workers continue to hold non-economic values that guide their perception of the appropriate basis for relations between employers and workers.

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