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The purpose of this study was to determine if different language measures resulted in the same classifications of language dominance and proficiency for a group of bilingual pre-kindergarteners and kindergarteners. Data were analyzed for 1029 Spanish–English bilingual pre-kindergarteners who spanned the full range of bilingual language proficiency. Parent questionnaires were used to quantify age of first exposure and current language use. Scores from a short test of semantic and morphosyntactic development in Spanish and English were used to quantify children's performance. Some children who were in the functionally monolingual range based on interview data demonstrated minimal knowledge of their other languages when tested. Current use accounted for more of the variance in language dominance than did age of first exposure. Results indicate that at different levels of language exposure children differed in their performance on semantic and morphosyntax tasks. These patterns suggest that it may be difficult to compare the results of studies that employ different measures of language dominance and proficiency. Current use is likely to be a useful metric of bilingual development that can be used to build a comprehensive picture of child bilingualism.
From the first initiatives in preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and gene therapy through the advent of stem cell research to the development of mammalian cloning, the past two decades have witnessed remarkable advances in “reprogenetic” medicine: the union of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) with genetic control. This period has also been marked by intense debates within the bioethical literature and in national policy forums about the appropriate uses of these emerging human capabilities. We can now, in a limited way, select for genetic traits, and the power to modify the genome or introduce new gene sequences is not far off. How should these new powers be used?
Although significant associations of childhood adversities with adult mental disorders are widely documented, most studies focus on single childhood adversities predicting single disorders.
To examine joint associations of 12 childhood adversities with first onset of 20 DSM–IV disorders in World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys in 21 countries.
Nationally or regionally representative surveys of 51 945 adults assessed childhood adversities and lifetime DSM–IV disorders with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
Childhood adversities were highly prevalent and interrelated. Childhood adversities associated with maladaptive family functioning (e.g. parental mental illness, child abuse, neglect) were the strongest predictors of disorders. Co-occurring childhood adversities associated with maladaptive family functioning had significant subadditive predictive associations and little specificity across disorders. Childhood adversities account for 29.8% of all disorders across countries.
Childhood adversities have strong associations with all classes of disorders at all life-course stages in all groups of WMH countries. Long-term associations imply the existence of as-yet undetermined mediators.
Although the first human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) were produced in 1998, the direction of U.S. policy on stem cell research was set nearly 20 years earlier when the recommendations of a congressionally established Ethics Advisory Board were ignored by the Reagan administration. Thus began an unprecedented and unparalleled 30-year-long history of political intrusions in an area of scientific and biomedical research that has measurable impacts on the health of Americans. Driving these intrusions were religiously informed public policy positions that have usually escaped critical ethical analysis. Here I record my own encounters with this history of intrusions and the thinking behind them.
My most abrupt encounter with the politics of stem cell research occurred on September 6, 2006, at a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Related Agencies, chaired by Senator Arlen Specter. Just a week before, scientists at Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), a small Massachusetts biotech company, had published a paper in the journal Nature in which they described a method for extracting stem cells from early human embryos while leaving the embryos intact and viable. As head of ACT’s Ethics Advisory Board, I had supported this research.
This case is another in a series intended to highlight the new questions emerging from advances in mapping the human genome and the application of genetic findings to clinical practice. The National Human Genome Research Institute, a component of the National Institutes of Health, by law is directed to designate a portion of its annual budget to furthering understanding of the ethical, legal, and social questions emerging from research on the human genome. As part of the effort, the Institute supports research by scientists and scholars around the nation with the aim of clarifying and resolving the tough ethical and research choices facing this endeavor. But recently it has launched an intramural program, which is expected to take a catalytic role in grappling with the array of issues the researchers face in carrying out investigations in human genetics.
On the morning of December 2, 1994, after a preceding afternoon of discussion, the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) unanimously voted to approve the recommendations of the Report of the Human Embryo Research Panel. Panel members like myself who were present were elated. The vote marked the culmination of nearly a year of work. Approval of the report also represented a decisive step forward in bringing an end to a 15-year long moratorium on federally funded research on the preimplantation human embryo and techniques of in vitro fertilization.
Background: Although psychosocial treatments for pain have been found to be effective in reducing self-reported pain, physician visits, and in improving mood, the research has largely focused on younger persons. As such, there is a paucity of related studies involving older adults. Method: We implemented and evaluated a 10-session psychosocial (i.e. cognitive behavioural orientation) pain management program that was specifically designed for older adults. The intervention was delivered either in the participants' homes or in bookable rooms in seniors' residence buildings. Ninety-five community dwelling seniors with at least one chronic pain condition were assigned to either a treatment or a wait-list control condition. An assessment battery was administered to treatment participants immediately before the program started, immediately post-treatment, and 3-months post-treatment. Comparable data were obtained from control group participants, although 3-month follow-up data were not available for the control group. Outcome variables included pain intensity, coping strategy usage, pain beliefs/appraisals, and perceived life stressors. Results: Although decreases in pain intensity were observed in both the treatment and wait-list control groups, the intervention was found to result in fewer maladaptive beliefs about pain and greater use of relaxation, which is considered to be an adaptive coping strategy. Conclusions: Although some treatment benefits were identified (e.g. change in pain-related beliefs), future research should test the effectiveness of a cognitive behavioural treatment program tailored for seniors with participants who are experiencing higher pain intensities than those reported by our sample (i.e. those who experience a higher level of pain at baseline may represent a more suitable sample for assessing the effectiveness of our intervention in reducing pain intensity).
The year is 2016. J and K meet with their pediatrician to discuss whether their 11-year-old daughter, L, should undergo a newly available course of stem cell therapy to cure her type 1 juvenile diabetes. Left untreated, L's illness could lead to blindness, life-threatening circulation problems in her extremities, and, perhaps, early death. The therapy that L's parents and her pediatrician are contemplating requires careful HLA (immunological compatibility) matching with one of the thousands of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines identified in an international registry. These were created over the previous decade from frozen human embryos remaining from infertility procedures and were donated to research or therapy by their progenitors. A matching population of specially created pancreatic stem cells could be made from one of these lines and infused into L to remedy her insulin deficit. While many parents would leap at this life-saving opportunity, J and K – and their physician – face a moral quandary. They are all devout Roman Catholics and share their church's view that human life must be regarded as sacred from the moment of conception. They view the destruction of a human embryo for stem cell research or therapy as equivalent to killing a human being. The physician explains to J and K that the frozen human embryos used to create hESC lines were slated for destruction. Is it not better, he asks, that such embryos at least be used to save lives? But J and K are also aware of their church's moral teaching that “one should not do evil in order that good may result.”
I am a Jewish Christian ethicist. I realise that this professional self-description admits of multiple interpretations, so let me explain. Both my parents were Jewish and I was raised in a home steeped in Jewish values. At the same time, neither parent was particularly devout in terms of religious practice. Hence, the word 'Jewish' in my self-description should be understood in broad cultural rather than explicitly religious terms. At university I studied moral philosophy and Christian ethics, continuing both emphases in my graduate work. As a result, I probably know more about the ethics of Thomas Aquinas, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Henry Sidgwick than I do about Solomon ibn Gabirol and Moses Maimonides.
Nevertheless,my Jewish background remains a permanent influence inmy life. Over the years, it has led me back to issues or questions in Jewish ethics and has resulted in numerous publications in which I have tried to interpret Jewish ethics to a non-Jewish audience or apply Jewish ethical thinking to emergent issues in applied ethics. Although I certainly lack the intense formal training in Jewish thought and philosophy of some who are professionally identified as Jewish ethicists, I am perhaps better qualified than many of them to think about Christian ethics from a philosophically informed Jewish perspective.
As a “case” in business ethics, the conduct of the firearms industry is hardly dilemmatic. The responsible choices before firearm manufacturers have long been clear, if largely neglected. The great interest here for business ethicists lies in understanding how civil law and ethics can work together to bring a rogue industry under control. Business ethicists have a role to play in shaping the formation of legal standards in this area. In turn, emerging concepts of manufacturers’ liability can make a contribution to the teaching of business ethics.
Early last year, the GenEthics Consortium (GEC)
of the Washington Metropolitan Area convened at George
Washington University to consider a complex case about
genetic testing for Alzheimer disease (AD). The GEC consists
of scientists, bioethicists, lawyers, genetic counselors,
and consumers from a variety of institutions and affiliations.
Four of the 8 co-authors of this paper delivered presentations
on the case. Supplemented by additional ethical and legal
observations, these presentations form the basis for the
Once I am dead, Fear and Trembling alone will be enough for an
imperishable name as an author. Then it will be read, translated
into foreign languages as well.
- Søren Kierkegaards Papirer
Kierkegaard was prophetic in his estimate of the place Fear and Trembling was to have in his authorship. Although several of his pseudonymous works have also become philosophical classics, Fear and Trembling continues to haunt us like no other of his writings. Its defense of individual existence still resonates at the end of a century marked by horrifying mass movements, while its depiction of radical religious obedience stirs new fears as we enter a period when older political ideologies are being replaced by renewed expressions of religious absolutism.
Fear and Trembling remains so evocative partly because of its
enigmatic nature. From the outset, by means of the famous epigraph
drawn from Hamann, Kierkegaard signals that not everything that
follows is as it seems. Beyond this, there is evidence that Kierkegaard
designed Fear and Trembling as a text with hidden layers of
meaning. In The Point of View for My Work as an Author, Kierkegaard
tells us that the most important ethical and religious truths
cannot be communicated directly, as though one were writing on a
blank sheet of paper. They demand instead creative endeavor by the
author and a corresponding effort by the reader that involves “bringing
to light by the application of a caustic fluid a text which is hidden
under another text” (PV 40).
This discussion develops six of the most important guiding principles of classical Jewish business ethics and illustrates their application to a complex recent case of product liability. These principles are: (1) the legitimacy of business activity and profit; (2) the divine origin and ordination of wealth (and hence the limits and obligations of human ownership); (3) the preeminent position in decision making given to the protection and preservation (sanctity) of human life; (4) the protection of consumers from commercial harm; (5) the avoidance of fraud and misrepresentation in sales transactions; and (6) the moral requirement to go beyond the letter of the law. Although these Talmudic principles are clearly obligatory only for “Torah-obedient” Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, many Jews share a sensibility informed by them. Non-Jews, too, may be instructed by Jewish teachings about business ethics.