New Article: Siani & Assaraf, Genetic Dilemmas Amongst Jewish Israeli Undergraduate Students

Siani, Merav, and Orit Ben-Zvi Assaraf. “The Moral Reasoning of Genetic Dilemmas Amongst Jewish Israeli Undergraduate Students with Different Religious Affiliations and Scientific Backgrounds.” Journal of Genetic Counseling (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10897-015-9918-5
 
Abstract

The main objective of this study was to shed light on the moral reasoning of undergraduate Israeli students towards genetic dilemmas, and on how these are affected by their religious affiliation, by the field they study and by their gender. An open ended questionnaire was distributed among 449 undergraduate students in institutions of higher education in Israel, and their answers were analyzed according to the framework described by Sadler and Zeidler (Science Education, 88(1), 4–27, 2004). They were divided into two major categories: those whose reasoning was based on the consideration of moral consequences (MC), and those who supported their opinion by citing non-consequentialist moral principles (MP). Students’ elaborations to questions dealing with values towards genetic testing showed a correlation between the students’ religious affiliation and their reasoning, with religious students’ elaborations tending to be more principle based than those of secular ones. Overall, the students’ elaborations indicate that their main concern is the possibility that their personal genetic information will be exposed, and that their body’s personal rights will be violated. We conclude the paper by offering several practical recommendations based on our findings for genetic counseling that is specifically tailored to fit different patients according to their background.

 

 

 

New Article: Shvartzman et al, Advance Directives—The Israeli Experience

Shvartzman, Pesach, Yonatan Reuven, Mordechai Halperin, and Sasson Menahem. “Advance Directives—The Israeli Experience.” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 49.6 (2015): 1097-1101.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2014.12.009

 

Abstract

Context

A major step in end-of-life care was achieved in December 2005 when the Israeli parliament passed the “Dying Patient Law.” The law (§31–§36) allows a competent person, even if he/she is healthy, to leave written instructions known as advance medical directives (AD), in which they explain their wishes in detail with respect to future medical treatment should it be determined that they are an incompetent terminally ill patient, as defined by the provisions of that law.

Objectives

The aims were to characterize the group of individuals that completes ADs, characterize the content of recorded ADs, and analyze trends associated with them.

Methods

We performed a cross-sectional study of the entire population that signed ADs in Israel from 2007 to September 2010. All computerized AD forms were retrieved from the Ministry of Health’s database. A descriptive analysis of trends, characteristics, and authorized procedures relating to the population of AD signatories was done.

Results

There was an increase in the number of ADs signed during the study period (1167 signatories). About 90% of the AD signatories were 65 years of age or older and 95% were healthy at the time they completed the AD. In an end-stage condition, the mean number of procedures declined was 16.6 ± 4.7 of 19. In a non-end-stage condition, the corresponding mean number was 12.7 ± 3.7 of 15.

Conclusion

There is a need to increase awareness in the general population of the option to prepare ADs. Family physicians, oncologists, and geriatricians should be more involved in this process.