Saturday, 29 October 2016

New article on the ethics of risk online

Just a little heads-up that a few days ago I submitted a new article for a coming special issue on the ethics of risk, and has made the "preprint" (my msubmitted manuscript before peer review and editing) available for free reading and download. The article critically assesses the notion of basing an ethics of risk on the core assumption of "defeasible" basic individual moral rights against being exposed to risk by others, and the abstract runs like this:

This article critically assesses recent proposals that an ethics of risk developed independently of standard "factualistic" ethical theory should be based on the assumption of a basic moral right of individuals against being exposed to risks. I argue that core elements that have to be present if the notion of a moral right is to uphold the classic Rawlsian requirement of "taking seriously the distinction between persons" and of preserving the notion of waiving rights means that an ethics of risk based on this axiom will fail to address its most paramount issues. This, in turn, is due to the nature of the most ethically important risks to be collectively produced, and the subsequent consequence that an ethics of risk needs to be able to acknowledge the moral importance of security against risks as a public good. The article ends by charting three broad theoretical strategies that an ethics of risk may take to face up to this challenge, and discuss the place for rights within these respective theoretical landscapes with mostly skeptical results.
 The article itself can be accessed here and here.


Thursday, 13 October 2016

New article on prenatal screening online

 Yesterday I received word that the American Journal of Bioethics has accepted a so-called open peer commentary by myself on a coming so-called target-article that presents a seemingly drastic proposal regarding the ethics and policy of prenatal screening using non-invasive sample techniques and so-called whole genome sequencing technology for analysis. I am partly in sharp disagreement with this proposal, partly in full agreement, and rather critical of how the authors of the proposal have ignored crucial parts of the literature and linked complications. The response where I set out my reasons can now be accessed in its original form, before peer review or editing here and here.


Sunday, 9 October 2016

New article online: Conscientious Refusal in Healthcare: The Swedish Solution

Indeed, as flagged before, I have a new article published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics on the topic of the Sweden's longstanding policy on conscientious objection by health professionals. I briefly describe the policy and its background and chart some recent challenges to it.

The published article, which is to be included in a coming special issue on conscientious objection, is here.

Preprints for free reading and download those of you who lack institutional access to the JME are here and here.


Celebrating 400 000 reads.

Yep, sometime tonight, Philosophical Comment, passed 400 000 reads. Thanks to everyone!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

New paper on precaution and existential risk online for free reading and download

 Some time back, I had two posts here, with a slightly tongue-in-cheek comment on some ongoing academic campaigns and discussions for attending to small or very unclear risks with potentially very serious negative outcomes - so-called existential risks: here, and here. As reported later, this led to an invitation to debate the issue with Olle Häggström (mathematician and crossdisciplinary futurist), author of this new book on the existential risk issue, at The Institute of Future Studies in Stockholm, and Olle used a number of pages in his book to comment on the points I made in the blog posts. Parallel to all of this, I was invited by Sune Holm at the University of Copenhagen, who's been coordinating a nice series of international workshops on the ethics and philosophy of risk, to contribute to a coming special issue of the research journal Ethics, Policy and the Environment on the theme of the ethics of precaution, an area that readers of this blog know that I'm deeply engaged in since many years. Happy to accept, I took the opportunity to start off from the blogposts and the ensuing debates to clarify what existential risks means for the ethics of precaution, and to attend to some quite difficult theoretical issues left hanging in my own theory of the ethics of precaution and risk, published 5 years ago. I have now submitted my contribution, and the so-called preprint, that is my submitted manuscript before peer review, etc. can be freely read and downloaded here and here.