PHILOSOPHY, MEDICINE, AND DIVERSE CULTURES--
Gender Disparities in the Delivery of Cardiac Healthcare
Gender disparities in the cardiac healthcare delivery lead to increased morbidity
and mortality in women. Women are less likely to receive aggressive diagnostics,
treatments, and potentially life-saving therapies, but are more likely to die after a myocardial infarction. Disparities in physician clinical decisions have been documented and implicated in healthcare disparities. However, while studies examining nurses’ decisions are limited, the discussant’s
evolving program of research has focused on understanding nurses’ triage decisions for adults with symptoms suggestive
of acute coronary syndromes. A synopsis of studies conducted by the discussant will be presented that indicate disparities
in nurses’ cardiac triage decisions based on patient gender and age; limitations in the ability of nurses’ decisions
to predict an admission or discharge diagnosis for acute coronary syndromes; and the reliance on limited patient cues to render
a decision of acute coronary syndromes. Lastly, recommendations to improve the
delivery of cardiac healthcare for women will be presented.
Health and Islamic Philosophy
Islam considers health care a basic human right.
Being health conscious is not a duty only for medical professionals, but for all Muslims. Science has confirmed much of what is presented in the Qur’an, and it will continue to do so. It is through the Qur’an that we are given guidance and instruction on the proper
ways to care for our bodies, and by observing the five pillars of Islam, Muslims will maintain healthy and productive lifestyles. The establishment of Islam includes the physical wellbeing of Muslims and proper attention
to nutrition, exercise, and disease, in relation to the direction provided by the Qur’an will increase physical and
spiritual fulfillment, in addition to filling a duty.
Getting Our Priorities
Straight Or Which Comes First:
the Catholic or the Physician?
Beeman, Patrick C.
Beginning with Catholic theological premises, this paper argues for a prioritization
of religious commitment in medical practice. A variety of sources in theology, philosophy, and medicine make the case that
religious commitment (and specifically Catholicism) ought to play a central role in the physician’s practice. The paper then explores how medicine might be practiced within the context of Catholicism by drawing on
Edmund Pellegrino’s philosophy of medicine, briefly confronts the question of “moral dissenters” within
the profession of medicine.
Lesbians in the Waiting Room
Callahan, Joan, and Hopkins, Betsy
The difference between visibility
and invisibility is defined as “the recognition of difference from self and the awareness and acceptance of the reality
of the other.” This means realizing
the diversity that exists in Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transsexual (LGBT) communities. This presentation will assist medical
professionals in becoming better educated in the needs present within the context
of this particular minority group, including the complexity of self-disclosure and the ramifications of lack of legal status
for partnered relationships.
continue to remain invisible when it comes to certain healthcare issues.
The idea of invisibility of the LGBT is an important concept to address in the medical profession because receiving
care and treatment involves trust in making the decision to disclose one’s sexuality. Addressing issues of the community,
and reversing issues of invisibility, involves recognition, awareness and acceptance by those involved in the various medical
With a Little More Soul
Through the work of the poet and social philosopher David Whyte, and the poet
and physician William Carlos Williams, Blair argues that, for physicians, a way of proceeding as a physician through vulnerability
and loss is to see ourselves as part of a greater story. Patients themselves
can show doctors a way to restore soul to harried living. Patients do invite
doctors to share in their lives. Grubb recalls an incident through which he is
drawn into the life of a patient and how, for him, writing about his patients’ lives and encouraging other physicians
to do so is one way of “bringing a vital celebration of life into the very center of our existence” (Whyte, The Heart Aroused, 17).
Can Prayers Alter A Disease Process?
Hussain, M. Amjad
Culture, religion and traditions are powerful ingredients of a mix that dictates human attitudes
towards health and disease. Even in the modern era of medical practice that appears right out of sci-fi books with its miraculous
cures and treatment, our attitudes are often colored by our individual or societal religious and cultural underpinnings.
While the power of prayer cannot be validated on strict scientific grounds it remains the mainstay
of healing process for many people. A sense of well-being dictated by religious beliefs enters a dimension where science is
but a partner in helping achieve the goal of coming to terms with complete recovery, indolence or death. Science has yet to
define the mechanism and the boundaries where a symphony of biochemical reactions in our bodies make us feel good or cope
with the stress about the predicament we face in illness.
This paper argues in the light of anecdotal and scientific evidence that cultural and religious
beliefs can play a major role in shaping our attitudes towards illness and in some cases might also alter the course of the
Ethical Theory and Cultural Diversity: Case Studies
Non-Western Cultural and Ethnic Perspectives
It is argued that an ethical medical community--physicians, patients, nurses, family members, technicians and others—views
patient autonomy from an egalitarian perspective. Such an ethical community would
understand that respect for each individual’s paradigm, which I refer to as a particular way of being in the world,
is often vital to the healing process. This study takes character-based virtue
ethics and Buddhist conceptions of moral striving as a basis for the ethical medical community as it respects cultural differences
through reasonable accommodation. Some cultural differences, as among some Southeast
Asian immigrants and some Muslim populations, are readily apparent, while those of other groups, such as some Appalachians, have differences
that emerge only in longer conversations that seek knowledge of the patient and not just knowledge of his or her condition.
Rawls’ Second Principle of Justice, which holds that inequalities in social
standing should be arranged so they are of greatest benefit to the least advantaged, supports a view that such patients are
among the least advantaged in clinical care. Transportation distances and difficulties,
poverty, language barriers, and not enough time to get to know the patient all unjustly burden patients from such groups. Translation services and on-staff cultural expertise are expensive, but are needed
to lessen these effects.
Hydranencephaly and Conscious Care
Infants born with severe cephalic disorders inspire questions about the relationship
between mind and brain and between caregiver and recipient. This presentation focuses on one particular disorder, hydranencephaly,
a rare neurological condition wherein the cerebral cortex inter alia is absent and replaced with cerebrospinal fluid. Since the causes of this condition are heterogeneous and the prognosis for afflicted
patients is grim, these children inspire ethicists and medical professionals alike to ask: “What should we do for patients
when there’s nothing we can do?” This question assumes falsely that if a disease, deformity or disability can
be neither prevented nor cured, appropriate responses are reduced to a null set wherein any possible plan of action is just
as good (i.e., pointless) as any other. When we take a closer look at the myriad things that may be done to nurture the lives
of these unique human beings, we realize the limitations inherent in this assumption. Further, we reap insights into the origins
of human consciousness in relationships of reciprocity, mutual witnessing, and taking conscious care of one another.
Healthcare access as a right, not a privilege:
a construct of Western thought
Over 45 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured. Those living in poverty exhibit the worst health status. Employment,
education, income, and race are important factors in a person’s ability to acquire healthcare access. Having established
that there are people lacking healthcare access due to multi-factorial etiologies, the question arises as to whether the intervention
necessary to assist them in obtaining such access should be considered a privilege, or a right. The right to healthcare access is examined from the perspective of Western thought. Specifically through the works of Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Hobbes, Thomas Paine, Hannah Arendt,
John Rawls, and Norman Daniels, which are accompanied by a contemporary example of intervention on behalf of the medically
needy by The Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute.
As human beings we are all valuable social entities whereby, through the force of morality, through
implicitly forged covenants among us as individuals and between us and our governments, and through the natural rights we
maintain as individuals and those we collectively surrender to the common good, it has been determined by nature, natural
laws, and natural rights that human beings have the right, not the privilege, to healthcare access.