Tag: psychology

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Participants’ Testimonials: GBI Summer School a Smashing Success, (June 19-30), 2017

The GBI Summer School proved to be even better than anticipated or described. As a newcomer to the discipline, I had expected the course to provide a broad overview of topics and speakers. Indeed, while broad, the degree of expertise and timely subject material provided an excellent and comprehensive survey of the discipline in global and local settings. Moreover, the students provided another dimension of diversity, both in nationalities and areas of expertise. The speakers made their presentation materials readily available, answered questions, and were willing to address topics of interest offline. I would strongly recommend the course to both novices and subject matter experts alike. The course especially demonstrated the need, relevance, and desirability for global bioethics to be better incorporated into public policy formulation.

Geoffrey Pack, Prevention and Protection Officer, Office of Homeland and Security, City of San Diego, M.A.L.D., Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University in Cooperation with Harvard University

The GBI Summer School, in the heart of NYC’s Pace University Campus, is a fantastic opportunity! International scholars and professionals from all over the world attended the program, contributing their experiences and engaging with bioethics experts. The City of New York – with the nearby Pace University Campus, Brooklyn Bridge, City Hall, and 9/11 Memorial – provided the perfect setting to discuss the global ethical challenges in technology and medicine. Discussions ranged from law and politics to culture and psychology, encompassing the ethical dilemmas that define the 21st century. I have immensely enjoyed not just the internationally known faculty but also hearing from the learners who come from all over the world representing diverse fields.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

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Responsibility in the age of precision genomics

by Alexa Woodward

Alexa is a fellow in the Precision Medicine: Ethics, Policy, and Culture project through Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Social Difference. The following is her reflection on the ongoing discussion around the Precision Medicine Initiative that has been the subject of recent political, social, and popular media attention. A recent presentation by Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, PhD, from the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford University spurred our multi-disciplinary discussion of some of the following themes.

What is normal, anyway?

Genetically speaking, that’s precisely the question that the Obama administration’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) seeks to answer. In recruiting and collecting comprehensive genetic, medical, behavioral, and lifestyle data from one million Americans, the scientific and medical communities will be better able to understand what constitutes normal genetic variation within the population, and in turn, what amount of variation causes or contributes to disease or disease risk.[1] Using this data, researchers could potentially create tailored approaches for intervention and treatment of an incredible range of diseases.

The PMI has a secondary aim: to increase the representation of previously underrepresented populations in research – primarily African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos. Inclusion of these groups in research has been a challenge for decades, with lack of access, distrust in the medical and research systems, and institutionalized racism all playing exclusionary roles. More broadly, outside of the government initiative, the promise of precision medicine ultimately seeks to alleviate disparities by finding and addressing supposed genetic differences, and empowering people with information to take responsibility for their health.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

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Johns Hopkins Launches Interdisciplinary Effort to Reexamine and Improve Civic Engagement in the 21st Century

June 22, 2017

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The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has committed $150 million to a joint effort with Johns Hopkins University to forge new ways to address the deterioration of civic engagement worldwide and facilitate the restoration of open and inclusive discourse that is the cornerstone of healthy democracies.

The gift establishes the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University as an academic and public forum bringing together experts from fields such as political science, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, ethics, sociology, and history. Together, they will examine the dynamics of societal, cultural, and political polarization and develop ways to improve decision-making and civic discourse. They also will design and test mechanisms for strengthening democracy through dialogue and social engagement, and convene subject matter experts from a range of perspectives to explore new approaches to divisive issues.

“In the U.S. and around the world, the rise in division, distrust and alienation presents a daunting and urgent challenge,” said Ronald J. Daniels, president of the university. “Today, cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines—coupled with a commitment to strengthen civic dialogue—can give us new insight into these trends and new opportunities for productive policymaking and problem-solving. The Agora Institute represents an extraordinary commitment to these aims, through a unique combination of scholarship, laboratory, and place-making. We are thrilled to lead the effort and look forward to partnering with scholars and institutions from across the globe.”

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

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Psychologists Open a Window on Brutal C.I.A. Interrogations

June 21, 2017

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Fifteen years after he helped devise the brutal interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects in secret C.I.A. prisons, John Bruce Jessen, a former military psychologist, expressed ambivalence about the program.

He described himself and a fellow military psychologist, James Mitchell, as reluctant participants in using the techniques, some of which are widely viewed as torture, but also justified the practices as effective in getting resistant detainees to cooperate.

“I think any normal, conscionable man would have to consider carefully doing something like this,” Dr. Jessen said in a newly disclosed deposition. “I deliberated with great, soulful torment about this, and obviously I concluded that it could be done safely or I wouldn’t have done it.”

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Image: By Shane T. McCoy, U.S. Navy – (copied from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Camp_x-ray_detainees.jpg so that the image can be used on Wikinews.), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=774059

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

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Making the theoretical practical: Engaging undergraduate students in research methods by Hannah Mohammad

I am currently an undergraduate student in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London. The Department’s UG program offers students the opportunity to study social aspects of health and medicine in a multi-disciplinary context with close collaboration between the social sciences, life sciences and biomedicine. In addition, a great emphasis is put on methods training to equip students to carry out their own empirical research projects.

Already in first year, the Research Practice and Design Studio course taught us theories and practices required for qualitative and quantitative research. However, in our undergraduate bubble, these late Tuesday afternoon sessions seemed somewhat distant from conducting actual research. In order to address this perceived disconnect, our course instructor, Dr Laurie Corna decided to adopt a problem-based learning approach that allowed us students to be positioned as emerging researchers whilst learning theoretically about a range of issues central to quantitative and qualitative research designs.

A new research methods course was designed around a series of case-based learning activities that culminated in students conducting their own mixed-methods research. Students’ assignments for the course involved working in teams of two on applying and executing various aspects of the research process in relation to the predefined topic “Physical activity in the city of London”.[1] That is, we learned how to articulate research questions, identify ethical problems, write a research proposal and develop related interview topic guides as well as survey questionnaires. Once we had conducted our research, we were tasked to present our findings in the form of a poster during a “Research Showcase” and create a final report on the research project.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

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Public Perception and Communication of Scientific Uncertainty

Scientific results are inherently uncertain. The public views uncertainty differently than scientists. One key to understanding when and how scientific research gets misinterpreted is to understand how the public thinks about scientific uncertainty.

A recent paper in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General explores how laypersons perceive uncertainty in science. Broomell and Kane use principle component analysis to discover three underlying dimensions that describe how the public characterizes uncertainty: precision, mathematical abstraction, and temporal distance. These three dimensions, in turn, predict how people rate the quality of a research field. Precision – loosely defined in this context as the accuracy of the measurements, predictions, and conclusions drawn within a research field – is the dominating factor. One interpretation is that the public is primarily concerned with definitiveness when evaluating scientific claims.

Members of the public lose confidence when fields of study are described as being more uncertain. This is relevant for scientists to consider when communicating results. On the one hand, over-selling the certainty of an outcome can mislead. On the other hand, the public might tend to dismiss important scientific findings when researchers describe uncertainty honestly and openly, as we have seen in the public denial of vaccinations and climate change. Perceptions of a research field do not seem to influence how people view individual studies, so each study should be treated as its own communique.

Broomell et al found some evidence that personal characteristics interpret scientific uncertainty in different ways. Self-identified Republicans are more concerned about expert disagreement, while self-identified Democrats are more concerned with the quality of evidence.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

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Nudges in the ICU: When and How Should Intensivists Guide Surrogates’ Decisions?

Coming up next week at the ATS International Conference in Washington, DC: “Nudges in the ICU: When and How Should Intensivists Guide Surrogates’ Decisions?”


This 2-hour session will address the use of behavioral economics and “nudges” in the ICU to guide surrogate decision-making. In particular, it will explore methods for effectively deploying nudges—tools for clinicians to use in the ICU—and an ethical framework within which to do so that adequately balances autonomy and paternal beneficence.


At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:

  • Discuss principles of behavioral economics (a.k.a. decision psychology) that physicians might employ to ethically and effectively guide end-of-life decision making in the ICU
  • Clarify misconceptions about the meaning and importance of patient autonomy and informed assent among ICU patients lacking decisional capacity
  • Discuss special considerations when deploying behavioral economics with pediatric patients and their parent surrogates

Behavioral Economics, Choice Architecture, and Nudges in the ICU
G.L. Anesi, MD, MBE, Philadelphia, PA


Intensivists’ Use of Informed Assent When Patients Lack Capacity
J.R. Curtis, MD, MPH, Seattle, WA


Default to DNR?
R.D. Stapleton, MD, PhD, Burlington, VT


Integrated ICU Team Communications and the Nursing Perspective
D.K. Costa, PhD, RN, Ann Arbor, MI


The (Ambiguous) Role of Autonomy in Surrogate
Decision-Making
D.B. White, MD, Pittsburgh, PA


Helping Parents with Decisions
M.F. Haward, MD, Bronx, NY

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Uncategorized

Nudges in the ICU: When and How Should Intensivists Guide Surrogates’ Decisions?

Coming up next week at the ATS International Conference in Washington, DC: “Nudges in the ICU: When and How Should Intensivists Guide Surrogates’ Decisions?”


This 2-hour session will address the use of behavioral economics and “nudges” in the ICU to guide surrogate decision-making. In particular, it will explore methods for effectively deploying nudges—tools for clinicians to use in the ICU—and an ethical framework within which to do so that adequately balances autonomy and paternal beneficence.


At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:

  • Discuss principles of behavioral economics (a.k.a. decision psychology) that physicians might employ to ethically and effectively guide end-of-life decision making in the ICU
  • Clarify misconceptions about the meaning and importance of patient autonomy and informed assent among ICU patients lacking decisional capacity
  • Discuss special considerations when deploying behavioral economics with pediatric patients and their parent surrogates

Behavioral Economics, Choice Architecture, and Nudges in the ICU
G.L. Anesi, MD, MBE, Philadelphia, PA


Intensivists’ Use of Informed Assent When Patients Lack Capacity
J.R. Curtis, MD, MPH, Seattle, WA


Default to DNR?
R.D. Stapleton, MD, PhD, Burlington, VT


Integrated ICU Team Communications and the Nursing Perspective
D.K. Costa, PhD, RN, Ann Arbor, MI


The (Ambiguous) Role of Autonomy in Surrogate
Decision-Making
D.B. White, MD, Pittsburgh, PA


Helping Parents with Decisions
M.F. Haward, MD, Bronx, NY

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

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Medical Aid In Dying in Minnesota – Lessons Learned in Oregon and Colorado

Join me on Friday, September 29, 2017, for the MCDES Fall 2017 Conference: “Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD)—Lessons Learned in Oregon and Colorado.”


CEU’s will be available for professionals in Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, Social Work, Behavior Health and Therapy, Funeral Service and MN Nurses.


Speakers

  • David Grube, MD, is Board Certified in Family Medicine and retired after practicing for 35 years. He continues to teach medical students. He has been a leader in the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians and Oregon Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.
  • Kim Mooney, Certified Thanatologist, has 24 years of experience in the fi eld of dying, death, and grief. She has worked with hospices and as an independent consultant for corporations, faith communities, health care and mental health agencies. She lives and works in Colorado.
  • Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD, Director, Health Law Institute, Mitchell Hamline School of Law. He graduated from Georgetown University, where he received both his JD and a PhD in philosophy and bioethics.

Location
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel – Minneapolis North
Brooklyn Center, MN


Mission
To promote thoughtful deliberation about challenges faced by healthcare professionals and
healthcare systems as they create patient-centered policies to respond to medical aid in dying legislation and requests. We are neither promoting nor condemning aid in dying, but rather, focusing on how to achieve the best possible care for seriously ill patients and their families if medical aid in dying is legalized.


Pragmatic and Ethical Concerns

  1. How will practicing clinicians be educated to respond to requests for physician aid-in-dying, and to connect patients to resources, such as hospice and mental health, in the course of discussing these requests? 

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Uncategorized

Medical Aid In Dying in Minnesota – Lessons Learned in Oregon and Colorado

Join me on Friday, September 29, 2017, for the MCDES Fall 2017 Conference: “Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD)—Lessons Learned in Oregon and Colorado.”


CEU’s will be available for professionals in Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, Social Work, Behavior Health and Therapy, Funeral Service and MN Nurses.


Speakers

  • David Grube, MD, is Board Certified in Family Medicine and retired after practicing for 35 years. He continues to teach medical students. He has been a leader in the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians and Oregon Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.
  • Kim Mooney, Certified Thanatologist, has 24 years of experience in the fi eld of dying, death, and grief. She has worked with hospices and as an independent consultant for corporations, faith communities, health care and mental health agencies. She lives and works in Colorado.
  • Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD, Director, Health Law Institute, Mitchell Hamline School of Law. He graduated from Georgetown University, where he received both his JD and a PhD in philosophy and bioethics.

Location
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel – Minneapolis North
Brooklyn Center, MN


Mission
To promote thoughtful deliberation about challenges faced by healthcare professionals and
healthcare systems as they create patient-centered policies to respond to medical aid in dying legislation and requests. We are neither promoting nor condemning aid in dying, but rather, focusing on how to achieve the best possible care for seriously ill patients and their families if medical aid in dying is legalized.


Pragmatic and Ethical Concerns

  1. How will practicing clinicians be educated to respond to requests for physician aid-in-dying, and to connect patients to resources, such as hospice and mental health, in the course of discussing these requests? 

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.