Matching Items (4)

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Global bioethics: a descriptive analysis of the function of bioethics in health and medicine on a global scale

Description

This thesis explores concept of "global bioethics" in both its development as well as its current state in an effort to understand exactly where it fits into the larger field

This thesis explores concept of "global bioethics" in both its development as well as its current state in an effort to understand exactly where it fits into the larger field of bioethics. Further, the analysis poses specific questions regarding what it may contribute to this field and related fields, and the possibility and scope associated with the continued development of global bioethics as its own discipline. To achieve this, the piece addresses questions regarding current opinions on the subject, the authorities and their associated publications related to global bioethics, and what the aims of the subject should be given its current state. "Global Bioethics" is a term that, while seen frequently in bioethics literature, is difficult to define succinctly. While many opinions are provided on the concept, little consensus exists regarding its application and possible contributions and, in some cases, even its very possibility. Applying ethical principles of health and medicine globally is undoubtedly complicated by the cultural, social, and geographical considerations associated with understanding health and medicine in different populations, leading to a dichotomy between two schools of thought in relation to global bioethics. These two sides consist of those who think that universality of bioethics is possible whereas the opposing viewpoint holds that relativism is the key to applying ethics on a global scale. Despite the aforementioned dichotomy in addressing applications of global bioethics, this analysis shows that the goals of the subject should be more focused on contributing to ethical frameworks and valuable types of thinking related to the ethics health and medicine on a global scale. This is achieved through an exploration of bioethics in general, health as a function of society and culture, the history and development of global bioethics itself, and an exploration of pertinent global health topics. While primarily descriptive in nature, this analysis critiques some of the current discussions and purported goals surrounding global bioethics, recommending that the field focus on fostering valuable discussion and framing of issues rather than the pursuit of concrete judgments on moral issues in global health and medicine.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Improving the Reliability and Generalizability of Scientific Research

Description

Science is a formalized method for acquiring information about the world. In

recent years, the ability of science to do so has been scrutinized. Attempts to reproduce

findings in diverse fields demonstrate

Science is a formalized method for acquiring information about the world. In

recent years, the ability of science to do so has been scrutinized. Attempts to reproduce

findings in diverse fields demonstrate that many results are unreliable and do not

generalize across contexts. In response to these concerns, many proposals for reform have

emerged. Although promising, such reforms have not addressed all aspects of scientific

practice. In the social sciences, two such aspects are the diversity of study participants

and incentive structures. Most efforts to improve scientific practice focus on replicability,

but sidestep issues of generalizability. And while researchers have speculated about the

effects of incentive structures, there is little systematic study of these hypotheses. This

dissertation takes one step towards filling these gaps. Chapter 1 presents a cross-cultural

study of social discounting – the purportedly fundamental human tendency to sacrifice

more for socially-close individuals – conducted among three diverse populations (U.S.,

rural Indonesia, rural Bangladesh). This study finds no independent effect of social

distance on generosity among Indonesian and Bangladeshi participants, providing

evidence against the hypothesis that social discounting is universal. It also illustrates the

importance of studying diverse human populations for developing generalizable theories

of human nature. Chapter 2 presents a laboratory experiment with undergraduates to test

the effect of incentive structures on research accuracy, in an instantiation of the scientific

process where the key decision is how much data to collect before submitting one’s

findings. The results demonstrate that rewarding novel findings causes respondents to

make guesses with less information, thereby reducing their accuracy. Chapter 3 presents

an evolutionary agent-based model that tests the effect of competition for novel findings

on the sample size of studies that researchers conduct. This model demonstrates that

competition for novelty causes the cultural evolution of research with smaller sample

sizes and lower statistical power. However, increasing the startup costs to conducting

single studies can reduce the negative effects of competition, as can rewarding

publication of secondary findings. These combined chapters provide evidence that

aspects of current scientific practice may be detrimental to the reliability and

generalizability of research and point to potential solutions.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

Breast cancer care-seeking behavior in rural Bangladesh: the role of stigma, gender identity, and violence against women

Description

While women in higher income countries can expect to survive a diagnosis of breast cancer, women in lower- and middle-income countries such as Bangladesh have mortality rates near 50%, suggesting

While women in higher income countries can expect to survive a diagnosis of breast cancer, women in lower- and middle-income countries such as Bangladesh have mortality rates near 50%, suggesting that there are significant barriers to care seeking for breast problems. Given limited literature on barriers to care among native, rural South Asian populations, this study thus sought to understand 1) the impacts of breast problems on women and their families, including the extent of abuse among women with breast problems, and 2) the barriers and facilitators of care for women with breast problems in rural Bangladesh.

Sixty-three study participants (43 women and 20 men) were interviewed about their experiences. Interviewers elicited barriers to care, facilitators of care, and questions about the attitudes and behaviors of family and community members were in structured interviews.

The study found that breast problems and their treatment put significant resource and emotional strains on the family. Furthermore, over a third of women in this study reported abuse of some kind, with emotional abuse, neglect, and abandonment being the most frequently reported.

The study reinforced barriers to care identified in the literature for South Asian populations, but only a quarter of participants reported stigma of any kind. Lack of knowledge about breast cancer and inability to pay for care were the most frequently reported barriers, followed by access to care and fear of treatment. Facilitators of care among women who received a biopsy point to the importance of support by the husband and husband’s family, as well as the ability to identify economic support for and knowledge about care.

This study contributes to the understanding of two overarching themes: structural violence and the value of women, as well as how these themes influence poor outcomes for women with breast cancer in rural Bangladesh. Suggestions for future studies and short and long-term interventions to address study findings are offered.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Economic Development and Reproduction: Understanding the Role of Market Opportunities in Shaping Fertility Variation

Description

Evolutionary and economic theories of fertility variation argue that novel subsistence opportunities associated with market economies shape reproduction in ways that both increase parental investment per child and lower overall

Evolutionary and economic theories of fertility variation argue that novel subsistence opportunities associated with market economies shape reproduction in ways that both increase parental investment per child and lower overall fertility. I use demographic and ethnographic data from Guatemala as a case study to illustrate how ethnic inequalities in accessing market opportunities have shaped demographic variation and the perceptions of parental investments. I then discuss two projects that use secondary data sets to address issues of conceptualizing and operationalizing market opportunities in national and cross-population comparative work. The first argues that social relationships are critical means of accessing market opportunities, and uses Guatemala household stocks of certain forms of relational wealth are associated with greater parental investments in education. The second focuses on a methodological issue in how common measures of wealth in comparative demographic studies conflate economic capacity with market opportunities, and how this conceptual confusion biases our interpretations of the observed links between wealth and fertility over the course of the demographic transition.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019