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HAPPY LIFE EXPECTANCY: A comparative measure multiplying average life expectancy (in years) with average life satisfaction (on a 0-1 scale) in different countries. ‘Happy life expectancy’ is strongly correlated with tolerance, individualism, self-perceived freedom, literacy, food and water security, employment, purchasing power, urbanization and informatization, and is negatively correlated with murder rate, corruption, military dominance and gender inequality. (See HAPPINESS, LIFE SATISFACTION, LIVING STANDARD, QUALITY OF LIFE, WELLBEING) (MP)

HARAKIRI: (Japanese: hara "belly" + kiri "cut") Japanese ritual suicide by self-disembowelment with a sword. Also known as harikari or seppuku, in former times this was considered a suicide of honour when disgraced or sentenced to death. (See KAROSHI) (MP)

HARD ENERGY: Non-renewable fossil fuel energies like coal and oil, typical of current majority consumption, which produce air pollution, greenhouse gases and are ultimately non-sustainable. Soft Energy Paths by Amory Lovins also includes nuclear power as ‘hard energy’ because of its inherent danger and waste problems. (See HARD TECHNOLOGY, SOFT ENERGY) (MP)

HARD POWER: Traditional ‘hard’ power options include military force, deterrence, technology, population and economics. Hard power involving coercion often promotes hatred (and its associated terrorism) and is therefore less effective over the long term than the use of ‘soft’ power options. (See HAWK, SOFT POWER) (MP)

HARD TECHNOLOGY: Technology which is typically high in resource and energy consumption and pollution emissions, often involved in the production and manufacture of unnecessary consumer goods and dangerous applications of science. Such industries produce waste and are wasteful of resources, have unsatisfying labor-intensive working conditions, and may be dogged by ethical controversy. Hard technology is usually associated with the ‘hard power’ and ‘hard energy’ industries. There are opportunities forthcoming from across the board of technologies, and socially responsible corporate codes of conduct would shift heavy industry towards the sphere of ‘soft’ or sustainable technologies. (See HARD ENERGY, HARD POWER, SOFT TECHNOLOGY) (MP)

HARDWARE: Mechanical and electronic equipment such as work tools, gear, gadgets and machines. Also the material (non-software) elements of computers such as keyboard, monitor, motherboard, central processing unit, discs, drives, cards and chips. (See COMPUTER, SOFTWARE) (MP)

HARDWOODS: Durable, firm, compact timbers, or the angiosperm trees yielding such wood. Examples include eucalyptus, oak, maple and mahogany. (See SOFTWOODS) (MP)

HARM MINIMIZATION: Harm minimization is a management strategy which attempts to protect individuals or the environment from harm as the main priority ahead of political or commercial considerations. The term is most commonly used with reference to the war on drugs and the consequences of drug addiction - it implies a pragmatic acknowledgment that addicts will continue to use, and treats addiction as a medical rather than a criminal problem. Harm minimization for addicts/victims is not necessarily incompatible with zero tolerance for drug traffickers/dealers. Common harm minimization strategies include needle exchange programs, heroin trials, medically-supervised injecting rooms, methadone programs, access to counseling and medical supervision, pharmacotherapy, ecstasy testers in clubs, drug education in schools, tolerance of possession for personal use, discrimination between 'hard' and 'soft' drug categories, imprisonment only as a last resort, and drug decriminalization. (See DECRIMINALIZATION, HEROIN TRIALS, ZERO TOLERANCE). (IP+MP)

HASHISH: (Arabic: "hemp" or "dried grass") The purified exudation of resin and pollen from plants of the genus Cannabis, which forms a sticky brown substance which is smoked for its euphoric effects. Its active constituent (THC) is the same as for marijuana, and despite its illegality, hashish is very popular among young people especially in Europe. Hash or hash oil are usually smoked with tobacco to enable burning, however this habit risks nicotine addiction. (See MARIJUANA, THC). (IP+MP)

HAWK: A colloquial term for a hard-line politician or international strategist who considers that power and strength are fundamental to success in foreign relations. Hawks are characterised by a mistrustful and adversarial nature, believe in deterrence and coercion, and have a willingness to use aggressive armed conflict. The outcome of hawkish behaviour from both sides can be the self-fulfilling prophecy of war. The hawk mentality is named after predatory diurnal birds of the family Falconidae such as falcons, goshawks, kites and buzzards. Other related meanings include to hunt on the wing, a person who preys upon others, or an aggressive salesperson. (See DOVE) (MP)


HAZARD: " a biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition of, food with the potential to cause an adverse health effect. (JA)

HAZARDOUS CHEMICAL: See HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE.

HAZARDOUS MICROORGANISMS: Any microscopic organism, bacteria/virus/fungi/mycoplasma, cell lines/stem cells/algae/protozoans that may be used in biological warfare including genetically modified microorganism. (JA)

HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE: Any chemical substance/chemical preparation or chemical substances by reason of their chemical properties/physico-chemical nature are liable to cause harm to all living organism/environment, including human beings. Usually categorized by a competent authority (specified by a given country’s federal government under the Environment (Protection Act or similar government notification) and listed for public knowledge and for legal purposed. (JA)



HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE-AUTHORIZATION: Authorization given to a person /organization by a national competent authority to visit a Hazardous substance waste-dump-site to collect/treat/transport /store or dispose such waste. (JA)

HAZARDOUS WASTE-DUMP-SITE: A disposal site for hazardous waste material which has been duly approved by the competent authority; a place for final storage for disposal/treatment. Eg. Nuclear waste. (JA)

HAZARDOUS WASTE TREATMENT FACILITY: A facility wherein treatment of disposal of hazardous waste or processes incidental to such treatment/disposal is carried out. (JA)

HEALTH: A condition of complete physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being - not just the absence of disease. The maintenance of health is not a static condition, rather a well-directed homeostatic response to continually changing environmental conditions and the need to adapt to them (See HOMEOSTASIS, WELLBEING). (IP)

HEALTH CARE DELIVERY: The provision and distribution of health services to a population . (DM)


HEALTH EDUCATION: Health-related education geared to the consumer or patient or society. (DM)

HEALTH FACILITIES: Institutions including clincs, hospitals, tissue banks, and other physical structures linked to the provision of health care or diagnostics. (DM)

HEALTH HAZARDS: See BIOHAZARD, ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS, OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE, RADIATION, TOXICITY.

HEALTH INFORMATION: See MEDICAL INFORMATION DIRECTORIES.

HEALTH INSURANCE: A system of financing to insure persons against health-related risks. Both private and public sector health insurance schemes exist. (DM)

HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS (HMOs): Organizations providing health services to enrolled members for a fixed fee, commonly used term in USA. (See MANAGED CARE PROGRAMS). (DM)

HEALTH PERSONNEL: Term used to include all persons related to delivery of health care, including Administrators, Dentists, Doctors, Nurses, Patient care team, Pharmacists, Physicians, Social workers. (DM)

HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH: Research concerned with the organization, administration, needs, and functioning of health services. (DM)

HEALTH SYSTEMS: Includes hospital services and their satellite paramedical systems, community care and health promotion, holistic view is that it enables people to live healthy lives. (JA)

HEARING: the sense that enables sound to be perceived. The ear is the organ of hearing - it is supplied by the 8th cranial nerve which is stimulated by the vibrations caused by sound waves. Every sound produces sound waves or disturbances in the air, which travel at about 340 meters per second. Because of its shape, the outer external ear concentrates the waves and directs them along the auditory meatus causing the ear drum (tympanic membrane) to vibrate. These vibrations are transmitted through the air-filled middle ear by movements of the auditory ossicles - three very small bones called the malleus, incus and stapes. The ossicles extend across the middle ear and function like a series of movable joints with each other and with the medial wall separating the middle and inner ear cavities called the oval window. It is the stapes that rocks to and fro in the oval window setting up fluid pressure waves in the internal ear which stimulate the neuroepithelial cells of the organ of hearing the cocklea from which nerve impulses pass to the hearing areas in the mid brain and cerebral cortex. It is in the brain where sound is perceived. Also situated in the internal ear are the semicircular canals - three tubes arranged so that one is stimulated in each of the three planes of space. The semicircular canals have no auditory function although they are closely associated with the cocklea - they provide information about the position of the head in space, contributing to the maintenance of equilibrium and balance. There are many diseases of the ear - prominently infections which may permanently affect hearing due to destruction of, for example, the ossicles causing conduction hearing loss or deafness, or damage to the cocklea or auditory nerve causing sensorineural hearing loss or deafness. Deafness in the young is usually caused by faulty nerve perception and may be due to genetic abnormality, rubella infection in the mother in the first 3 months of pregnancy or acute hypoxia (asphyxiation) at birth or soon after. (See HYPOXIA, SENSES, SOUND). (IP)


HEARING LOSS: See HEARING.

HEATING: Heat is a form of energy transfer. Specific heat capacity is the energy required to raise one kilogram of a substance by one Kelvin. Heat always travels from matter at a higher temperature to matter at a lower temperature. This is the basis of the solar hot water system and the heat pump. Some animals have a heat exchange system to maintain the body temperature of organs such as the brain. Heating and cooling of home and work spaces requires significant global energy resources, so building materials should be selected which are slow to transfer heat. (See TEMPERATURE) (MP)

HEAVEN: Place reserved for the righteous after death. Many religious traditions include a belief in some form of heaven, which reflects the reward in the next world that doers of good deeds will receive after death. This place is referred to in opposition to a place known as hell, which is reserved for evildoers. (see HELL). Some religious systems however, hold an alternate view, that the souls or spirits of those who have died go to a place known as "netherworld", regardless of their moral standing. (see NETHERWORLD) Many different descriptions exist of heaven in different religious traditions, some more elaborate than others. However, these various traditions do seem to be in agreement about general ideas of heaven. For example: that heaven is a place where there is no pain or suffering, and that it is a pleasurable place, whether in spiritual or physical terms. (AG)

HEDONISM: What serves a person’s interest is that which makes that individual’s life happiest (Gk hedone meaning pleasure). (IP)

HEGEL, GWF: (1770-1831) German philosopher of metaphysics and history. He believed that history is a process in which Spirit reveals itself and achieves freedom through a "dialectical" process involving "thesis", "antithesis" and "synthesis". In his essay "Philosophical History" he argued that this process has undergone stages in which the Orientals only knew that one is free, the Greeks knew that some are free, and finally the Germans achieved the realization that man, as such, is free. His spiritual dialectic was adopted by MARX (q.v.) and converted to a material dialectic. The idea of a three-stage dialectic obviously has some truth, even in bioethics. For example the radical disregard for kindness to animals (thesis), engendered a radical animal- rights movement (antithesis), which may be resulting in a compromise (synthesis) in which experimentation is continuing but with much greater efforts to reduce the suffering to animals. (FL)

HEISENBERG’S UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE: Werner Karl Heisenberg’s theory central to quantum mechanics, stating that the momentum and position of a particle cannot both be measured or known simultaneously. The principle highlights the fact that an observation or measurement of a system is an altering interaction with it; therefore an observer cannot be considered independent of the system being measured. The uncertainty principle and the probability inherent in quantum mechanics have provided fuel for the philosophical concept of free will. (See QUANTUM THEORY) (MP)

HELL: Place reserved for the wicked after death. This place is mentioned in opposition to heaven, which is the place of the good and righteous. (see HEAVEN) Hell is described in many traditions as a place of suffering and torment, and most descriptions also refer to hell as a place of great heat, in which the high temperatures contribute to the suffering of those within. The concepts of hell and heaven are strong in Zoroastrian belief, due to this system's strong dualism. This Zoroastrianism view of the afterlife had major influence on Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In Catholic teaching, a third category in addition to heaven and hell is taught, due to various theological considerations (see LIMBO). For an alternate approach to the afterlife, see the entry NETHERWORLD. (AG)

HELSINKI DECLARATION: A Declaration of the World Medical Association (WMA) adopted by the 18th WMA General Assembly in Helsinki, Finland in June 1964 on Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects. It has been modified at a number of subsequent WMA meetings. It is not to be confused with the Helsinki Accords, (Aug. 1, 1975), a major diplomatic agreement signed in Helsinki, Finland, at the conclusion of the first Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE).


HEMATOPOIETIC: See also STEM CELL.

HEMIZYGOTE: Refers to the state of genes located on the sexual chromosomes. In males, genes on the X chromosome are hemizygous, and will always be expressed as if they were dominant. In females, if one X chromosome exhibits a deletion, then the genotype of the corresponding gene on the other chromosome will also be hemizygous. (GK)

HEPATITIS: Causes liver disease. Three main types of viral hepatitis, Hepatitis A (HAV), B (HBV) & C (HCV). There is transmission of HAV through food, water and shellfish; HBV through exchange of body fluids, blood or blood products, contaminated needles. Sexual intercourse can spread the disease. HCV- through transfusion. (JA)

HERACLITUS (c. 500 BC) Believed that fire is the primary element, perhaps as a metaphorical expression of his most famous doctrine, viz. that all things are in a constant state of change. You cannot even step into the same river twice. Reflecting on his doctrine might help us learn to cope with the fundamental changes which biotechnology is making to our world. Perhaps learning to live sanely and ethically in a radically changing world is a more realistic goal than deciding what to permit and what to forbid. (see QUANTUM THEORY) (FL)

HERB: defined botanically as a non-woody plant that dies down to the ground after flowering but the term 'herb', in its wider definition, can be applied to any plant, part or whole, which has been used for such purposes as medical treatment, nutritional value, food seasoning, coloring or dying of other substances. (See BUSH MEDICINE, HERBALISM). (IP)

HERBAL MEDICINE: is the use of plant products (seeds, roots, stems, fruits and flowers) for either preventative health or therapeutic purposes. Herbs in this usage are not restricted to those plants classified botanically as herbs, rather it includes all plants. Herbal medicine is also known as botanical medicine, phytotherapy, phytomedicine and may be used either alone or more commonly as an integral part of another complementary therapy, for example as part of naturopathy, traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. (See BUSH MEDICINE, HERB, HERBALISM). (JW).

HERBALISM: the knowledge and study of herbs. Historically the most important uses of herbs were medicinal in the treatment of injuries and diseases. Separately or in herbal combination Homo sapiens has used internal and external remedies prepared from plants, animals and minerals which were typically used in conjunction with sorcery, prayer, music, crude operations and psychological therapy. Just as we learned by instinct and generations of trial and error that some plants were good to eat and others could cause poisoning and death, prehistoric humans gained the knowledge that certain plants were useful for treating illness. In the written record, the study of herbs dates back over 5000 years to the Sumerians, who described well established medicinal uses for such plants as laurel, caraway and thyme. The first known Chinese herbal remedies date from 2700 BCE and list 365 medicinal plants and their uses. The Egyptians of 1000 BCE are known to have used garlic, opium and castor oil and botanists of later centuries were similarly influenced by pre-existing insights. The Greek book that founded the science of botany - Theophrastus' 'Historia Plantarum' -written in the fourth century BCE is part of this continuum of knowledge. (See BUSH MEDICINE, GINSENG, HERB, HERBAL MEDICINE, POISON HEMLOCK). (IP)



HERBICIDE TOLERANT PLANTS: A able to withstand the action of a herbicide which can kill the plant normally. (JA) Examples

HERBICIDES: Composition of word from cide= kill. A poison, compound capable of killing a plant, used in weed control. For example, wide spectrum (Roundup) and narrow spectrum, specific to some plants without endangering the ecosystem. There are two main mechanism:, 1. Interfering with energy metabolism Eg. Monuron; 2.defoliation E.g. di and tri chlorophenoxyacetic acid. (JA)

HEREDITY: (Latin hereditas 'inheritance') is embedded within the DNA of each chromosome where the genes or gene combinations function as a 'unit of heredity' specifying particular traits such as eye colour. Heredity offers an explanation as to why members of one family develop, for example, diabetes, cancer or arthritis at a relatively early age while members of another family are not afflicted until much later or not at all. (See HEREDITARY DISEASES). (IP)

HEREDITARY DISEASES: pertaining to a characteristic inborn ailment transmitted from parent to offspring. Couples have an elevated concern if they had already given birth to an infant with an obviously hereditary trait present in the family; however, parental age (both male and female), ethnic background and certain reproductive difficulties may elevate the risk of certain genetic diseases. Unfortunately risks can only be stated in hard statistical terms but an informed decision about having children or not can only be reached when all the available facts are known. (See HEREDITY). (IP)

HERITAGE: The inheritance bequeathed upon following generations. Heritage may be personal, for example the genetic characteristics, material possessions or social status into which an heir is born. Heritage may also be collective, for example the cultural traditions, historical monuments and conserved natural areas which are the inheritance of the global society. (See CULTURAL HERITAGE, NATURAL HERITAGE, WORLD HERITAGE) (MP)


HEROIC TREATMENT: See EXTRAORDINARY TREATMENT.

HEROIN: Heroin is one of a group of drugs known as 'opiates' (sometimes called 'narcotic analgesics'). Other opiates include opium, morphine, codeine, pethidine and methadone. Heroin and other opiates are highly addictive 'depressant' drugs, which physiologically slow down the activity of the central nervous system and the messages going to and from the brain and body. Alcohol and cannabis are also depressant drugs. Using heroin while pregnant is harmful as the habit risks intrauterine growth retardation, miscarriage and premature labor. Additionally, these underdeveloped drug-dependent babies suffer withdrawal and are at increased risk of SIDS; thus, these babies may require special neonatal hospital care. (See ADDICTION, INTRAUTERINE GROWTH RETARDATION, METHADONE HYDROCHLORIDE, MORPHINE, RECREATIONAL DRUGS). (IP)



HERPETOLOGY: (Greek: herpet
ón "reptile" + logos "reason") The scientific study of reptilian and amphibian life. Herpetologists investigate the physiology, ecology, behavior and classification of reptiles and amphibians. (MP)

HETEROGENEOUS: Consisting of different parts; not of the same kind of nature. (BP)

HETEROGRAFT: See XENOGRAFT.

HETEROSEXUAL: an individual’s disposition to feeling love, or have sexual relations with, persons of the opposite sex [Greek heteros other] (see HOMOSEXUAL). (IP)

HETEROSEXUAL-HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR RATING SCALE: an arbitrary gradation developed by Kinsey and his colleagues in the US for measuring the degree of heterosexuality and homosexuality by categorizing an individual into one of seven classifications according to sexual behavior and interest (see QUEER THEORY). (IP)

HETEROTROPHS: (Greek heteros 'different' + trophe 'food') Are organisms (e.g., animals) that obtain their external source of energy from foods - complex organic substances that were synthesized by other organisms (Greek heteros different + trophe food). (Contrast AUTOTROPHS) (IP)


HETEROZYGOTE: Hetero other than/different; All the cells of an organism have two copies of the same gene. When both genes are different from each other then this condition is referred to as heterozygous condition. (JA)

HETEROZYGOUS: Having two different alleles at the same point on a pair of chromosomes. (DM)

HEURISTICS: Decisions made by ‘educated guesswork’ for problem solving in a situation of uncertainty. A ‘heuristic method’ is investigative and may involve iterative processes and incremental searches which follow probabilistic rules to minimize the search area. (See FUZZY LOGIC, ITERATIVE PROCESS, UNCERTAINTY) (MP)



HFEA: Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, United Kingdom.

HGAC: Human Genetics Advisory Commission, United Kingdom.

HGC: Human Genetic Commission, United Kingdom.

HIERARCHY THEORY: See SYSTEM ANALYSIS.



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