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This Element provides an overview of some of the central issues in contemporary moral psychology. It explores what moral psychology is, whether we are always motivated by self-interest, what good character looks like and whether anyone has it, whether moral judgments always motivate us to act, whether what motivates action is always a desire of some kind, and what the role is of reasoning and deliberation in moral judgment and action. This Element is aimed at a general audience including undergraduate students without an extensive background in philosophy.
Atrial fibrillation (AFIB) with rapid ventricular response (RVR) is a common tachydysrhythmia encountered by Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Current guidelines suggest rate control in stable, symptomatic patients.
Little is known about the safety or efficacy of rate-controlling medications given by prehospital providers. This study assessed a protocol for prehospital administration of diltiazem in the setting of AFIB with RVR for provider protocol compliance, patient clinical improvement, and associated adverse events.
This was a retrospective, cohort study of patients who were administered diltiazem by providers in the Orange County EMS System (Florida USA) over a two-year period. The protocol directed a 0.25mg/kg dose of diltiazem (maximum of 20mg) for stable, symptomatic patients in AFIB with RVR at a rate of >150 beats per minute (bpm) with a narrow complex. Data collected included patient characteristics, vital signs, electrocardiogram (ECG) rhythm before and after diltiazem, and need for rescue or additional medications. Adverse events were defined as systolic blood pressure <90mmHg or administration of intravenous fluid after diltiazem administration. Clinical improvement was defined as a heart rate decreased by 20% or less than 100bmp. Original prehospital ECG rhythm interpretations were compared to physician interpretations performed retrospectively.
Over the study period, 197 patients received diltiazem, with 131 adhering to the protocol. The initial rhythm was AFIB with RVR in 93% of the patients (five percent atrial flutter, two percent supraventricular tachycardia, and one percent sinus tachycardia). The agreement between prehospital and physician rhythm interpretation was 92%, with a Kappa value of 0.454 (P <.001). Overall, there were 22 (11%) adverse events, and 112 (57%) patients showed clinical improvement. When diltiazem was given outside of the existing protocol, the patients had higher rates of adverse events (18% versus eight percent; P = .033). Patients who received diltiazem in adherence with protocols were more likely to show clinical improvement (63% versus 46%; P = .031).
This study suggests that prehospital diltiazem administration for AFIB with RVR is safe and effective when strict protocols are followed.
Rodriguez A, Hunter CL, Premuroso C, Silvestri S, Stone A, Miller S, Zuver C, Papa L. Safety and efficacy of prehospital diltiazem for atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2019;34(3):297–302.
As the IAU heads towards its second century, many changes have simultaneously transformed Astronomy and the human condition world-wide. Amid the amazing recent discoveries of exoplanets, primeval galaxies, and gravitational radiation, the human condition on Earth has become blazingly interconnected, yet beset with ever-increasing problems of over-population, pollution, and never-ending wars. Fossil-fueled global climate change has begun to yield perilous consequences. And the displacement of people from war-torn nations has reached levels not seen since World War II.
To determine whether probiotic prophylaxes reduce the odds of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in adults and children.
Individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), adjusting for risk factors.
We searched 6 databases and 11 grey literature sources from inception to April 2016. We identified 32 RCTs (n=8,713); among them, 18 RCTs provided IPD (n=6,851 participants) comparing probiotic prophylaxis to placebo or no treatment (standard care). One reviewer prepared the IPD, and 2 reviewers extracted data, rated study quality, and graded evidence quality.
Probiotics reduced CDI odds in the unadjusted model (n=6,645; odds ratio [OR] 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.25–0.55) and the adjusted model (n=5,074; OR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.23–0.55). Using 2 or more antibiotics increased the odds of CDI (OR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.11–4.37), whereas age, sex, hospitalization status, and high-risk antibiotic exposure did not. Adjusted subgroup analyses suggested that, compared to no probiotics, multispecies probiotics were more beneficial than single-species probiotics, as was using probiotics in clinical settings where the CDI risk is ≥5%. Of 18 studies, 14 reported adverse events. In 11 of these 14 studies, the adverse events were retained in the adjusted model. Odds for serious adverse events were similar for both groups in the unadjusted analyses (n=4,990; OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.89–1.26) and adjusted analyses (n=4,718; OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.89–1.28). Missing outcome data for CDI ranged from 0% to 25.8%. Our analyses were robust to a sensitivity analysis for missingness.
Moderate quality (ie, certainty) evidence suggests that probiotic prophylaxis may be a useful and safe CDI prevention strategy, particularly among participants taking 2 or more antibiotics and in hospital settings where the risk of CDI is ≥5%.
Extinction is the complete loss of a species, but the accuracy of that status depends on the overall information about the species. Dracaena umbraculifera was described in 1797 from a cultivated plant attributed to Mauritius, but repeated surveys failed to relocate it and it was categorized as Extinct on the IUCN Red List. However, several individuals labelled as D. umbraculifera grow in botanical gardens, suggesting that the species’ IUCN status may be inaccurate. The goal of this study was to understand (1) where D. umbraculifera originated, (2) which species are its close relatives, (3) whether it is extinct, and (4) the identity of the botanical garden accessions and whether they have conservation value. We sequenced a cpDNA region of Dracaena from Mauritius, botanical garden accessions labelled as D. umbraculifera, and individuals confirmed to be D. umbraculifera based on morphology, one of which is a living plant in a private garden. We included GenBank accessions of Dracaena from Madagascar and other locations and reconstructed the phylogeny using Bayesian and parsimony approaches. Phylogenies indicated that D. umbraculifera is more closely related to Dracaena reflexa from Madagascar than to Mauritian Dracaena. As anecdotal information indicated that the living D. umbraculifera originated from Madagascar, we conducted field expeditions there and located five wild populations; the species’ IUCN status should therefore be Critically Endangered because < 50 wild individuals remain. Although the identity of many botanical garden samples remains unresolved, this study highlights the importance of living collections for facilitating new discoveries and the importance of documenting and conserving the flora of Madagascar.
This is the introductory chapter of the book, which aims to launch a powerful and largely unexplored position in epistemology, naturalized virtue epistemology. Many of the chapters in the book examines empirical findings on the nature of cognitive dispositions and personality traits (Alfano, Battaly, Miller, Pritchard), and this is clearly one direction for naturalized virtue epistemology to take. The book also examines two significant worries for a would-be naturalized virtue epistemology. One problem a naturalistic turn might create for virtue epistemology is the persistent worry about normativity in naturalistic theories. A second worry is that the relevant results from the sciences will signal bad news for virtue epistemology. The book addresses a wide range of issues relevant to the project of developing a naturalized virtue epistemology. Virtue epistemology should be informed by an important development in personality psychology called the Big Five personality traits or Five- Factor Model of traits.
In the recent literature there has been a widely discussed attack on using what I will call “traditional” character traits in ethical theorizing. These character traits include the classic moral virtues such as compassion, honesty and courage, along with the classic moral vices such as cruelty, dishonesty and cowardice. The main philosophers leading this attack have been Gilbert Harman (in a series of papers dating back to 1999), and John Doris in several papers and most importantly in his Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior (2002). In this chapter, I first summarize the main line of argument used by Harman and Doris against Aristotelian virtue ethics in particular. In the following section I present what seems to me to be the most promising response to their argument. Finally I briefly review and assess the other leading responses in the now sizable literature that has developed in this area.
THE HARMAN/DORIS ARGUMENT
In this section I shall focus on Doris's line of argument as it is more thoroughly developed. His target is what he calls a globalist conception of character, which is one that accepts the following two theses:
(a) Consistency. Character traits are reliably manifested in trait-relevant behaviour across a diversity of trait-relevant eliciting conditions that may vary widely in their conduciveness to the manifestation of the trait in question.
(b) Stability. Character traits are reliably manifested in trait-relevant behaviours over iterated trials of similar trait-relevant eliciting conditions (Doris 2002: 22).