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Contents - JLME - 2006 Volume 34: 4
Table of Contents
  1. Table of Contents
Letter From The Editor
  1. Letter From The Editor
Symposium Articles
  1. Introduction A Sympathetic but Critical Assessment of Nanotechnology Initiatives
  2. The Politicization of Science and Technology: Its Implications for Nanotechnology
  3. Drawing the Boundaries of Nanoscience : Rationalizing the Concerns?
  4. The National Nanotechnology Initiative and the Social Good
  5. Lessons from the Sustainability Movement: Toward An Integrative Decision-Making Framework for Nanotechnology
  6. Cognitive Barriers in Perception of Nanotechnology
  7. Using Trading Zones and Life Cycle Analysis to Understand Nanotechnology Regulation
  8. Nanotechnology: The Challenge of Regulating Known Unknowns
  9. Transnational Models for Regulation of Nanotechnology
  10. Converging NBIC Technologies for Improving Human Performance: A Critical Assessment of the Novelty and the Prospects of the Project
  11. The Social Conditions for Nanomedicine: Disruption, Systems, and Lock-in
  12. Offense-Defense Aspects of Nanotechnologies: A Forecast of Potential Military Applications
Independent Articles
  1. Is the Tobacco Settlement Constitutional?
  2. Heterozygote Carrier Testing in High Schools Abroad: What are the Lessons for the U.S.?
  3. Regulation of Firearm Dealers in the United States: An Analysis of State Law and Opportunities for Improvement
  4. Supernumerary Pregnancy, Collective Harm, and Two Forms of the Nonidentity Problem
  5. The Balm of Gilead: Is the Provision of Treatment to those Who Seroconvert in HIV Prevention Trials a Matter of Moral Obligation or Moral Negotiation?
Columns
  1. Currents in Contemporary Ethics
  2. The Ethical Health Lawyer
  3. The United States Supreme Court and Health Law: The Year in Review
  4. Reviews in Medical Ethics
  5. Recent Developments in Health Law
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
ASLME - [PDF] (Free Download)
Table of Contents
Letter From the Editor
Letter From The Editor
ASLME - [PDF]

Letter From The Editor
Symposium Articles
Introduction A Sympathetic but Critical Assessment of Nanotechnology Initiatives
Robert Best, George Khushf, Robin Wilson - [PDF]

Introduction A Sympathetic but Critical Assessment of Nanotechnology Initiatives
The Politicization of Science and Technology: Its Implications for Nanotechnology
Fabrice Jotterand - [PDF]

The development of nanotechnology intensifies challenges to the traditional understanding of how to pursue scien-tific and technological knowledge. Science can no longer be construed simply as the ideal of the quest for truth (i.e., "pure science"). Science has become the source of economic power and political power. In this paper, I argue that nanotechnology is a cardinal exemplar of "this politi-cization." At the same time, I assert that this new scientific ethos offers the possibility of a better integration of ethical and philosophical reflections at the core of scientific and technological development.
Drawing the Boundaries of Nanoscience : Rationalizing the Concerns?
Mario Kaiser - [PDF]

Nanotechnology as an emerging field is strongly related to visionary prospects which are disposed to reappear as dystopian concerns. As long as nanotechnology does not provide reliable criteria for assessing these worries as rational or as irrational they remain a challenge for ethical reflection. Given this underdetermination, many nano-visions and their corresponding concerns should therefore be considered as "arational." For that reason, a "construc-tivist" stance is endorsed which does not seek to take part in discussions as to how ethicists should cope with controversial worries, but tries to observe how concerns are managed by different social actors. This perspective allows us to remodel some concerns such as "grey goo" not solely as a societal reaction, but also as challenging and irritating factors. As such they potentially initiate two dif-ferent processes simultaneously: a differentiation in terms of demarcating science from non-science on the one hand, and a rationalization of concerns on the other. Analyzing these processes empirically allows to reconstruct how "arational" concerns are socially made rational or, on the contrary, irrational.
The National Nanotechnology Initiative and the Social Good
Ronald Sandler, W. D. Kay - [PDF]

The purpose of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is to promote nanotechnology in a way that benefits the citizens of the United States. It involves a commitment to support responsible development of nanotechnology.The NNI's enactment of this commitment is critically assessed. It is concluded that there are not adequate ave-nues within the NNI by which social and ethical issues can be raised, considered, and, when appropriate, addressed.
Lessons from the Sustainability Movement: Toward An Integrative Decision-Making Framework for Nanotechnology
Mark E. Meaney - [PDF]

The author argues that bioethicists must develop alterna-tive approaches to facilitate the study of the conditions for the responsible development of nanotechnologies. Proponents of "sustainability" have developed a useful model to integrate multiple perspectives into the evalu-ation of the impact of technologies on global ecological integrity under conditions of uncertainty.
Cognitive Barriers in Perception of Nanotechnology
Alexei Grinbaum - [PDF]

This article is concerned with predictions of future events, such as technological achievements and changes in the human condition that they will bring about. Cognitive barriers arise when human agents are either asked or forced to make judgments and decisions with respect to unknown singular events. This article argues that barriers such as an aversion to not knowing and the impossibility to believe trump expert and ordinary human reasoning. These barriers apply to nanotechnology. To avoid unde-sired societal effects arising from them, this essay pro-poses a set of steps designed to foster responsible public dialogue.
Using Trading Zones and Life Cycle Analysis to Understand Nanotechnology Regulation
Ahson Wardak, Michael E. Gorman - [PDF]

This article reviews the public health and environmental regulations applicable to nanotechnology using a life cycle model from basic research through end-of-life for prod-ucts. Given nanotechnology's immense promise and public investment, regulations are important, balancing risk with the public good. Trading zones and earth systems engineering management assist in explaining potential solutions to gaps in an otherwise complex, overlapping regulatory system.
Nanotechnology: The Challenge of Regulating Known Unknowns
Robin Fretwell Wilson - [PDF]

Media reports of the health hazards posed by nano-sized particles (NSPs) have turned a white hot spotlight on the risks of nanotechnology. Worried about the risks posed to workers producing nano-materials, the Washington Post has labeled nanotechnology a "seat-of-the-pants occu-pational health experiment." This article examines our emerging knowledge base about the hazards of two types of exposure: inhalation of NSPs and topical application of products containing NSPs. It argues that a clear-eyed evaluation of the benefits and risks of nanotechnology is made extremely difficult by the marriage of a complex sci-ence with a venture capitalist-like hype. It then suggests that, absent additional statutory authority, governmental regulators cannot readily address the risks posed by these products. This regulatory inaction leaves a significant role for the private insurance market, a role that regulators should support in tangible ways outlined in the article.
Transnational Models for Regulation of Nanotechnology
Gary E. Marchant, Douglas J. Sylvester - [PDF]

Like all technologies, nanotechnology will inevitably present risks, whether they result from unintentional effects of otherwise beneficial applications, or from the malevolent misuse of technology. Increasingly, risks from new and emerging technologies are being regulated at the international level, although governments and private experts are only beginning to consider the appropriate international responses to nanotechnology. In this paper, we explore both the potential risks posed by nanotechnol-ogy and potential regulatory frameworks that law may impose. In so doing, we also explore the various rationales for international regulation including the potential for cross-boundary harms, sharing of regulatory expertise and resources, controlling protectionism and trade conflicts, avoiding a "race to the bottom" in which governments seek economic advantage through lax regulation, and limiting the "nano divide" between North and South. Finally, we examine some models for international regulation and offer tentative thoughts on the prospects for each.
Converging NBIC Technologies for Improving Human Performance: A Critical Assessment of the Novelty and the Prospects of the Project
Bert Gordijn - [PDF]

This contribution focuses on two claims advanced by the proponents of the project of "Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance." Firstly, it is maintained that this project represents something genuinely new and quite unique. Secondly, it is argued that the future pros-pects of the project are extraordinarily positive. In order to critically assess both claims this paper first focuses on the question of whether there is actually anything genuinely new about the project of improving human performance by means of converging NBIC technologies. In addition it is analyzed whether the project warrants that we be opti-mistic about its future prospects.
The Social Conditions for Nanomedicine: Disruption, Systems, and Lock-in
Robert Best and George Khushf - [PDF]

Here we consider two ways that nanomedicine might be disruptive. First, low-end disruptions that are intrinsically unpredictable but limited in scope, and second, high end disruptions that involve broader societal issues but can be anticipated, allowing opportunity for ethical reflection.
Offense-Defense Aspects of Nanotechnologies: A Forecast of Potential Military Applications
Calvin Shipbaugh - [PDF]

Potential military applications of nanotechnology will evolve in the next few decades. The implications for both defense and offense should be carefully assessed. Nanotechnology can push major changes in stability, and shape the consequences of future conflict.
Independent Articles
Is the Tobacco Settlement Constitutional?
Rahul Rajkumar, Cary P. Gross, Howard P. Forman - [PDF]

In August 2005, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative advocacy organization, filed a lawsuit in Louisiana challenging the legality of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). The suit alleges that the MSA, under which the states receive monetary payments and the four major tobacco companies are insulated from price competition, violates the Compact Clause and other provisions of the U.S. Constitution. This lawsuit threatens to unravel of one of the most significant opportunities to improve public health in United States history. We con-sider the merits of the lawsuit, the problems with the MSA that it highlights, and the potential consequences of the suit for public health.
Heterozygote Carrier Testing in High Schools Abroad: What are the Lessons for the U.S.?
Lainie Friedman Ross - [PDF]

The main value of carrier detection in the general popula-tion is to determine reproductive risks. In this manuscript I examine the practice of providing carrier screening programs in the school setting. While the data show that high school screening programs can achieve high uptake, I argue that this may reflect a lack of full understanding about risks, benefits, and alternatives, and the right not to know. It may also reflect the inherent coercion in group testing, particularly for adolescents who are prone to peer pressure. The problem of carrier screening in the schools is compounded when the condition has a predilection for certain groups based on race, ethnicity or religion. I examine programs around the world that seek to test high school students for Tay Sachs and Cystic Fibrosis carrier status. I argue that carrier programs should be designed so as to minimize stigma and to allow individuals to refuse. The mandatory school environment cannot achieve this. Rather, I conclude that screening programs should be designed to attract young adults and not adolescents to participate in a more voluntary venue.
Regulation of Firearm Dealers in the United States: An Analysis of State Law and Opportunities for Improvement
Jon S. Vernick, Daniel W. Webster, Maria T. Bulzacchelli, Julie Samia Mair - [PDF]

Firearms were associated with 30,136 deaths in the United States in 2003. Most guns are initially sold to the public through a network of retail dealers. Licensed firearm dealers are an important source of guns for criminals and gun traffickers. Just one percent of licensed dealers were responsible for more than half of all guns traced to crime. Federal law makes it difficult for ATF to inspect and revoke the licenses of problem gun dealers. State licensing systems, however, are a greatly under-explored opportunity for firearm dealer oversight. We identify and categorize these state systems to identify opportunities for interventions to prevent problem dealers from supplying guns to criminals, juveniles, or gun traffickers. Just seven-teen states license gun dealers. Twenty-three states permit routine inspections of dealers but only two mandate that those inspections occur on a regular basis. Twenty-six states impose record-keeping requirements for gun sales. Only thirteen states require some form of store security measures to minimize firearm theft. We conclude with recommendations for a comprehensive system of state licensing and oversight of gun dealers. Our findings can be useful for the coalition of more than fifty U.S. mayors that recently announced it would work together to combat illegal gun trafficking.
Supernumerary Pregnancy, Collective Harm, and Two Forms of the Nonidentity Problem
M. A. Roberts - [PDF]

An interesting question, in both the moral and the legal context, is whether babies born of an infertility treatment-induced supernumerary pregnancy (or ITISP) are properly considered to have been harmed. One might wonder how such a question could even arise in the face of data that clearly demonstrate that ITISP leaves an unduly large number of babies blind, deaf, and palsied, and facing life-long disabilities. In fact, however, a number of arguments, based on the problem of collective form and two forms of the so-called "nonidentity problem," challenge the claim of harm in the ITISP context. The purpose of the pres-ent paper is to establish, as against these arguments, that harm has been imposed on the ITISP-damaged offspring.
The Balm of Gilead: Is the Provision of Treatment to those Who Seroconvert in HIV Prevention Trials a Matter of Moral Obligation or Moral Negotiation?
Charles Weijer, Guy J. LeBlanc - [PDF]

Must treatment be provided to subjects who acquire HIV during the course of a prevention study? An analysis of ethical foundation, regulation, and recent argumentation provides no basis for the obligation. We outline an alterna-tive approach to the problem based on moral negotiation.
Columns
Currents in Contemporary Ethics
Amy L. McGuire, Richard A. Gibbs - [PDF]

Currents in Contemporary Ethics
The Ethical Health Lawyer
William Winslade, E. Bernadette McKinney - [PDF]

The Ethical Health Lawyer
The United States Supreme Court and Health Law: The Year in Review
Theodore W. Ruger - [PDF]

The United States Supreme Court and Health Law: The Year in Review
Reviews in Medical Ethics
David Blazina, Erin Willoughby, Robin Fretwell Wilson - [PDF]

Reviews in Medical Ethics
Recent Developments in Health Law
Erika Wilkinson, Katherine Polak, and Daniel P. Wilansky - [PDF]

Recent Developments in Health Law