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    ABSTRACT: The paper is based on a large qualitative study of ethics, policy and regulation of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) science in Iran. This case study in five academic research centres used semi-structured interviews to examine in depth the views of stem cell scientists, embryologists and ethics committee members on hESC research policy in this Shia Muslim country. Although Iran's policy approach has been considered 'intermediate', what is described here seems to be a 'more flexible' policy on hESC science. This article describes three arguments to explain why Iran has shaped such a policy. These are: (1) a flexibility of the Shia tradition has allowed for hESC science; (2) permissive policy related to other fields of biomedicine, such as new assisted reproductive technologies, facilitated approval of hESC research; and (3) a lack of public debate of bioscience in Iran influences how its hESC research policy is perceived. Based on the empirical data, this paper then expands and refines the conceptual bioethical basis for the co-production of science, policy, and society in Iran. The notion of co-production implies that scientists, policy-makers, and sometimes other societal actors cooperate in the exchange, production, and application of knowledge to make science policy.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The proportion of older people in Turkey is increasing steadily with a subsequent growth of long-term care (LTC) needs. There is a scarcity of formal care provisions for residential and particularly nonresidential settings. Thus, formal caregiving is not meeting LTC needs nor attracting workers as a labor option. The authors examine the hypothesis that LTC may offer work opportunities for women unfamiliar with caregiving as an occupation, and also examine the need and acceptance of different types of LTC beyond residential care. The authors evaluate an innovative project introducing these two elements to 76 women in İzmir, Turkey, using an analysis framework that incorporates factors related to applications and progression; management assessment; trainees' self-assessment reflecting on their views on aging; and older people's perception of the experience and its impact on their well-being. Trainees reported a major positive shift in their attitudes toward working in LTC and toward the aging process. Users reported discovering a new dimension to care, which directly affected their quality of life. Overall, this community-based initiative appeared effective in enhancing the awareness of the concept of adult day centers providing a social model of care, and appears promising in addressing the growing need for formal LTC in Turkey.
    Gerontology & geriatrics education 04/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Giovanni Frazzetto explores how theatre exerts its psychological effects on the emotions.
    Nature 02/2012; 482(7386):466-7.
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    ABSTRACT: In the social worlds of assisted conception and stem cell science, uncertainties proliferate and particular framings of the future may be highly strategic. In this article we explore meanings and articulations of the future using data from our study of ethical and social issues implicated by the donation of embryos to human embryonic stem cell research in three linked assisted conception units and stem cell laboratories in the UK. Framings of the future in this field inform the professional management of uncertainty and we explore some of the tensions this involves in practice. The bifurcation of choices for donating embryos into accepting informed uncertainty or not donating at all was identified through the research process of interviews and ethics discussion groups. Professional staff accounts in this study contained moral orientations that valued ideas such as engendering patient trust by offering full information, the sense of collective ownership of the National Heath Service and publicly funded science and ideas for how donors might be able to give restricted consent as a third option.
    Sociology of Health & Illness 08/2011; 34(1):114-29.
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    ABSTRACT: United Kingdom (UK) funding to build human embryonic stem cell (hESC) derivation labs within assisted conception units (ACU) was intended to facilitate the 'In-vitro fertilisation (IVF)-stem cell interface', including the flow of fresh 'spare' embryos to stem cell labs. However, in the three sites reported on here, which received this funding, most of the embryos used for hESC research came from long term cryopreservation storage and/or outside clinics. In this paper we explore some of the clinical, technical, social and ethical factors that might help to explain this situation. We report from our qualitative study of the ethical frameworks for approaching women/couples for donation of embryos to stem cell research. Members of staff took part in 44 interviews and six ethics discussion groups held at our study sites between February 2008 and October 2009. We focus here on their articulations of social and ethical, as well as scientific, dimensions in the contingent classification of 'spare' embryos, entailing uncertainty, fluidity and naturalisation in classifying work. Social and ethical factors include acknowledging and responding to uncertainty in classifying embryos; retaining 'fluidity' in the grading system to give embryos 'every chance'; tensions between standardisation and variation in enacting a 'fair' grading system; enhancement of patient choice and control, and prevention of regret; and incorporation of patients' values in construction of ethically acceptable embryo 'spareness' ('frozen' embryos, and embryos determined through preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to be genetically 'affected'). We argue that the success of the 'built moral environment' of ACU with adjoining stem cell laboratories building projects intended to facilitate the 'IVF-stem cell interface' may depend not only on architecture, but also on the part such social and ethical factors play in configuration of embryos as particular kinds of moral work objects.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 10/2010; 71(12):2204-11.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper reports from an ongoing multidisciplinary, ethnographic study that is exploring the views, values and practices (the ethical frameworks) drawn on by professional staff in assisted conception units and stem cell laboratories in relation to embryo donation for research purposes, particularly human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research, in the UK. We focus here on the connection between possible incidental findings and the circumstances in which embryos are donated for hESC research, and report some of the uncertainties and dilemmas of our staff participants. We explore the views of our study participants in relation to two themes: (1) rights to information and anticipating how donors might be informed about future research findings and (2) occupational work goals and trust.
    Clinical Ethics 06/2010; 5(2):77-85.
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    ABSTRACT: This article reports from a study exploring the social processes, meanings and institutions that frame and produce 'ethical problems' and clinical dilemmas for practitioners, scientists and others working in the specialty of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). A major topic in the data was that, in contrast to IVF, the aim of PGD is to transfer to the woman's womb only those embryos likely to be unaffected by serious genetic disorders; that is, to produce 'healthy babies'. Staff described the complex processes through which embryos in each treatment cycle must meet a double imperative: they must be judged viable by embryologists and 'unaffected' by geneticists. In this article, we focus on some of the ethical, social and occupational issues for staff ensuing from PGD's double imperative.
    Health 01/2010; 14(1):41-56.
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    ABSTRACT: This article aims to bring to the fore some of the underlying rationales that inform common conceptions of the constitution of risk communication in academic and policy communities. "Normative,"instrumental," and "substantive" imperatives typically employed in the utilization of risk communication are first outlined. In light of these considerations, a theoretical scheme is subsequently devised leading to the articulation of four fundamental "idealized" models of risk communication termed the "risk message" model, the "risk dialogue" model, the "risk field" model, and the "risk government" model, respectively. It is contended that the diverse conceptual foundations underlying the orientation of each model suggest a further need for a more contextualized view of risk communication that takes account not only of the strengths and limitations of different formulations and functions of risk communication, but also the underlying knowledge/power dynamics that underlie its constitution. In particular, it is hoped that the reflexive theoretical understanding presented here will help to bring some much needed conceptual clarity to academic and policy discourses about the use and utility of risk communication in advanced liberal societies.
    Risk Analysis 10/2008; 28(6):1619-37.
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    ABSTRACT: Will human embryonic stem (hES) cells lead to a revolutionary new regenerative medicine? We begin to answer this question by drawing on interviews with scientists and clinicians from leading labs and clinics in the UK and the USA, exploring their views on the bench-bedside interface in the fields of hES cells, neuroscience and diabetes. We employ Bourdieu's concepts of field, habitus and capital in order to understand stem cell science and cell transplantation. We also build on research on the sociology of expectations, and explore expectations of pharmaceutical approaches in hES research through our concept of 'expectational capital'. In the process we discuss emerging expectations within stem cell research, most especially the 'disease in a dish' approach, where hES cells will be used as tools for unravelling the mechanisms of disease to enable the development of new drugs. We argue that experts' persuasive promises advance their interests in the uncertain stem cell field, and explore how this performative strategy might stabilise the emerging 'disease in a dish' model of translational research.
    Sociology of Health & Illness 10/2008; 30(6):959-74.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper uses the recent history of marketization and privatization in the UK National Health Service as a case study through which to explore the relationship between health-care organization and health-care goods. Phases and processes of marketization are briefly reviewed in order to show that, although the scope of both marketization and privatization reforms have, until recently, been very heavily circumscribed (and can only be understood in the context of the rise of managerialism), they have nonetheless had a major impact on the "value field" of UK health services. The second half of the paper draws upon the concerns of the critics of market-style reforms to set out and explore the ways in which organizational reform and the shifts in institutional norms consequent upon it construct health-care goods and argues that the investigation of this organization-goods axis ought to have a central place in health-care ethics.
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 07/2008; 33(3):221-40.
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