A Jehovah’s Witness’s Autonomy versus the Interests of Her Children – ES v AC Mnyonfd by F Mnyongani, Magda Slabbert :: SSRN

January 2, 2019

In this case, the right to self-determination on religious grounds – or the autonomy of the mother of three minor children – was afforded more weight by the majority of the judges than were the best interests of the children. We argue that this approach, in the specific circumstances of the family being of African origin, was wrong and that the view adopted by Mainga J, namely, that cases of competing human rights should be considered on a case-by-case basis, seems to be more acceptable. In conclusion we argue that a curator ad litem should have been appointed to guard the interests of the children.

via A Jehovah’s Witness’s Autonomy versus the Interests of Her Children – ES v AC Mnyonfd by F Mnyongani, Magda Slabbert :: SSRN


Uterus Transplants and the Insufficient Value of Gestation by Emily McTernan :: SSRN

October 19, 2018

Uterus transplants provide another treatment for infertility. Some might think that we should embrace such transplants as one more way to assist people to have children. However, in this paper I argue that uterus transplants are not something that we ought to fund, nor something that we should make easy to access. First, I argue that any justification of providing uterus transplants must be based on the value of the experience of gestation, rather than on claims of meeting medical need or promoting normal functioning. Second, I demonstrate that such a justification has limited prospects of success. The value of experiencing gestation is unlikely to be sufficient to justify state funding of uterus transplants and, further, we have reason to refrain from enabling such transplants.

via Uterus Transplants and the Insufficient Value of Gestation by Emily McTernan :: SSRN


Access to Knowledge and the Global Abortion Policies Database by Joanna N. Erdman, Brooke R. Johnson :: SSRN

October 18, 2018

Research shows that women, healthcare providers, and even policy makers worldwide have limited or inaccurate knowledge of the abortion law and policies in their country. These knowledge gaps sometimes stem from the vague and broad terms of the law, which breed uncertainty and even conflict when unaccompanied by accessible regulation or guidelines. Inconsistency across national law and policy further impedes safe and evidence‐based practice. This lack of transparency creates a crisis of accountability. Those seeking care cannot know their legal entitlements, service providers cannot practice with legal protection, and governments can escape legal responsibility for the adverse effects of their laws. This is the context for the newly launched Global Abortion Policies Database — an open‐access repository that seeks to promote transparency and state accountability by providing clear and comprehensive information about national laws, policies, health standards, and guidelines, and by creating the capacity for comparative analysis and cross‐referencing to health indicators, WHO recommendations, and human rights standards.

via Access to Knowledge and the Global Abortion Policies Database by Joanna N. Erdman, Brooke R. Johnson :: SSRN


The Over-Medicalization and Corrupted Medicalization of Abortion and Its Effect on Women Living in Poverty by Lois L. Shepherd, Hilary Turner :: SSRN

October 17, 2018

Many current abortion regulations over-medicalize abortion or corrupt its true medical nature, with disproportionate consequences to women with lower incomes and lesser means. This article explores the effects of unnecessary and harmful abortion restrictions on women living in poverty. A brief summary of the major abortion rights cases explains how the Constitution, as currently interpreted, vests the government and sometimes the medical profession with the power to protect women’s health, rather than granting this power to women themselves. The article then argues for a new approach for protecting women’s health and respecting their dignity by reframing reproductive rights as health rights that women themselves can assert.

via The Over-Medicalization and Corrupted Medicalization of Abortion and Its Effect on Women Living in Poverty by Lois L. Shepherd, Hilary Turner :: SSRN


Pacemakers and Patient Rights: How Using IMDs Means Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve

May 9, 2018

Implantable medical devices (IMDs) are very common in the United States and are essentially wearable smart devices embedded under the skin. Patients have no direct access to the information collected and exercise no control over where that information is sent. Under this model, the rights of patients with pacemakers are at a significant risk of abuse. This paper reviews the rights of patients with medical implants, specifically those with pacemakers, and is organized by three topics: privacy, access, and litigation. Research found IMDs offer little protection and are easily hacked, patients receive no direct access to their own data, and such data has already been approved to serve as evidence in litigation. Although IMDs are making positive strides forward in the world of medicine, they may lead to significant steps backward for the rights of the patients involved. Overall, if using a pacemaker means wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve, patients should have the right to know the rules before being thrust into the game.

via Pacemakers and Patient Rights: How Using IMDs Means Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve by Ashton Hampton :: SSRN


Are Older People a Vulnerable Group? Philosophical and Bioethical Perspectives on Ageing and Vulnerability

May 7, 2018

The elderly are often considered a vulnerable group in public and academic bioethical debates and regulations. In this paper, we examine and challenge this assumption and its ethical implications. We begin by systematically delineating the different concepts of vulnerability commonly used in bioethics, before then examining whether these concepts can be applied to old age. We argue that old age should not, in and of itself, be used as a marker of vulnerability, since ageing is a process that can develop in a variety of different ways and is not always associated with particular experiences of vulnerability. We, therefore, turn to more fundamental phenomenological considerations in order to reconstruct from a first person perspective the intricate interconnections between the experiences of ageing and vulnerability. According to this account, ageing and old age are phenomena in which the basic anthropological vulnerability of human beings can manifest itself in an increased likelihood of harm and exploitation. Thus, we plead for a combined model of vulnerability that helps to avoid problems related to the current concepts of vulnerability. We conclude first that old age as such is not a sufficient criterion for being categorized as vulnerable in applied ethics, and second that reflections on ageing can help to develop a better understanding of the central role of vulnerability in human existence and in applied ethics.

via Are Older People a Vulnerable Group? Philosophical and Bioethical Perspectives on Ageing and Vulnerability by Claudia Bozzaro, Joachim Boldt, Mark Schweda :: SSRN


Toward a Global Geroethics – Gerontology and the Theory of the Good Human Life

May 5, 2018

Gerontologists have proposed different concepts for ageing well such as ‘successful ageing’, ‘active ageing’, and ‘healthy ageing’. These conceptions are primarily focused on maintaining health and preventing disease. But they also raise the questions: what is a good life in old age and how can it be achieved? While medical in origin, these concepts and strategies for ageing well also contain ethical advice for individuals and societies on how to act regarding ageing and old age. This connection between gerontology and ethics is overlooked by both schools of thought. We thus develop this research programme for a systematic geroethics in four steps. First, we analyze ‘successful ageing’ as put forward by Rowe and Kahn as a paradigmatic example of a gerontological conception of ageing well. Then, in a second step, we move from criticisms within gerontology to an ethical perspective; in particular, we want to clarify the problem of the claim of universal validity of conceptions of the good life. In a third constructive step, we explain how the ‘capabilities approach’ could be applied in this context as a normative foundation for the implicit normative assumptions of gerontological conceptions of ageing well, such as a particular choice of functionings, the ethical relevance of human agency, and the resulting claims of individuals towards society. Finally, using a concept developed by the German philosopher Ursula Wolf, we systematically develop the different aspects of the connection between ageing well and the theory of the good life in their full complexity and show their interconnectedness.

via Toward a Global Geroethics – Gerontology and the Theory of the Good Human Life by Hans‐Joerg Ehni, Selma Kadi, Maartje Schermer, Sridhar Venkatapuram :: SSRN