To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
On January 1, 1946, the Japanese emperor’s New Year address included the “Humanity Declaration:”
The ties between Us and Our people have always stood upon mutual trust and affection. They do not depend upon mere legends and myths. They are not predicated on the false conception that the Emperor is divine, and that the Japanese people are superior to other races and fated to rule the world.
In this declaration, the emperor declared that he was not a “living god,” calling that belief a fiction spread by the military, political, academic and business worlds to unify the nation prior to the war. During the prewar period this fiction was treated as fact. Belief that a human emperor was divine and, thus, that the Japanese people were a superior race descended from the gods was propagated through ceremony, government and education. All three used the same formula, and, repeated over and over again, it became deeply embedded in Japanese hearts. Propagating those beliefs was part of the construction of modern Japan as required by the 19th-century concept of the nation-state. Japan became a model for nation-building throughout East Asia, and thus these beliefs continue even today to influence discussion of the nation-state both past and present.
The denial that the emperor is a living god brings us to the topic discussed in this essay, the relationship between the Confucian “Kingly Way” (王道 ōdō) and the Japanese “Imperial Way” (皇道 kōdō) and how during Edo there was a long period of fermentation during which the Confucian Kingly Way was injected into Shintō.
In this essay “contextual turn” refers to a concept developed by Huang Chun-chieh after many years of research on annotations of the Confucian classics from the perspective of cultural interaction. According to Huang, “The history of interactions among East Asian cultures reveals how interactions among texts, individuals and ideas from different regions resulted in the phenomenon called “contextual turns.” “Contextual turn” refers here to the process by which threads of logic found in foreign texts or thinkers are severed and replaced by new threads of logic, depending on which versions of texts are transmitted, and what local individuals or thought adds to them, to better fit the recipient culture.
Background: Certain nursing home (NH) resident care tasks have a higher risk for multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) transfer to healthcare personnel (HCP), which can result in transmission to residents if HCPs fail to perform recommended infection prevention practices. However, data on HCP-resident interactions are limited and do not account for intrafacility practice variation. Understanding differences in interactions, by HCP role and unit, is important for informing MDRO prevention strategies in NHs. Methods: In 2019, we conducted serial intercept interviews; each HCP was interviewed 6–7 times for the duration of a unit’s dayshift at 20 NHs in 7 states. The next day, staff on a second unit within the facility were interviewed during the dayshift. HCP on 38 units were interviewed to identify healthcare personnel (HCP)–resident care patterns. All unit staff were eligible for interviews, including certified nursing assistants (CNAs), nurses, physical or occupational therapists, physicians, midlevel practitioners, and respiratory therapists. HCP were asked to list which residents they had cared for (within resident rooms or common areas) since the prior interview. Respondents selected from 14 care tasks. We classified units into 1 of 4 types: long-term, mixed, short stay or rehabilitation, or ventilator or skilled nursing. Interactions were classified based on the risk of HCP contamination after task performance. We compared proportions of interactions associated with each HCP role and performed clustered linear regression to determine the effect of unit type and HCP role on the number of unique task types performed per interaction. Results: Intercept-interviews described 7,050 interactions and 13,843 care tasks. Except in ventilator or skilled nursing units, CNAs have the greatest proportion of care interactions (interfacility range, 50%–60%) (Fig. 1). In ventilator and skilled nursing units, interactions are evenly shared between CNAs and nurses (43% and 47%, respectively). On average, CNAs in ventilator and skilled nursing units perform the most unique task types (2.5 task types per interaction, Fig. 2) compared to other unit types (P < .05). Compared to CNAs, most other HCP types had significantly fewer task types (0.6–1.4 task types per interaction, P < .001). Across all facilities, 45.6% of interactions included tasks that were higher-risk for HCP contamination (eg, transferring, wound and device care, Fig. 3). Conclusions: Focusing infection prevention education efforts on CNAs may be most efficient for preventing MDRO transmission within NH because CNAs have the most HCP–resident interactions and complete more tasks per visit. Studies of HCP-resident interactions are critical to improving understanding of transmission mechanisms as well as target MDRO prevention interventions.
Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant no. U01CK000555-01-00)
Disclosures: Scott Fridkin, consulting fee, vaccine industry (spouse)
Immunotherapies are a relatively new innovative class of drug that have garnered excitement in the fight against cancer. In 2011, the immunotherapy drug, ipilimumab, was approved. Since then, four additional drugs have gained approval. This analysis evaluates the initial reception of immunotherapies by Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies.
The Context Matters Data Model was used to evaluate the regulatory and HTA agency decisions surrounding the five approved immunotherapies through November 2016: atezolizumab, elotuzumab, ipilimumab, nivolumab, and pembrolizumab. Thirty-three labels from Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United States, and ninety-two assessments from Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco (AIFA), Gemeinsamer Bundesausschuss (Federal Joint Committee; G-BA), Haute Autorité de Santé (French National Authority for Health; HAS), Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR), and Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) were found. Using a sample t-test and a chi-squared test, reimbursement agencies’ decisions were evaluated, and the clinical and economic factors that went into these decisions were examined.
Of the evaluated reviews: sixty-four were for melanoma indications, fourteen were for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) indications, and seven were for kidney cancer indications. Many of the reviews did not reach any decision, but 75 percent of HTA decisions (n = 72; p = .0000) reached were positive. Elotuzumab, approved for multiple myeloma, received a positive decision from G-BA and a negative one from SMC. There was an association between different disease conditions or drugs and the rate of positive decisions.
For reviews that had clinical reasons for their decisions, 72.9 percent (n = 59; p = .0000) had positive clinical rationales that were associated with positive decisions (p = .000). Economic rationales for decisions were more mixed, with only 48.4 percent (n = 31; p = .0000) receiving positive decisions. Positive economic evaluations were also associated with positive decisions (p = .000). Atezolizumab, approved only in the United States at the time of this writing, has yet to be reviewed by any of the HTA agencies.
Immunotherapies are promising new options for the treatment of cancer. Thus far, reception by HTA agencies has generally been positive.
What makes a choice hard? I discuss and criticize three common answers and then make a proposal of my own. Paradigmatic hard choices are not hard because of our ignorance, the incommensurability of values, or the incomparability of the alternatives. They are hard because the alternatives are on a par; they are comparable, but one is not better than the other, and yet nor are they equally good. So understood, hard choices open up a new way of thinking about what it is to be a rational agent.
For the past decade, emergency preparedness campaigns have encouraged households to meet preparedness metrics, such as having a household evacuation plan and emergency supplies of food, water, and medication. To estimate current household preparedness levels and to enhance disaster response planning, the Virginia Department of Health with remote technical assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a community health assessment in 2013 in Portsmouth, Virginia.
Using the Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) methodology with 2-stage cluster sampling, we randomly selected 210 households for in-person interviews. Households were questioned about emergency planning and supplies, information sources during emergencies, and chronic health conditions.
Interview teams completed 180 interviews (86%). Interviews revealed that 70% of households had an emergency evacuation plan, 67% had a 3-day supply of water for each member, and 77% had a first aid kit. Most households (65%) reported that the television was the primary source of information during an emergency. Heart disease (54%) and obesity (40%) were the most frequently reported chronic conditions.
The Virginia Department of Health identified important gaps in local household preparedness. Data from the assessment have been used to inform community health partners, enhance disaster response planning, set community health priorities, and influence Portsmouth’s Community Health Improvement Plan. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:193–198)
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Whole-grain intake has been reported to be associated with a lower risk of several lifestyle-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, CVD and some types of cancers. As measurement errors in self-reported whole-grain intake assessments can be substantial, dietary biomarkers are relevant to be used as complementary tools for dietary intake assessment. Alkylresorcinols (AR) are phenolic lipids found almost exclusively in whole-grain wheat and rye products among the commonly consumed foods and are considered as valid biomarkers of the intake of these products. In the present study, we analysed the plasma concentrations of five AR homologues in 2845 participants from ten European countries from a nested case–control study in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. High concentrations of plasma total AR were found in participants from Scandinavia and Central Europe and lower concentrations in those from the Mediterranean countries. The geometric mean plasma total AR concentrations were between 35 and 41 nmol/l in samples drawn from fasting participants in the Central European and Scandinavian countries and below 23 nmol/l in those of participants from the Mediterranean countries. The whole-grain source (wheat or rye) could be determined using the ratio of two of the homologues. The main source was wheat in Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, whereas rye was also consumed in considerable amounts in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. The present study demonstrates a considerable variation in the plasma concentrations of total AR and concentrations of AR homologues across ten European countries, reflecting both quantitative and qualitative differences in the intake of whole-grain wheat and rye.
In virtue of what does a consideration provide a practical reason? Suppose the fact that an experience is painful provides you with a reason to avoid it. In virtue of what does the fact that it's painful have the normativity of a reason – where, in other words, does its normativity come from? As some philosophers put the question, what is the source of a reason's normativity?
This question should be distinguished from two others. One is: Which sorts of consideration ultimately provide practical reasons? That is, are practical reasons given by one's desires, by evaluative facts about what one desires, or by some hybrid of the two? This question concerns which considerations are the ultimate bearers of practical normativity. The question of source, by contrast, concerns that in virtue of which the considerations that ultimately bear normativity – whichever they are – do so. Another question is: What is the nature of normativity? That is, is normativity an irreducibly distinct justificatory force, a motivational force, or a volitional force? This question concerns normativity's essential features. The question of source, by contrast, concerns that in virtue of which something has normative force, whatever the nature of this force.
The questions of the source, bearers, and nature of normativity are logically distinct but naturally related. If normativity is a an irreducibly distinct justificatory force, then it is natural to think, as Plato did, that its ultimate bearers are irreducibly normative facts and that its source is an irreducible normative reality.