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ISLAMIC BIOETHICS: A religious framework based on Islamic jurisprudence, dealing with ethical issues associated with biosciences (see BIOSCIENCE) such as beginning and end of life, reproduction, genetics, organ transplantation, environment, newly emerged problem resulted from new scientific and technological procedures and discoveries. According to Islamic bioethics making decision has to be based on cooperation of the specialists on the field and Islamic jurists, Faqih (see FAQIH). (AB)

ISLAMIC MEDICINE: It can be defined as a body of knowledge of medicine that was inherited by the Muslims physicians. It begun with the translation of Unani (see UNANI) medicine from Greek in to Arabic, mostly from Hippocrates (460-377BC)and Galen 8 131-210 AD). At that time Arabic was the religious and scientific language in the Islamic countries. In the history of Islamic medicine that age (8th -9th centuries), is called "Translators age", simultaneously the "golden age" of Islamic medicine emerged which was developed to the extend that replaced the Unani medicine.

The Muslim physicians had studied Unani medicine in enriching it by giving their own remarks based on their experiences and views as well as taking in to consideration health recommendation expressed by in Islamic sources such as Quran and Hadith. Medical practice in the Islamic civilization had never been as a mere profession ,but was connected to theology, philosophy and ethics. Among those who made valuable contributions, Al-Razi (625 AD) and Ibn Sina (1037 AD) are the most prominent for establishing Islamic medicine foundation. (AB)


ISOLATED STORAGE: Storage of a hazardous chemical substance , other than storage associated with an industrial installation on the same industrial complex. (JA)

ISOTOPE: An isotope is one of the different varieties of a particular chemical element. Isotopes differ from one another by the number of neutrons in the nucleus, and have differing physical properties. Some but not all isotopes of an element may have an unstable nucleus and be prone to radioactivity. (See ATOM, ELEMENT, HYDROGEN) (MP)


IT: See INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.

ITERATIVE PROCESS: A method by which progress is in a stepwise fashion with new depth and detail of information added and incorporated at each stage. (See HEURISTICS) (MP)



IUBS: International Union of Biological Sciences.

IUCN: The World Conservation Union (a.k.a. International Union for the Conservation of Nature & Natural Resources)

IUD: See INTRAUTERINE DEVICE.

IUGR: See INTRAUTERINE GROWTH RETARDATION.

IVF: See IN VITRO FERTILIZATION.



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JAIL FEVER: A disease that raged in English prisons from the 16th to the 18th centuries and was caught by many working at the Old Bailey. The disease has now been recognized as a severe form of typhoid fever, which ran rampant in the then existing unhygienic jail conditions. (IP)

JAINISM: The teachings of Mahavira (see MAHAVIRA). According to these teachings, the right conduct is achieved by practice of: ahimsa (see AHIMSA), speaking the truth, refraining from theft, chastity, and non-attachment to worldly things. Jainism also teaches vegetarianism, discouraging even the consumption of potatoes and onions, because these are held to contain a multitude of living beings within them. Two branches of Jainism are Digambara ("sky clad") and Svetambara ("white clad"). As the names indicate, the Digambara had the custom of going about naked, as an extreme expression of detachment from material things. The Svetambara, on the other hand, traditionally wear simple white cloth. (AG)

JAKOBOVITS, LORD RABBI IMMANUEL: In 1955 the doctoral thesis of this then young rabbi created the term "Jewish medical ethics", which became the title of the first, and now classic, text on the subject, published in 1959. The comprehensive treatise traced the development of the Jewish views from antiquity to the date of publication, calling upon a variety of religious, historical, medical, legal and philosophic sources. Rabbi Jakobovits continued his scholarly contributions to the field of modern bioethics, then in its infancy. In addition to his academic publications he gave many public lectures throughout the world. He organized seminars for physicians and other health professionals and was a stimulus for the growth and development of interest in the field of Jewish medical ethics. Many of the leading scholars in the field were inspired by his leadership and considered him their guide and mentor. His subsequent roles as rabbinic leader in the United States and Great Britain prevented his active role as a researcher and active scholar in the field. But he became perhaps the most respected and articulate spokesman for the Jewish position on ethical issues in biomedical ethics. He was knighted in 1981 and appointed to the British House of Lords in 1988, where he spoke frequently on controversial ethical issues. In 1991 Rabbi Jakobovits was the first recipient of the Templeton Foundation Award for Progress in Religion. He was responsible as well for the creation of a Center for Jewish Medical Ethics at the Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva Israel in 1983. He died in 1999, active to very last days of his life.(SG)


JAMES, WILLIAM: (1842-1910) An American philosopher, psychologist and religious theorist, his most famous works were The Varieties of Religious Experience and Pragmatism: a New Name for some Old Ways of Thinking. In the latter work, he proposed the "pragmatic theory of truth" according to which a statement's truth or falsity is not determined by whether it reports real facts in the world, but rather by whether on not it "works". If believing a statement can help us improve human life, for example, then it is as true as anything need be. Similarities to Utilitarianism (qv) are obvious.

James' greatest opponent was Bertrand Russell (qv), who argued that (1) truth cannot be defined as what works because some beliefs can work very well while not being true; and (2) The statement "This statement works" can be true only if it reports a real fact in the world, ie the fact that the statement works. So truth is something deeper than working.

Although James was a serious philosopher, his slogan, "Truth is the cash value of a proposition" unfortunately lead people to think of him unfairly as just an American who primarily liked money.

Today's "evidence based medicine" contains some hints of influence from James' pragmatism because what interests us is not so much the microbiology behind a treatment but the "outcome", ie whether or not it works.(FL)


JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES: A religious society founded and led by Charles Taze ('Pastor') Russell in the 1870s. They are distinguished mainly by the belief that the Kingdom of God began in 1914 and will replace all human governments. Every Witness preaches this from 'house-to-house'. There are several million active Witnesses worldwide. (IP)

JENNER, EDWARD: (1749-1823). British physician and originator of vaccination. As a child he became familiar with the popular insight that those individuals who contracted the less virulent cowpox became immune to the deadly smallpox. In 1778 he began collecting material to confirm his conviction concerning cowpox as a protective virus. He performed a number of experiments on human subjects where he transferred lymph taken from cowpox lesions and inoculated healthy individual. These experiments established that those few vaccinated individuals who did subsequently contract smallpox suffered only from mild attacks while the majority were completely immune. The findings were published in the celebrated 'Inquiry into the causes and effects of the variolae vaccinae' in 1798. All modern methods of preventing certain infectious diseases by immunological methods trace their ancestry to Jenner's work. (See AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE, DEPRESSED IMMUNE RESPONSE, IMMUNE SYSTEM, PASTEUR, LOUIS). (IP)


JESUS, CHRIST: (c. 6–4 BC -c. AD 30) Also called Jesus of Galilee  or Jesus of Nazareth, he is the founder of Christianity, one of the world's largest religions, and the incarnation of God according to most Christians. His teachings and deeds are recorded in the New Testament. The basic outlines of his career and message, however, can be characterized when considered in the context of 1st-century Judaism. (DM)

JETSAM: Jettisoned cargo and goods, thrown overboard from tall ships to lighten the load during storms. (See FLOTSAM) (MP)


JEWISH BIOETHICS: "Jewish bioethics" can be defined as "bioethics originating in ancient Jewish texts", or "bioethics as taught by orthodox rabbis", or as "bioethics as taught by rabbis of all kinds" or as "bioethics as taught by Jews". All of these definitions are correct, because the only people who can claim to represent Judaism with more authority than others are proven and accepted prophets. And although there may be prophets today, none are proven and accepted.

Jewish bioethics is often thought of as bioethical decisions based on ancient, holy books like the Bible, the Mishna, the Talmud and great rabbis like MAIMONIDES (qv), Rabbenu Asher, Rabbi Yosef Karo, etc. The problem, however, is that experts who know these, and all other standard Jewish religious sources thoroughly, can come to totally different opinions on important bioethical issues. Since they all know the sources, it is clear that the sources are not what decide the issue. For example, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel accepts brain death; but many rabbis will not regard a patient as dead before the heart stops beating. Again, although many orthodox Jews are very strict about abortion, allowing it only when the mother's life is in certain danger, Rabbi Eliezer Waldenberg, who was a rabbinical judge in Jerusalem and who may be regarded as "ultra-orthodox" is quite liberal about abortion and allows it in cases of rape, severe fetal anomalies, adultery, etc. Again, although perhaps the majority of rabbis forbid disconnecting a ventilator and thereby allowing a patient to die, the late Rabbi haim David ha-Levi, who was Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv - Yaffo, allowed it, saying that one is not killing the patient but simply "removing an obstacle to the peaceful departure of the soul from the body." All these examples show that there is no unique "Jewish Bioethics", but a variety of opinions.

Indeed, ancient holy sources have nothing to say about many of today's bioethical questions, like cloning, genetic screening, GMO's etc. Religious Jewish bioethicists are, therefore, increasingly basing their opinions on scientific and clinical evidence, together with human reasoning in response to the international bioethical debate, and the idea of a uniquely "Jewish" bioethics may be disappearing.(FL)


JIHAD: From Arabic root j.h.d literally means effort. Any effort on the way of the faith. It is also included sacrificing one's asserts or life. The most important Jihad in Islam is fighting against one's own wrongful moral and behaviors for self-purification. (AB)

JOY: (Old French joie, from Latin gaudium) Joy is the feeling and expression of pleasure or delight resulting from a combination of happy circumstances and openness to exuberant moods. Perhaps unlike some other varieties of pleasure, there is little ethical danger in an over-indulgence in joy, evidenced for example by descriptions of increasingly joyous contemplation of God for those reaching a more enlightened state in Christian and Eastern spiritual practices. (See HAPPINESS, PLEASURE) (MP)



JP: Justice of the Peace.

JUDICIAL ACTION: Used for discussions of the role of the judiciary in bioethical decision making. (DM)

JUDEO-CHRISTIAN: Although it is common to refer to the "Judeo-Christian tradition", it is not clear that Judaism and Christianity have anything in common which is not shared by all religions. While the divinity of Jesus of Natzrat is essential to Christianity, Jews all over the world are united in denying that Jesus was more than a human being.

Christianity is a religion, open to everyone, who need only believe in certain essential principles and, perhaps, undergo a ceremoney of baptism, in order to be accepted. Judaism, on the other hand, is not a religion but a people (many of whom may be atheists or agnostics), with a widely -- although not universally -- shared loyalty to one another, to the Land of Israel, and to certain holy places, like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and the Cave of the Fathers and Mothers in Hevron.

Both Judaism and Christianity accept the Old Testament of the Bible, but only the Christians accept the New Testament. The Christian acceptance of the Old Testament, moreover, is highly conditional. Christians believe that although God at first chose the Jews as the Chosen People, when the Jews failed to fulfil certain conditions, God revoked this choice and subsititutd the Chosen People with a fellowship of all those who believe in Jesus. At the same time, most sects of Christians believe that God cancelled many commandments in the Old Testament, including the requirement of neonatal male circumcision, the prohibition of eating pork and certain other foods, the prohibition of work on Shabat (Saturday) etc.

Only certain sects of Christians believe that the Jews are still the Chosen People, and that Jesus will not return until the Jews all return to the Land of Israel. Both Judaism and Christianity teach virtues like simplicity, loving one's neighbor, unselfishness, etc. But these are not unique to a "Judeo-Christian Tradition" because they are also taught in BUDDHISM, HINDUISM, etc. (FL)

JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL: Legally trained officers who have the power to adjudicate the strategic targeting of bombs and other war tactics with reference to the international laws of war such as the Geneva Conventions. Modern surveillance technology and the precision of smart bombs have allowed intimate knowledge of the consequences of strategic actions. Legal approval before the employment of weapons has become a powerful tool to protect generals from legal repercussions and to prevent atrocities such as collateral damages. (See COLLATERAL DAMAGE) (MP)

JUNKIE: A drug addict, especially one who regularly self-injects heroin (a slang term for heroin or other narcotics being "junk"). The junkie’s daily life is dominated by efforts to feed their dependency the pursuit of money, organizing of suppliers, dealing and administering of the drug, interspersed with the peaceful but impermanent period of the high. The heroin junkie lifestyle - the criminal element, unsavory associates, non-sterile street conditions, impure or unknown drug quality and reduced appetite, immunity and judgment may present as great a risk as the drug itself, and is reinforced by criminalization and intolerance. (See ADDICTION, HEROIN, HEROIN INJECTING ROOMS) (IP+MP)

JUS AD BELLUM: (Latin: "Justice in going to war"). Refers to conditions for the justification of the resort to war. These include just cause, right intention and last resort. See JUS IN BELLO, JUST WAR THEORY. (MP)

JUS IN BELLO: (Latin: "Justice in warfare"). Refers to justice and justifiability in the conduct of war and how warfare may permissably be conducted. The Geneva and Hague Conventions were concerned with such conditions of war conduct rather than justifying the initial resort to war. See JUS AD BELLUM, JUST WAR THEORY. (MP)

JUST WAR THEORY: Just war theory attempts to identify the conditions and actions which justify the use of war, on the assumption that wars are an inevitable consequence of a multi-state international system. A supposedly "Just War" (jus ad bellum) must be characterized by the following conditions: a) just cause, such as the protection of human rights, b) right intention, which should be the establishment of peace, c) appropriate proportionality, with just ends outweighing the means, d) the defensive rather than offensive position, e) use of force only as a last resort after diplomacy and economic measures, f) competent authority and leadership, g) a high probability of success, h) limitations on the use of excessive force, i) non-use of conscripted or child soldiers, j) non-use of internationally maligned tactics or weapons, for example adherence to all the Geneva Conventions, and k) the use of careful discrimination for the prevention of innocent casualties. (See INSTITUTION OF WAR, PEACE ENFORCEMENT). (MP)

JUSTICE: 1. fair, just conduct, self-authority in maintenance of equity, in bioethics = love of others 2. judicial proceedings, brought to justice, court of justice, magistrate, judge treating fairly personified in art as a goddess holding balanced scales or a sword with sometimes veiled eyes portraying impartiality. In 11th Century, the name Justitia was applied in a general way to persons charged with the administration of the law 3. theological quality of being morally righteous, serving the divine law and exhibition of this principle in action in the sense of "one of the four cardinal virtues" (IP+DM)

A basic ethical principle in bioethics, fairness in distribution or what is deserved and what is due to a person. (JA)


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KABBALA: Kabbala is Jewish mysticism, believed to have been passed on in secrecy, from generation to generation, since Biblical times. The major sources are Sefer Yetzira (Book of Creation), which Avraham is believed to have written, and Zohar (Splendour), believed to contain wisdom dating from Biblical times, which was later compiled by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who lived when the Romans ruled the land of Israel. Other important sources are the teachings of the 16th century Israeli Rabbi Itzhak Luria ("The Holy Ari"), which were compiled by his student, Rabbi Haim Vital. The complexities of the Hebrew language make many English works and translations unreliable, but the scholarly writings of Gershom Scholem are an exception and can be read with profit, as can many writings of Rabbi Arieh Kaplan. An important Kabbalistic doctrine is that this material world is the lowest of several worlds created by God. The meaning of life is the effects which our actions in this world have on the worlds above, either repairing and perfecting or damaging and contorting. Another important doctrine is reincarnation. As in Hinduism, souls enter bodies in order to repair various defects or to learn various lessons. If we do not learn various lessons in one life, we may expect to be sent back, perhaps millions of times, until we correct the requisite defects.

Of course these doctrines are not scientifically provable, and even some great rabbis (notably, the great medieval Rabbi Saadia Gaon) did not accept reincarnation. But we cannot disprove these things scientifically either. And the existence of speculation about the mystical might lead us to accepting humbly that we do not know the meaning of life. Even with respect to a terribly suffering terminal patient, we cannot say with scientific certainty whether or not this suffering is to learn certain lessons which will have to be learned sooner or later anyway. Nor can we say with any scientific certainty whether what awaits this patient after death is better or worse than what the patient is enduring at this moment. (FL)


KAMA SUTRA OF VATSYAYANA: (Sanskrit: "Aphorisms on Love"). Indian classic on the art of love conduct and lovemaking. First composed by Vatsyayana at an unknown date between the 1st and 4th Centuries. This often controversial treatise describes a variety of intercourse positions and has sections concerning the wives of other people and courtesans. An English version was secretly published by Sir Richard Burton in 1883, and a scholarly illustrated version was translated by S.C. Upadhyaya in 1961. (See KAMA) (MP)

KANT, IMMANUEL: (1724-1804) Prussian philosopher. His most famous works are the Critique of Pure Reason and the Fundamental Principals of the Metaphysics of Morals. In the former work, he studied the conditions under which we can achieve absolute certitude in such fields as mathematics, logic and science. He claimed that certitude is a consequence of a pre-determined logical and sensual framework in the mind, which determines how the world appears to us. We cannot know things "as they are in themselves", but only things as they appear to us. We can achieve certitude about things as they appear because they must appear in conformity with the pre-determined structures in our minds.

In restricting knowledge to the world of appearance, Kant also acheived his religious goal of "restricting reason in order to leave room for faith". Reason has to do with appearances. But faith, according to Kant, has to do with three major issues: God, Freedom, and the Afterlife. And these issues belong not to appearances but to the world as it is in itself.

The Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals is Kant's major statement of his ethics. Kant's ethics is called "deontological" ie having to do with duty rather than mere utility. But JS Mill in his book on Utilitarianism claimed that if you study carfully Kant's examples of ethical acts, you will see that he is really a utilitarian.

Kant's is famous for his "Categorial Imperative", which he formulated in several different ways. One formulation says that an ethical act is one which is based on a principle which can be a law of action for all rational creatures. The idea is that one should not make exceptions for oneself, but should act as everyone should act in similar circumstances. Philosophers have derived from Kant the idea that ethical principles should be "universalizable", ie they should apply to everyone. This is hard to to reconcile with today's ideas of cultural relativity in ethics.

Another formulation of the Categorial Imperative says that we should treat all rational creatures as ends in themselves and not as means to our ends. This is considered to be the most beautiful and sublime of Kant's principles. He dreamed of a Kingdom of Ends, a society in which no one would exploit anybody else and use them as means to one's own ends, but everybody would treat everybody else with high respect, as ends in themselves. This sounds very beautiful until one reflects that it is extremely hard to find any text where Kant says that all other "human beings" should be treated as ends in themselves. What one finds that all other "rational creatures" should be treated as ends in themselves. And when one asks what is a "rational creature" one can only turn to the idea of rationality as developed in the Critique of Pure Reason, ie the ability to reason logically, mathematically and scientifically. So Kant's much-celebrated Kingdom of Ends is really a very exclusive beautiful sociaty of beautiful people who fit Kant's idea of rationality. It has no room for those who are not "rational". This leads us to ask how Kant would want to treat human beings who do not fit his idea of rationality, ie severely deformed neonates, the mentally ill, the demented, and perhaps especially, people from other races and cultures whose standards of rationality are not the same as Kant's. (FL)

KAROSHI: A Japanese term referring to death through overwork, most commonly from heart attack. Working yourself to death may either be the result of self-induced workaholism or the relentless drive of corporate pressure. Americans and Japanese are the two most overworked peoples, but only for the latter has karoshi been a legally recognized cause of premature death. (See WORKAHOLIC, WORKAHOLISM) (MP)

KARYOTYPE: A photomicrograph of an individual's chromosomes arranged in a standard format showing the number, size and shape of each chromosome; used in low-resolution physical mapping to correlate gross chromosomal abnormalities with the characteristics of specific diseases. 1. Indicates chromosome composition of an organism 2. Phytomicrograph showing chromosome composition. (DM, JA)

KARYOTYPE ANALYSIS: Chromosome analysis performed on dividing cells (usually cultured lymphocytes) of an individual. Chromosomes can be stained with different chemicals, thus resulting in different banding patterns. The chromosomes are classified according to the size and bands in pairs of autosomes (22 pairs) and sexual chromosomes (1 pair), thus enabling to detect abnormalities associated to a clinical phenotype. The most common are trisomies (trisomy 21 is known as DOWN’S SYNDROME), the XO sex chromosome monosomy or Turner syndrome, and partial translocations or inversions. (GK)

KASHRUT: The status of being kosher, i.e. permissible for consumption according to Jewish tradition. Important factors involved in kashrut status of foods include: avoidance of numerous animal species and their products, avoidance of meat from an animal which was not slaughtered and prepared according to Jewish tradition, avoidance of mixing milk products with meat products, or even eating the two at the same meal. Maintaining kashrut status of foods requires the keeping of seperate sets of dishes/utensils for milk products and for meat products. In addition to the regular standards of kashrut which are applicable to the entire year, there are further restrictions which apply during the week of Passover, when leavened bread and related products are also avoided. (AG)



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