Browsing by Subject "sosiaalietiikka"

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  • Pruuki, Heli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Who is the patient? A social-ethical study of the Finnish practice of prenatal screening. The aim of this study is to examine the Finnish practice of prenatal screening from a social-ethical perspective. Analyzing ethical problems in medicine and medical practice only on a general scale may conceal relevant ethical dilemmas. Previous studies have suggested that many pregnant women view the prenatal screening practices customary in the Finnish maternal care system as intimidating and oppressive. This study analyzes the ethical questions of prenatal screening by focusing on the experiences and decision-making of a pregnant woman. Finnish women s experiences of and decision-making on the most common prenatal screening methods are reflected in the basic principles of biomedical ethics described by Tom L. Beauchamp and James F. Childress in Principles of Biomedical Ethics. To concretize women s experiences I refer to studies of Finnish women s experiences of prenatal screenings. This study shows that the principles of autonomy, non-maleficence and beneficence seem to materialize rather poorly in the Finnish practice of prenatal screening. The main ethical problem with prenatal screening is that the likelihood of a foetal cure is very limited and, upon detection of an affected foetus, the choice is usually whether to continue with the pregnancy or to undergo an abortion. Although informed consent should be required, women s participation in prenatal testing is, in many cases at least, not based on their active decision. Many women experience severe anxiety when they receive a positive screening result and must wait for the final results. Medical studies indicate that long- term anxiety may negatively influence the foetus and the mother-child relationship. This study shows that the practice of prenatal screening as such may cause more harm than benefit to many pregnant women and their foetuses. This study examines the decision-making process of a pregnant woman by using the theory of medical casuistry described in Jonsen, Siegler and Winslade s Clinical Ethics. This study focuses on each of the four points of view recommended by the theory. The main problem seems to be the question of whom the patient of prenatal screening is and whom the practice is intended to benefit: the mother, the foetus, the family or society? This study shows that the concepts of health in Finnish maternal care in general, and of the prenatal screening system in particular, differ considerably. It also demonstrates that the purpose and the aims of prenatal screening, aside from the woman s right to choose, has been expressed neither in Finnish public health programmes nor in the public recommendations of prenatal screening. This study suggests that the practice of prenatal screening is a statement, though unexpressed, of public health policy and as such comprises part of the policy of disability. This study further demonstrates that through a single explicit aim (the woman s right to choose) society actually evades its obligation to women by saddling pregnant women with the entire moral responsibility as well as the possible negative consequences of her choice, such as sorrow, regrets and moral balancing. The study reveals several ethical problems in the Finnish practice of prenatal screening. Such problems should be dealt with as the Finnish practice of prenatal screening advances.
  • Karppela, Lasse (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    Science and the Scientist's Social Responsibility. Joseph Ben-David's, Roger Sperry's and Knut Erik Tranøy's Views of Science and the Scientist's Social Responsibility The aim of the study was to investigate, whether or not there is any connection between Jewish sociologist Joseph Ben-David's, American neuroscientist Roger Sperry's and Norwegian philosopher Knut Erik Tranøy's views of science and views of the scientist's social responsibility. The sources of information were their writings concerning this topic. Ben-David has a classical view of science. He thinks that the Mertonian norms of scientific activity, first written in 1942, are still valid in modern science. With the help of these norms Ben-David defends the view that science is morally neutral. Ben-David thinks that a scientist has a limited social responsibility. A scientist only reports on the new results, but he is not responsible for applying the results. In any case Ben-David's ideas are no longer valid. Sperry has a scientistic view of science. According to Sperry, science is the source of moral norms and also the best guide for moral action. The methods of natural sciences "show" how to solve moral problems. A scientist's personal views of science and social responsibility are not important. However Sperry's view is very problematic on the ethical side. Tranøy stresses the scientist's social responsibility. A scientist has common norms with the society from with he or she comes. This is why a scientist has the right, and also the responsibility, to discuss social and ethical questions between science and society. Tranøy's view has some ethical and practical problems, but it is valid in principle. Finally, Ben-David's, Sperry's and Tranøy's views of both science and the scientist's social responsibility have a connection: the view of science corresponds to the certain view of scientist's social responsibility. The result of this study is: Ben-David's, Sperry's and Tranøy's view of science have an ethical starting point as its fundamental presupposition, which include certain views of scientific knowledge, good and the scientist's ethical responsibilities. The connection between Ben-David's, Sperry's and Tranøy's views of science and views of the scientist's social responsibility means that their views of epistemology, meta-ethics and the scientist's ethical responsibilities have a connection to their views of the scientist's social responsibility. The results of this study can help the scientific community to organize the social responsibility of a scientist and deepen the conversation concerning the scientist's social responsibility.