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I aim to show that the common idea according to which we can assess how bad death is for the person who dies relies on numerous dubious premises. These premises are intuitive from the point of view of dominant views regarding the badness of death. However, unless these premises have been thoroughly justified, we cannot measure the badness of death for the person who dies. In this paper, I will make explicit assumptions that pertain to the alleged level of badness of death. The most important assumption I will address is the assignment of a quantitative value of zero to death, which leads to the conclusion that there are lives not worth living for the affected person. Such a view interprets the idea of a live worth living in quantitative terms. It is in conflict with actual evaluations of relevant people of their lives.
Investing in stricter biodiversity conservation and wildlife protection to reduce the number of emerging diseases and, consequently, the risk of pandemics such as coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), must integrate a social-ecological perspective. Biodiversity conservation, in order to be effective as disease prevention, requires consideration of people's needs, knowledge and institutions within their locally specific contexts. To meet this goal, future biodiversity research and conservation policy should apply six social-ecological principles for shaping future practices of co-existence of societies and nature.
The COVID-19 pandemic, presumably originating in a spillover event from natural wildlife reservoirs into the human population, sets a new benchmark for the indirect cost of biodiversity exploitation. To reverse the trend of increasing pandemic risk, biodiversity conservation and wildlife protection must be strengthened globally. In this paper, we argue that such preventive measures explicitly need to employ a social-ecological approach. In particular, attention must be paid to the societal relations to nature to avoid falling for simplistic solutions that neglect regional and local particularities of both, biodiversity and local communities. We emphasize the importance of avoiding a Western-biased view and acknowledging the factors and causations of infectious disease emergence in industrialized countries. To reduce the emergence of zoonotic and vector-borne diseases in their specific contexts, we propose applying a social-ecological systems approach by integrating plural local knowledge and values, established practices, formal and informal institutions, as well as technology. We further introduce six social-ecological principles for shaping transformations in the Anthropocene to maintain and build more resilient and sustainable communities. By operationalizing these inter- and transdisciplinary principles, biodiversity conservation can be effectively implemented as infectious disease prevention.
Social media summary
A social-ecological approach to biodiversity conservation can pave the way for an effective and socially just reduction of future pandemic risks.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
Contaminated hands of healthcare workers (HCWs) are an important source of transmission of healthcare-associated infections. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, while effective, do not provide sustained antimicrobial activity. The objective of this study was to compare the immediate and persistent activity of 2 hand hygiene products (ethanol [61% w/v] plus chlorhexidine gluconate [CHG; 1.0% solution] and ethanol only [70% v/v]) when used in an intensive care unit (ICU).
Prospective, randomized, double-blinded, crossover study
Three ICUs at a large teaching hospital
In total, 51 HCWs involved in direct patient care were enrolled in and completed the study.
All HCWs were randomized 1:1 to either product. Hand prints were obtained immediately after the product was applied and again after spending 4–7 minutes in the ICU common areas prior to entering a patient room or leaving the area. The numbers of aerobic colony-forming units (CFU) were compared for the 2 groups after log transformation. Each participant tested the alternative product after a 3-day washout period.
On bare hands, use of ethanol plus CHG was associated with significantly lower recovery of aerobic CFU, both immediately after use (0.27 ± 0.05 and 0.88 ± 0.08 log10 CFU; P = .035) and after spending time in ICU common areas (1.81 ± 0.07 and 2.17 ± 0.05 log10 CFU; P<.0001). Both the antiseptics were well tolerated by HCWs.
In comparison to the ethanol-only product, the ethanol plus CHG sanitizer was associated with significantly lower aerobic bacterial counts on hands of HCWs, both immediately after use and after spending time in ICU common areas.
What is the basis of our capacity to act morally? This is a question that has been discussed for millennia, with philosophical debate typically distinguishing two sources of morality: reason and sentiment. This collection aims to shed light on whether the human capacity to feel for others really is central for morality and, if so, in what way. To tackle these questions, the authors discuss how fellow feeling is to be understood: its structure, content and empirical conditions. Also discussed are the exact roles that relevant psychological features - specifically: empathy, sympathy and concern - may play within morality. The collection is unique in bringing together the key participants in the various discussions of the relation of fellow feeling to moral norms, moral concepts and moral agency. By integrating conceptually sophisticated and empirically informed perspectives, Forms of Fellow Feeling will appeal to readers from philosophy, psychology, sociology and cultural studies.