Bell the cat

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Posts posted by Bell the cat


  1. we are moving to Australia too having left Germany last year. We really miss Germany and actually we have enjoyed living in most places we have been in (London least favourite at the moment but that has more to do with the shitty temporary flat we are in). In my experience many of the people who complain most about how much they hate Germany are generally people who would only be in their comfort zone in their home town and nowhere else. So I wonder whether the OP will be similarly disappointed with Australia.

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  2. personally I am uncertain whether she or Solecito were guilty. They got off on a series of inconsistencies in the gathering of DNA evidence. But the fact that Knox' behaviour in custody was so strange and her claim that Patrick Lumumba was guilty all sit uneasily, which is why the prosecution will be appealing to the court of cassation. Something went on that night and the whole truth has not been uncovered. And until it is the Kerchers will remain in a state of distress. It is not this rich girl or her boyfriend that are the real victims here despite the overblown media storm going on.

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  3.  

    Lucky for Sollecito his co-defendant was a pretty white American girl who the media could jump on or god knows if he would have even gotten the appeal.

     

    Surely the several million dollars her family spent on public relations had a part to play in that . . .

     

    Me, I feel for the Kerchers. They are not wealthy and have shown tremendous dignity in the face of a rather repugnant media campaign. Now they are left with all the answers they thought they had stamped into the dust while everyone cheers on rich kids Knox and Solecito.

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  4.  

    Above are the sections of your version of the Hippocratic Oath that the doctor violated. Before I address those sections point by point, let's take a step back and understand why the doctor must swear any oath at all.

     

    Doctors are fiduciaries. A fiduciary is someone who accepts the burden of representing the interests of another person [sometimes called a trustee], and even of placing that trustee's interests before his own interests. The cornerstone of the fiduciary relationship is trust. The trustee (in this situation, a patient) sits in a position of vulnerability, and relies upon the words of promise that the fiduciary will uphold the patient's interests. Without such trust, the fiduciary relationship does not survive. Without such trust, the fiduciary relationship is meaningless. Such trust does not exist where the fiduciary only selectively upholds the interests of his trustee. A fiduciary must uphold his trustee's interests each and every time he is called upon to do so. That sort of absoluteness is not intended for the convenience of administration or for double-checking on the fiduciary. The absoluteness is necessary first to remind the fiduciary that he is acting in the trustee's stead where the trustee is unable to do so for himself, and secondly because a fiduciary's behaviour in one regard can have wide-sweeping side-effects well beyond the scope of his original action (or inaction).

     

    The Hippocratic Oath succinctly represents many of the ethical and professional values that have had to be hammered out over the ages through trial, error, and the misfortune of suffering patients. Today, the Oath protects patients, as well as the clear consciences of physicians, by offering guiding principles for physicians. The Oath begins with acknowledgement of and a nod of respect for the scientific basis for modern medicine. The entire basis of the Hippocratic Oath is that physicians are blessed with incredible skills that can save lives or end lives. The Oath is therefore a physician's acknowledgement that he understands that he is his patient's fiduciary, and that he will not betray the trust of his patients, who are vulnerable without his skills.

     

    With that in mind, we can look to the rest of the Hippocratic Oath, and how the surgeon in this case violated the clauses that I have quoted above. First, after having accepted a patient into his care, this surgeon failed to apply all measures that were required for the benefit of the sick. He placed his own interest - whether that be emotional, political - ahead of his patient's instant need for a surgeon.

     

    Secondly, he directly violates his duty not to practise therapeutic nihilism by unequivocally demonstrating that he believes it is better to refuse medical treatment to a Nazi than to treat that patient for whatever ails him.

     

    Thirdly, the doctor violated his duty not to "play at God." This doctor appallingly left his patient lying vulnerable on an OR table. With his words and more loudly with his actions, this doctor said, "I will not operate on your husband. [Only the grace of God will bring you another surgeon to operate on your husband]."

     

    Fourthly, the doctor violated his oath to prevent illness whenever possible. Even if the operation was not an emergent situation, the doctor violated his duty to prevent future illness by leaving his patient lying on the operating table instead of completing the surgery.

     

    Fifthly, he violated his promise to uphold his special obligations to all his fellow human beings, including those who are infirm of mind. This last provision explicitly calls upon physicians to tend to those whom he believes are offensive to society. This is an important provision, because it directly repudiates the opinion that a doctor can or should refuse treatment on the basis that he is offended by his patient's political or social activities.

     

    Sixthly, you will notice that nowhere does the Hippocratic Oath include a provision where a physician can "sit this one out" for whatever reason. In fact, the only reason that the Hippocratic Oath offers as an excuse for a physician not to treat an ill person is if the person's illness goes beyond the competence of the physician. The Hippocratic Oath simply does contemplate that a physician can or should refuse treatment to the ill.

     

    Seventhly, the Declaration of Geneva for the World Medical Association, which has effect in Germany, expressly instructs doctors NOT to refuse treatment to patients on the basis of political affiliation. The Declaration of Geneva was written as an updated version of the Hippocratic Oath in direct response to the medical crimes committed by German physicians during Nazi rule. As written in 1948, Clause 8 reads, "I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient." Fn1 This directly addresses physicians who would retaliate against Nazis by refusing them medical treatment.

     

    Modern legal regimes may protect a physician's choice to restrict treatment or to refer a patient to a different physician, but that is distinguishable from saying that a physician has an incontrovertible right to reject a patient on anything other than scientific, medical grounds. Restricting treatment is based on the physician's professional opinion of whether that treatment will cause more harm than good. Moreover, even when referring a patient to a different physician, which is supposed to be based on medical considerations, is actually secretly (or not secretly) based on personal bias, that referral occurs well before the doctor has begun administering medical services. Once his patient is lying on the operating table, no surgeon may refuse his duty.

     

    As an attorney, I am sympathetic to the need for a process by which a fiduciary may ask to be relieved of his duties in a situation that challenges his conscience. However, the time to ask to be excused from duty is not when your patient lies already on the operating table. Nor should the opportunity to ask to be relieved of one's fiduciary duties be considered an automatic right. If I were to leave my client in a courtroom to fend for himself, I would be sanctioned and possible even be disbarred. If I do decide that I wish no longer to represent a client, I need both the agreement of my client and the permission of the court. I cannot unilaterally walk out on my client and tell his wife on the way out, "Sorry, I don't represent Republicans." The duty of a surgeon who already has his patient lying on the operating table is more urgent, and the standards governing that duty in Germany clearly prohibit what this surgeon did.

     

    * Fn 1: http://en.wikipedia...ation_of_Geneva

     

    sorry, I#ve come back to this so late but:

     

    the doctor DIN NOT repeat DID NOT prevent this patient from being treated. He absented himself having found another surgeon to act in his stead. In that sense it would be no different from a doctor absenting himself due to personal issues in their private life or personal medical problems - something that happens much more frequently than you seem to imagine.

     

    If the doctor had refused to treat the patient without finding someone to act in his stead your j'acuse would have some traction but since this is not the case it is just so much wasted typing ...

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  5.  

    @BTC your comment to Nathanial "The reality is you are fink and you've been found out. PATHETIC!"

     

    Personally I am still waiting to see the evidence/studies from this post below of yours that I asked for ages ago...am totally interested that children raised by same sex couples may fare better...

     

    "All; the evidence, and these kids are some of the most studied from a developmental point of view, suggests they fare no worse than other jkids and may actually (for reasons unknown) fare a little better."

     

     

     

     

    okay, sorry I have been having a scottish christmas so didn't see this. There are actually several studies (so many that the results are now very very convincing) showing no difference between kids brought up in gay and in straight families:

     

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15870566

     

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15956875

     

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7971593

     

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1446541

     

     

    however, a recent review of multiple more recent studies challeneged the notion that there were NO differences and pointed to small but significant differences in that they show more empathy for social diversity, are less confined by gender stereotypes, and are probably more likely to explore homosexual activity themselves. This has been reported as them being 'less uptightr and more in tune witth themselves" by liberals and "dangerously open to perverted life choices" by family campaigners. Unfortunately it is not indexed on PubMed as it is a sociologoical review but if you have access to an academic library, this is the citation:

     

    Stacey, J. & Biblarz, T. (2001). (How) does the sexual orientation of parents matter. American Sociological Review, 66(2), 159-183.

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  6. The point MR Nodey. is that nobody thinks to question the rights of most straight people to have children and then this clodhopping imbecile comes along and says that gays do not have the right, which must come as news to the many gay families in Germany ...

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  7.  

    I am not a social psychologist by the way but I am guessing you are

     

     

    you're guessing wrong then. I'm a neuropsych - we deal in real measurable behavioural and neuro differences and not the kind of airy fairy lets make it up approaches that social psychologists use and you seem to think are empirical. hahahahaha

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  8.  

    Yet there certainly are. To say that differences in sex are not there when hormonal differences that are known to have effects on behavior are present is very odd to me.

     

     

     

    you cite a 'cross-cultural' uncontrolled self assessment questionnaire used by social psychologists asking subjects what kind of personality they think they have as your definitive proof that there are statistically significant sex differences. hahahahahahahahaha. Now I understand what kind of 'psychology' you studies - the kind that comes in a glossy paperback for $16 in the remainder bookstore. Sorry but even the journal it appears in is a very low impact publication.

     

     

    Additionally one could argue that due to increased opposition to their being differences between the sexes less studies finding such effects will be published. We found sex differences in working memory capacity which was robust and replicated over and over again (females having greater than males) but my advisor would not allow it to be included in the publication because it causes a back lash and upsets people who are in control of funding.

     

     

    I don't believe a word of this frankly. I did my PhD in the department where working memory was 'discovered' and where it formed the core of research for over a quarter of a century and with thousands of patients tested you would think they would have seen a 'robust' sex difference. They never did. They found some startling results around chess players, professional musicians and taxi drivers. A result that proved that men and women had completely different capacities or working memory strategies would have been a blockbuster piece of research that the top journals would have been fighting over so don't give me that crap about backlashes and upsetting people doing the funding as if you were some sort of put upon maverick. The reality is you are fink and you've been found out. PATHETIC!

     

     

     

    Empirically? Yeah cause if it doesn't fit with what you believe there must be an error in there somewhere right?

     

     

    I'm presuming you wouldn't know empiricism if it spat in your face ...

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  9.  

    We did and it still holds. We also find females are more cooperative than males in economic games and donate more often and more than males. I am not saying that there differences that make females or males better than each other but their are differences on average none the less.

     

     

    these are not 'psychological traits' but cultural or sociological mores. I rather doubt they have been arrived at empirically either.

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  10. sex differences are by far the most studied subject in psychology with over a century of data. What they show up specifically is that the differences such that they are, are VERY culture specific and also in a given population they change over time as that society evolves. In this way the sex differences noted by Terman and James and other psychologists in early 20th century USA had virtually vanished as statistically different traits a century later. In societies like the Amish or North Indian moslem village society - where the genders are very regimented into cultural separation, the differences are huge and very significant.

     

    This all means that the prevailing wisdom in modern psychology trotted out in all the text books and taught in most universities - is that there are no real robust hardwired statistically different traits between the genders.

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  11.  

    I think what he is implying is that if he were gay he would have a reason to argue for this. Just as some nut job from the religious right would have reason to argue against it. One must always look at the motivations of a person before taking their arguments seriously.

     

     

     

    being gay is not the same as being a religious nutjob - we don't do groupthink like they do.

     

     

    And you ignored where I cited psychological differences. To argue no psychological differences when there are physiological differences is odd. What we know from the influences of genes, hormones, and brain structures shows that often these are huge factors in psychological differences.

     

     

    no statistically significant differences - or at least none that stand up to any rigorous scrutiny. The variation in psychological traits within each gender is bigger than any putative 'difference'. Where that is not true is among religious populations or premodern societies.

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  12.  

    @BTC...assuming I am the worst offender...still not sure what I have written?

     

     

    quite a bit from what I can see but here is a selection

     

     

    well personally I think you're all avoiding my question...both situations are great to be in for a child i.e both loving relationships...and before you all get on your high horses I have no problems with same sex couples "having" kids...but the question is fair.

     

     

     

    so is asking the question white parents/black parents? diabled parents/nondisabled parents? old parents/young parenst? The very framing of the question implies an aobvious asumption.

     

     

    I could be wrong Lilplat (someone will know)...but is there some sort of law in the states about Native American Indians having more rights over the adoption of Native American Indian kids above people of other races/creeds?

     

    Isn't this similar? Nobody is saying a white person shouldn't be able to adopt a Native American Indian child but apparently it's preferable to keep him/her within their Native American Indian enviroment where possible?

     

     

     

     

    Everybody has pointed out that the kids can get shit at school for having same sex parents..surely it's better if they don't?

     

     

    everybody? really, I haven't. And the reason I haven't is because there is a lot of research that looked at precisely that because it was the automatic assumption researchers made but it is the one result where gay kids actuallz did better - they tended to be more resilient and less prone to bullying though noone seems quite sure why.

     

     

    What about a good male role model in the home? Sorry but I don't agree that the sexual configuration of the parents is entirely independent to providing what the child needs...unfortunately your argument simply wipes away some of what we essentially are...and while it might be modern forward thinking...a lot of it is PC crap...

     

     

    that you even think this is "PC" just underlines your whole idealogical approach to the issue, frankly.

     

     

     

    I would guess that Maudib doesn't have kids at home...so for starters whatever crap about modern thinking he is spouting on about basically makes his points rubbish. If he's gay he may also never have the opportunity to be a part of a pregnancy and the subsequent child...so instead of posting rubbish about nothing he personally has any idea about...apart from whatever research he has found to back up his claims...

     

     

    what relevance is Maudib's sexuality? Are you really meaning to imply that if he was gay his opinions would be worthless?

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  13.  

    Just for the note: Are you saying there are no inherent differences between males and females ? or have I misunderstood?

     

     

    there are no psychological differences that are resilient enough in modern western societies to show statistically significant differences between the two genders. This is largely becuase there is so much variation within the genders themselves on just about every measure so that they are hugely overlapping. Physoiology is a diofferent case of course.

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  14.  

    I would ask you to at least say where I am making woefully ill informed opinions about gay people thinking and doing things. I dont think I have yet...

     

     

    you are the lesser offender but the following stand out from your first post:

     

     

     

    Couldn't take the time to read the whole thread. But, I think there are a few things.

     

    1) Kids probably would rather be raised by a mother and father who are in a loving relationship. It naturally makes sense and is most comparable to what is normal in the world at large. (Normal as in what nature intended)

     

    2) Kids would probably rather be raised by someone they are actually directly related too than someone unrelated.

     

     

     

    two huge glaring assumptions based on not a jot of evidence from anywhere I can think of

    . . . .

     

     

    From a purely biological stand point it seems that two females (motherly instinct) would do a much better job than two males. I am wondering if this should be a factor in allowing homosexual parenting.

     

     

     

    presumably you believe that all women have heads full of mush, heaving bosoms and pram holding arms while men are knuckle-dragging bags of testosterone with enormous brains that only think of football, even if they are gay

     

     

    Additionally I remember reading articles, and did a study once (all be it with college kids), that the prevalence of domestic violence was higher in lesbian couples than in straight couples and that the prevalence of adultery/cheating was higher in gay couples.

     

     

     

    I used to teach a course on this in Cambridge and never once came across any reputable controlled studies that said any such thing. But you may actually be conflating a series of issues related to these subjects. The biggest problem for lesbian relationships is that they are almost invisble from a research point of view - so there are no reliable estimates for the number of such relationships in any western society I know of - consequently it would be impossible to draw any conclusions about 'prevalence' at all. And as for adultery/cheating - most of the research I know of has been gathered through STD clinics or on the scene and has found that there are higher levels of multiple partners among single gay men and more gay than straight couples that have open relationships. But adultery? Really? I find that utterlz and totally implausible for obvious reasons.

     

     

     

    There are inherent differences between males and females and it would be stupid to say that having both present while growing up wouldn't be beneficially to a child than having just one. And, to say that there are no longer roles for men and women in society is absurd. Perhaps we dont force them anymore but if you look around you will see they are still self enforced to a great degree.

     

     

    not sure where you studied but from the point of view of current psychological research, this is utter and total bollocks of the kind propagated by the religious right and unreformed Galtonist revisionists.

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