Issues

Journal & Issues

Volume 12 (2022): Issue 1-2 (June 2022)

Volume 11 (2021): Issue 3-4 (December 2021)

Volume 11 (2021): Issue 1-2 (June 2021)

Volume 10 (2020): Issue 3-4 (December 2020)

Volume 10 (2020): Issue 1-2 (June 2020)

Volume 9 (2019): Issue 3-4 (December 2019)

Volume 9 (2019): Issue 1-2 (June 2019)

Volume 8 (2018): Issue 3-4 (December 2018)

Volume 8 (2018): Issue 1-2 (June 2018)

Volume 7 (2017): Issue 3-4 (December 2017)

Volume 7 (2017): Issue 1-2 (June 2017)

Volume 6 (2016): Issue 3-4 (December 2016)

Volume 6 (2016): Issue 1-2 (June 2016)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2453-7829
First Published
16 Apr 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 11 (2021): Issue 3-4 (December 2021)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2453-7829
First Published
16 Apr 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

11 Articles
Open Access

Editorial

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 115 - 116

Abstract

Open Access

Epistemic and ethical responsibility during the pandemic

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 117 - 125

Abstract

Abstract

Intellectual (specialised) knowledge is omnipresent in human lives and decisions. We are constantly trying to make good and correct decisions. However, responsible decision-making is characterised by rather difficult epistemic conditions. It applies all the more during the pandemic when decisions require not only specialised knowledge in a number of disciplines, scientific consensus, and participants from different fields, but also responsibility and respect for moral principles in order to ensure that the human rights of all groups are observed. Pandemic measures are created by politicians, healthcare policy-makers, and epidemiologists. However, what is the role of ethics as a moral philosophy and experts in ethics? Experts in ethics and philosophy are carefully scrutinising political decisions. Levy and Savulescu (2020) have claimed that Ethicists and philosophers are not epistemically arrogant if they question policy responses. They played an important role in the creation of a reliable consensus. This study analyses epistemic and moral responsibility, their similarities, analogies, and differences. Are they interconnected? What is their relationship and how can they be filled with actual content during the pandemic?

Keywords

  • epistemic responsibility
  • moral responsibility
  • epistemic communities
  • knowledge during the pandemic
Open Access

On the safety and danger of ‘viral’ information from the perspective of the epistemological subject

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 126 - 141

Abstract

Abstract

The present paper addresses the formal perspective of information with the focus on ‘untrue’ information presented as dangerous. Grounded in perspectivism, the epistemic subject is understood as decisive in informational transfer. In this context, ethics should focus on how the epistemic subject receives information. Regarding wide-spread information, the notions of danger and safety, the latter being a reaction to the former, essentially result from the fear mechanism of affective neural systems in higher mammals. The practice of attaining safety by eliminating danger is analyzed through the Nietzschean metaphor of the Apollonian and the Dionysian and the concept of ressentiment. Focusing on the individual, the paper presents a critique of systemized authoritative management of speech content, intensified by the emergence of social media. It is asserted that, by reacting to danger through the systematization of prevention and regulation of speech, it not only affirms fear but also decreases the faculties of an individual to deal with danger and fear itself. The paper argues that the only way to overcome danger and fear is through the individual’s exposure to it, which allows for the strengthening of one’s faculties, thus fulfilling one’s potential in freedom.

Keywords

  • authority
  • COVID-19
  • danger
  • epistemology
  • information
  • Nietzsche
  • perspectivism safety
  • speech
  • subject
Open Access

Triage of the elderly in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis as a bioethical process

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 142 - 152

Abstract

Abstract

The paper discusses the problem of triaging the elderly in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis by analyzing the triage process, caused by lack of resources, in Germany, Holland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. We apply inductive, deductive, and normative bioethical methods, comment on various recommendations for the indication of intensive care during a crisis, and discuss the utilitarianism of benefit maximization. As it follows from the evaluation of the elderly by the frailty parameter, medically inappropriate treatment, as a result of limited resources, is characterized by clinical and bioethical uncertainty. If the main bioethical objective of general bioethics for the COVID-19 pandemic is, in the case of limited resources, based on the non-utilitarian consequentialism paradigm, from the perspective of medical ethics, we face a borderline situation closely related to the topic of dying and death. Such a situation requires social, ethical, and professional reflection. An algorithm for intensive care indication in the situation of crisis and limited resources in the period of the pandemic requires a definition of criteria that identify an acceptable reason for abandoning the treatment in the context of the autonomy of the elderly and by respecting their human dignity and humanity. A global objective of general bioethics in the situation of the pandemic crisis should be based on the paradigm of social justice.

Keywords

  • bioethics
  • COVID-19
  • elderly
  • utilitarianism
  • frailty
  • medically inappropriate treatment
Open Access

Ethics of vaccination prioritization and compulsory vaccination: An integrative approach

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 153 - 162

Abstract

Abstract

Vaccine scarcity and availability distinguish two central ethics questions raised by the Covid-19 pandemic. First, in situations of scarcity, which groups of persons should receive priority? Second, in situations where safe and effective vaccines are available, what circumstances and reasons can support mandatory vaccination? Regarding the first question, normative approaches converge in prioritizing most-vulnerable groups. Though there is room for prudential judgement regarding which groups are most vulnerable, the human dignity principle is most relevant for prioritization consideration of both medical and non-medical issues. The second question concerning mandates is distinct from considerations about persons’ individual moral duty to receive vaccines judged reasonably safe and critical for individual and public health. While there is consensus regarding the potential normative support for mandated vaccination, the paternalistic government intervention of vaccine mandates requires a high bar of demonstrated vaccine safety and public health risk. We discuss stronger and weaker forms of paternalism to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic from an “integrative” approach that integrates leading normative approaches. We argue against a population-wide compulsory vaccination and support prudential measures to 1) protect vulnerable groups; 2) focus upon incentivizing vaccine participation; 3) maintain maximum-possible individual freedoms, and 4) allow schools, organizations, and enterprises to implement vaccine requirements in local contexts.

Keywords

  • covid-19
  • vulnerable persons
  • prioritization
  • compulsory vaccination
  • dignity
Open Access

Equitable global COVID-19 vaccine allocation and distribution: Obstacles, contrasting moral perspectives, ethical framework and current standpoints

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 163 - 180

Abstract

Abstract

Accelerated COVID-19 vaccine development represents an important accomplishment and a milestone in the history of vaccine evolution. However, the vaccine’s scarcity made its equitable global allocation and distribution ambiguous. Despite the initial pledges from wealthy countries for fairness and inclusivity towards the poorer ones, the policies followed diverged significantly. Wealthy countries have vastly superior access to vaccines in a reality likened to an ethical disaster. This paper calls for the need for fair global vaccine allocation and distribution and examines the barriers that were met along the way, originating from different points, such as the nationalistic approach on the matter that most wealthy countries have adopted or the inability of poor countries to purchase or manufacture vaccines. Further, a suggestion regarding the ethical principles and values that ought to guide global vaccine allocation and distribution is provided with a higher priority given to helping the worst-off, saving the most lives, protecting people in high risk, such as frontline healthcare professionals, and minimising social gaps, along with an ethical theoretical background for each prioritisation. It is not too late for wealthy countries to realise that vaccine inequity prolongs pandemics, so that they change their policies in favour of the global common good that will not only provide immediate universal benefits but will also serve as a guide for future pandemic crises.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • vaccines
  • access
  • global
  • equity
Open Access

Ethical implications of procedural or protocol adjustments to clinical research involving the participation of human subjects during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 181 - 195

Abstract

Abstract

The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to essential adjustments in clinical research involving human subjects. The pandemic is substantially affecting most procedures of ongoing, as well as new clinical trials related to diseases other than COVID-19. Procedural changes and study protocol modifications may significantly impact ethically salient fundamentals, such as the risk-benefit profile and safety of clinical trial participants, which raise key ethical challenges the subject-matter experts must face. This article aims to acquaint a wide audience of clinical research professionals, ethicists, as well as the general public interested in this topic with the legal, ethical and practical considerations in the field of clinical trials during the COVID-19 pandemic and to support the clinical researchers and study sponsors to fulfil their responsibilities in conducting clinical trials in a professional way that does not conflict with any legal or ethical obligations.

Keywords

  • clinical research
  • clinical trials
  • COVID-19
  • ethics
  • medical ethics
  • regulatory adjustments
  • research ethics
  • risk management
Open Access

Pandemic challenges and models of democracy

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 196 - 205

Abstract

Abstract

This article examines the impact of a pandemic on democratic societies. The central research question is the extent to which a pandemic can alter the trajectory of social and ethical democratic development nationally and internationally. Therefore, the article examines contemporary controversies in democratic society in the aftermath of a pandemic. The leading hypothesis is that the pandemic should reinforce the need for social solidarity, but it is unclear what political form this need will take: populism or deliberative/nonconsensual democracy.

Keywords

  • pandemic
  • democracy
  • ethics of democracy
  • populism
  • deliberative democracy
Open Access

Intercultural dialogues in times of global pandemics: The Confucian ethics of relations and social organization in Sinic societies

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 206 - 216

Abstract

Abstract

Since COVID-19 is a global-scale pandemic, it can only be solved on the global level. In this context, intercultural dialogues are of utmost importance. Indeed, different models of traditional ethics might be of assistance in constructing a new, global ethics that could help us confront the present predicament and prepare for other possible global crises that might await us in the future. The explosive, pandemic spread of COVID-19 in 2020 clearly demonstrated that in general, one of the most effective tools for containment of the epidemics is precisely human and interpersonal solidarity, which must also be accompanied by a certain degree of autonomous self-discipline. The present paper follows the presumption that these types of personal and interpersonal attitudes are—inter alia— culturally conditioned and hence influenced by different traditional models of social ethics. In light of the fact that East-Asian or Sinic societies were more successful and effective in the process of containing and eliminating the virus compared to the strategies of the Euro-American regions, I will first question the widespread assumption that this effectiveness is linked to the authoritarian political traditions of the Sinic East and Southeast Asian areas. Then, I will critically introduce the Confucian ethics of relations, which in various ways has influenced the social structures of these regions, and clarify the question of whether and in which way the relics of this ethics had an actual effect on the crisis resolution measurements. The crucial aim of this paper is to contribute to the construction of theoretical groundworks for a new, transculturally grounded global ethics, which is more needed today than ever before.

Keywords

  • global pandemic
  • COVID-19
  • intercultural exchanges
  • Confucianism
  • structure of Sinic societies
Open Access

Moral bioenhancements and the future of utilitarianism

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 217 - 230

Abstract

Abstract

Utilitarianism has been able to respond to many of the objections raised against it by undertaking a major revision of its theory. Basically, this consisted of recognising that its early normative propositions were only viable for agents very different from flesh-and-blood humans. They then deduced that, given human limitations, it was most useful for everyone if moral agents did not behave as utilitarians and habitually followed certain rules. Important recent advances in neurotechnology suggest that some of these human limitations can be overcome. In this article, after presenting some possible neuro-enhancements, we seek to answer the questions, first, of whether they should be accepted by a utilitarian ethic and, second, if accepted, to what extent they would invalidate the revision that allowed them to escape the objections.

Keywords

  • moral bioenhancement
  • human enhancement
  • utilitarianism
Open Access

Healthy people and biochemical enhancement: A new paradigmatic approach to the enhancement of human beings?

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 231 - 239

Abstract

Abstract

The authors analyse a new paradigmatic approach to the enhancement of human beings proposed in transhumanist visions. Transhumanist authors promote the biochemical enhancement of healthy people via the concepts of bio-happiness and bio-love (love drugs). The paper is based on an assessment of the value attributed to the lives of disabled people vis-à-vis those of healthy people. The value imbalance in the transhumanist conception is criticized on the grounds that it is an incorrect response to the posthuman urge to redefine human beings. The authors’ final standpoint is that the value of human beings should be derived primarily from our naturalness and that artificiality (which is indisputably a part of people) should be subordinate to this.

Keywords

  • transhumanism
  • biochemical enhancement
  • disability
  • value assessment
  • bio-happiness
  • bio-love
11 Articles
Open Access

Editorial

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 115 - 116

Abstract

Open Access

Epistemic and ethical responsibility during the pandemic

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 117 - 125

Abstract

Abstract

Intellectual (specialised) knowledge is omnipresent in human lives and decisions. We are constantly trying to make good and correct decisions. However, responsible decision-making is characterised by rather difficult epistemic conditions. It applies all the more during the pandemic when decisions require not only specialised knowledge in a number of disciplines, scientific consensus, and participants from different fields, but also responsibility and respect for moral principles in order to ensure that the human rights of all groups are observed. Pandemic measures are created by politicians, healthcare policy-makers, and epidemiologists. However, what is the role of ethics as a moral philosophy and experts in ethics? Experts in ethics and philosophy are carefully scrutinising political decisions. Levy and Savulescu (2020) have claimed that Ethicists and philosophers are not epistemically arrogant if they question policy responses. They played an important role in the creation of a reliable consensus. This study analyses epistemic and moral responsibility, their similarities, analogies, and differences. Are they interconnected? What is their relationship and how can they be filled with actual content during the pandemic?

Keywords

  • epistemic responsibility
  • moral responsibility
  • epistemic communities
  • knowledge during the pandemic
Open Access

On the safety and danger of ‘viral’ information from the perspective of the epistemological subject

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 126 - 141

Abstract

Abstract

The present paper addresses the formal perspective of information with the focus on ‘untrue’ information presented as dangerous. Grounded in perspectivism, the epistemic subject is understood as decisive in informational transfer. In this context, ethics should focus on how the epistemic subject receives information. Regarding wide-spread information, the notions of danger and safety, the latter being a reaction to the former, essentially result from the fear mechanism of affective neural systems in higher mammals. The practice of attaining safety by eliminating danger is analyzed through the Nietzschean metaphor of the Apollonian and the Dionysian and the concept of ressentiment. Focusing on the individual, the paper presents a critique of systemized authoritative management of speech content, intensified by the emergence of social media. It is asserted that, by reacting to danger through the systematization of prevention and regulation of speech, it not only affirms fear but also decreases the faculties of an individual to deal with danger and fear itself. The paper argues that the only way to overcome danger and fear is through the individual’s exposure to it, which allows for the strengthening of one’s faculties, thus fulfilling one’s potential in freedom.

Keywords

  • authority
  • COVID-19
  • danger
  • epistemology
  • information
  • Nietzsche
  • perspectivism safety
  • speech
  • subject
Open Access

Triage of the elderly in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis as a bioethical process

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 142 - 152

Abstract

Abstract

The paper discusses the problem of triaging the elderly in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis by analyzing the triage process, caused by lack of resources, in Germany, Holland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. We apply inductive, deductive, and normative bioethical methods, comment on various recommendations for the indication of intensive care during a crisis, and discuss the utilitarianism of benefit maximization. As it follows from the evaluation of the elderly by the frailty parameter, medically inappropriate treatment, as a result of limited resources, is characterized by clinical and bioethical uncertainty. If the main bioethical objective of general bioethics for the COVID-19 pandemic is, in the case of limited resources, based on the non-utilitarian consequentialism paradigm, from the perspective of medical ethics, we face a borderline situation closely related to the topic of dying and death. Such a situation requires social, ethical, and professional reflection. An algorithm for intensive care indication in the situation of crisis and limited resources in the period of the pandemic requires a definition of criteria that identify an acceptable reason for abandoning the treatment in the context of the autonomy of the elderly and by respecting their human dignity and humanity. A global objective of general bioethics in the situation of the pandemic crisis should be based on the paradigm of social justice.

Keywords

  • bioethics
  • COVID-19
  • elderly
  • utilitarianism
  • frailty
  • medically inappropriate treatment
Open Access

Ethics of vaccination prioritization and compulsory vaccination: An integrative approach

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 153 - 162

Abstract

Abstract

Vaccine scarcity and availability distinguish two central ethics questions raised by the Covid-19 pandemic. First, in situations of scarcity, which groups of persons should receive priority? Second, in situations where safe and effective vaccines are available, what circumstances and reasons can support mandatory vaccination? Regarding the first question, normative approaches converge in prioritizing most-vulnerable groups. Though there is room for prudential judgement regarding which groups are most vulnerable, the human dignity principle is most relevant for prioritization consideration of both medical and non-medical issues. The second question concerning mandates is distinct from considerations about persons’ individual moral duty to receive vaccines judged reasonably safe and critical for individual and public health. While there is consensus regarding the potential normative support for mandated vaccination, the paternalistic government intervention of vaccine mandates requires a high bar of demonstrated vaccine safety and public health risk. We discuss stronger and weaker forms of paternalism to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic from an “integrative” approach that integrates leading normative approaches. We argue against a population-wide compulsory vaccination and support prudential measures to 1) protect vulnerable groups; 2) focus upon incentivizing vaccine participation; 3) maintain maximum-possible individual freedoms, and 4) allow schools, organizations, and enterprises to implement vaccine requirements in local contexts.

Keywords

  • covid-19
  • vulnerable persons
  • prioritization
  • compulsory vaccination
  • dignity
Open Access

Equitable global COVID-19 vaccine allocation and distribution: Obstacles, contrasting moral perspectives, ethical framework and current standpoints

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 163 - 180

Abstract

Abstract

Accelerated COVID-19 vaccine development represents an important accomplishment and a milestone in the history of vaccine evolution. However, the vaccine’s scarcity made its equitable global allocation and distribution ambiguous. Despite the initial pledges from wealthy countries for fairness and inclusivity towards the poorer ones, the policies followed diverged significantly. Wealthy countries have vastly superior access to vaccines in a reality likened to an ethical disaster. This paper calls for the need for fair global vaccine allocation and distribution and examines the barriers that were met along the way, originating from different points, such as the nationalistic approach on the matter that most wealthy countries have adopted or the inability of poor countries to purchase or manufacture vaccines. Further, a suggestion regarding the ethical principles and values that ought to guide global vaccine allocation and distribution is provided with a higher priority given to helping the worst-off, saving the most lives, protecting people in high risk, such as frontline healthcare professionals, and minimising social gaps, along with an ethical theoretical background for each prioritisation. It is not too late for wealthy countries to realise that vaccine inequity prolongs pandemics, so that they change their policies in favour of the global common good that will not only provide immediate universal benefits but will also serve as a guide for future pandemic crises.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • vaccines
  • access
  • global
  • equity
Open Access

Ethical implications of procedural or protocol adjustments to clinical research involving the participation of human subjects during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 181 - 195

Abstract

Abstract

The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to essential adjustments in clinical research involving human subjects. The pandemic is substantially affecting most procedures of ongoing, as well as new clinical trials related to diseases other than COVID-19. Procedural changes and study protocol modifications may significantly impact ethically salient fundamentals, such as the risk-benefit profile and safety of clinical trial participants, which raise key ethical challenges the subject-matter experts must face. This article aims to acquaint a wide audience of clinical research professionals, ethicists, as well as the general public interested in this topic with the legal, ethical and practical considerations in the field of clinical trials during the COVID-19 pandemic and to support the clinical researchers and study sponsors to fulfil their responsibilities in conducting clinical trials in a professional way that does not conflict with any legal or ethical obligations.

Keywords

  • clinical research
  • clinical trials
  • COVID-19
  • ethics
  • medical ethics
  • regulatory adjustments
  • research ethics
  • risk management
Open Access

Pandemic challenges and models of democracy

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 196 - 205

Abstract

Abstract

This article examines the impact of a pandemic on democratic societies. The central research question is the extent to which a pandemic can alter the trajectory of social and ethical democratic development nationally and internationally. Therefore, the article examines contemporary controversies in democratic society in the aftermath of a pandemic. The leading hypothesis is that the pandemic should reinforce the need for social solidarity, but it is unclear what political form this need will take: populism or deliberative/nonconsensual democracy.

Keywords

  • pandemic
  • democracy
  • ethics of democracy
  • populism
  • deliberative democracy
Open Access

Intercultural dialogues in times of global pandemics: The Confucian ethics of relations and social organization in Sinic societies

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 206 - 216

Abstract

Abstract

Since COVID-19 is a global-scale pandemic, it can only be solved on the global level. In this context, intercultural dialogues are of utmost importance. Indeed, different models of traditional ethics might be of assistance in constructing a new, global ethics that could help us confront the present predicament and prepare for other possible global crises that might await us in the future. The explosive, pandemic spread of COVID-19 in 2020 clearly demonstrated that in general, one of the most effective tools for containment of the epidemics is precisely human and interpersonal solidarity, which must also be accompanied by a certain degree of autonomous self-discipline. The present paper follows the presumption that these types of personal and interpersonal attitudes are—inter alia— culturally conditioned and hence influenced by different traditional models of social ethics. In light of the fact that East-Asian or Sinic societies were more successful and effective in the process of containing and eliminating the virus compared to the strategies of the Euro-American regions, I will first question the widespread assumption that this effectiveness is linked to the authoritarian political traditions of the Sinic East and Southeast Asian areas. Then, I will critically introduce the Confucian ethics of relations, which in various ways has influenced the social structures of these regions, and clarify the question of whether and in which way the relics of this ethics had an actual effect on the crisis resolution measurements. The crucial aim of this paper is to contribute to the construction of theoretical groundworks for a new, transculturally grounded global ethics, which is more needed today than ever before.

Keywords

  • global pandemic
  • COVID-19
  • intercultural exchanges
  • Confucianism
  • structure of Sinic societies
Open Access

Moral bioenhancements and the future of utilitarianism

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 217 - 230

Abstract

Abstract

Utilitarianism has been able to respond to many of the objections raised against it by undertaking a major revision of its theory. Basically, this consisted of recognising that its early normative propositions were only viable for agents very different from flesh-and-blood humans. They then deduced that, given human limitations, it was most useful for everyone if moral agents did not behave as utilitarians and habitually followed certain rules. Important recent advances in neurotechnology suggest that some of these human limitations can be overcome. In this article, after presenting some possible neuro-enhancements, we seek to answer the questions, first, of whether they should be accepted by a utilitarian ethic and, second, if accepted, to what extent they would invalidate the revision that allowed them to escape the objections.

Keywords

  • moral bioenhancement
  • human enhancement
  • utilitarianism
Open Access

Healthy people and biochemical enhancement: A new paradigmatic approach to the enhancement of human beings?

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Page range: 231 - 239

Abstract

Abstract

The authors analyse a new paradigmatic approach to the enhancement of human beings proposed in transhumanist visions. Transhumanist authors promote the biochemical enhancement of healthy people via the concepts of bio-happiness and bio-love (love drugs). The paper is based on an assessment of the value attributed to the lives of disabled people vis-à-vis those of healthy people. The value imbalance in the transhumanist conception is criticized on the grounds that it is an incorrect response to the posthuman urge to redefine human beings. The authors’ final standpoint is that the value of human beings should be derived primarily from our naturalness and that artificiality (which is indisputably a part of people) should be subordinate to this.

Keywords

  • transhumanism
  • biochemical enhancement
  • disability
  • value assessment
  • bio-happiness
  • bio-love

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo