Although decisions regarding quality of life are entirely up to each individual person, non-disabled people tend to interpret the opinions of those who are disabled as being incorrect or invalid. Non-disabled people assume that adaptive preferences have played a role in compromising these outlooks on life as disabled people have “settled” for something less….
Stramondo continuously argued that the choices disabled people make are autonomous and highly reflective of their own well-being, not influenced by these concepts that non-disabled people have created. In this way, his lecture directly pertained to the philosophy department’s ongoing debates and discussions….
Both Stramondo’s lecture and the documentary are prime examples of the philosophy department’s integration of real-world discussion into its curriculum. Having held other lectures in the past, the department leaders are likely to host engaging events in the future, something Puget Sound students can look forward to.
Philosophy major Colleen Hanson ’19 received a Summer Research Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences (information on the Summer Research Grants in Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences is available here). She describes her experience working on her summer research project under the supervision of Prof. Ariela Tubert Department of Philosophy:
My inspiration for this research project came after I read a study called “Ethics Consultation in United States Hospitals: A National Survey” by Ellen Fox, Sarah Myers, and Robert A. Pearlman. The goal of the study was to investigate Ethics Consultation Services in hospitals throughout the United States. In healthcare, ethics consultation services (ECS) are committees of medical experts, social workers, philosophers, legal experts, chaplains, and others who work with patients to ensure their care is supported with the utmost ethical considerations. These committees investigate patient care through critical examinations of ethical principles and moral expectations. Fox et al. found the following information about ethics specific training for ethics consultation providers:
5% completed a fellowship or graduate degree program in bioethics; 41% had formal, direct training by a member of an ECS; 45% had NO formal, direct training by a member of an ECS. These numbers intrigued me, particularly the lack of formal education or training from experienced members of ECSs. Was this an indication that a fellowship or graduate degree program was not as valuable as intuition would suggest? Is it necessary to have a foundation in ethical theory in order to practice ethics consultation?
Given my philosophical background, I wanted to examine these considerations from a philosophical perspective. In particular, my project drew on research regarding the relation of normative ethical theories and applied ethics. To supplement these examinations, I shadowed a Bioethicist at MultiCare Health System and analyzed their policy decision making (specifically lung transplantation in cases of donation after circulatory death) and ethics case assessment. Ultimately, I urged hospital ethics consultation services to maintain a robust, interdisciplinary ethics committee. Furthermore, I emphasized the value of having at least one participant with a formal education in bioethics or a related ethics topic.
Conducting summer research enriched my passion for philosophy and clinical ethics. Not only did I enjoy the philosophical literature and the clinical field work, but I found new ways to be proud of my discipline and my academic pursuits. This project affirmed for me that I chose the right major and that philosophy is integral to every aspect of our lives. Graduation is only a few months away, but I cannot imagine my philosophical endeavors ending there.
Here is a preview of the lecture: There are several critiques of the application of idea of adaptive preferences to undercut disabled people who claim they have good lives (Amundson, Barnes, and Goering). There are also arguments against physician assisted suicide that seem to use an argumentative structure that is quite similar to the logic of adaptive preferences (such as a disabled person who has a desire to die has really adapted his preferences such that he prefers something that is sub-optimal only because other, better choices are out of reach). This lecture tries to reconcile these positions by finding a way of parsing between uses of the idea of adaptive preferences that are instances of testimonial injustice against disabled people (as Barnes describes it) and those that genuinely describe a phenomenon in which a person’s preference for physician-assisted suicide is distorted in the ‘sour grapes’ sense.
Before Professor Stramondo’s visit, ASUPS Campus Films will screen during this weekend the documentary Far From The Tree, in which Professor Stramondo is profiled amongst other extraordinary individuals. “This life-affirming documentary encourages us to cherish loved ones for all they are, not who they might have been” (91% on Rotten Tomatoes). There will be six screenings of the documentary at Rausch Auditorium in Macintyre Hall on Friday (10/19) 6pm, 9pm; Saturday (10/20) 6pm, 9pm; and Sunday (10/21) 2pm, 6pm.
These events are sponsored by the Philosophy Department; and co-sponsored by the Bioethics Program, the Center for Intercultural and Civic Engagement (CICE), and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; with additional support from the Offices of Business and Security Services.