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As the Danforth Committee has previously argued, "the need for independence between bioethicists and the researchers [is] advised." In the above scenarios, the lack of independence is a direct result of the funding structure: the party who is subject to ethical review funds the ethicist, in whole or in part, and has the power, if not to withdraw that funding at will as relates to the particular ethicist and seek a more agreeable ethicist, at least to exclude the ethicist from any future funding opportunities lead by the PI.
Earlier, Kaminer was editor of Arts & Leisure and worked at The New York Times Magazine and New York Magazine and has also served as the inaugural editor of The New York Times Magazine's The Way We Live Now section and mainly developed the Ethicist column.
As a bioethicist whose work in clinical ethics is also dominated by end-of-life issues, I particularly welcome how That Good Night includes multiple voices and perspectives--it weaves stories of patients, families, physicians and ethicists together in exploring how our healthcare system, despite its promises to be patient centred and respectful of diverse perspectives, often fails to honour the wishes of or provide comfort to those who are facing impending death.
Some ethicists even are calling for debate on changing the legal definition of death to allow patients in permanent comas or vegetative states to become candidates for donation before cardiac death.
When I taught at a military college an ethicist contacted me about "doing something" on military ethics.
What I understand by "ethicist" is a man (usually, in my experience, but these multiplying armies of specialists now number many women) dedicated to the "science of morality." It is impossible not to note here that, with the word "science," the profession of ethicist benefits from an air of secular respectability.
Judith Hendrick lists three other functions that clinical ethicists are asked to perform: "reducing litigation, helping to protect healthcare professionals legally by making them aware of any applicable law, and providing a forum for discussion of legal issues." (21) Other authors do not list these three tasks, a phenomenon that could be attributed to the refusal of clinical ethicists and health care institutions to identify publicly any watchdog-type activities as the responsibility of the clinical ethicist.
Both are excellent ideas--and hint that this is an ethicist who may be learning to think through the practical consequences of his ethics.
And, so as a Christian and an ethicist who studies and teaches issues surrounding warfare, this language troubles me (and I think it ought to trouble you) for a number of reasons.
Leon Kass, a biomedical ethicist from the University of Chicago who has written in favor of banning human cloning.
Just as the filmgoer reading Warshow inevitably starts to suspect that the western might be more elastic than the critic will admit, the reader who trudges through Kass must eventually wonder whether the ethicist is confusing the map with the territory.
Coagula's house ethicist, Charlie Finch, asked in a howling poetic protest a la Allen Ginsberg whether we're not monsters to be aestheticizing a branch of the military so tainted by the legacy of Vietnam.