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Graduate Student Publication: Peter Koch

Published April 7, 2016

The American Journal of Bioethics has accepted Peter Koch’s article "Analysis from a Fourth Perspective: Professionalism. " Koch argues that besides legal, moral, and personal perspectives, decisions made by medical professionals ought to be analyzed in terms of professionalism. His paper is a response to an earlier paper by Kathleen Hodgkinson and Daryl Pullman entitled “The Curious Case of the De-ICD. Negotiating the Dynamics of Autonomy and Paternalism in Complex Clinical Relationships. The journal will publish a Pullman and Hodgkinson response to Koch’s article. So the secondary literature on Peter Koch is growing. This is the sixth article that Koch has published in the field of bioethics.

Published March 18, 2016

Peter Koch has just published his fifth paper in The American Journal of Bioethics. His newest paper there is entitled “The Failure of an Ideal: Autonomy and Previously Expressed Wishes.” The American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience will publish a response.

This is the fourth time that Koch has published an article with a response. His forthcoming paper is the first that he has co-authored. His co-author is Harvey Berman, a professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the UB Medical School. Peter and Harvey teach a medical ethics course together at UB Medical School. Barry Smith is Koch's dissertation committee chair.

Published March 2, 2015

The Department of Philosophy is pleased to announce that Peter Koch has had an article accepted by the American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB) Neuroscience. The journal will feature a response to Peter's article from the authors listed at the end of this article. Peter's publication is related to his dissertation on medical welfare being supervised by Barry Smith.

All human beings share the same good

Abstract:  Graham et al (2015) expose the need for a useful theory of welfare in determining the treatment of PVS (Permanent Vegetative State) patients. Exploring welfare in the context of PVS patients, however, requires coherence with the practices of the medical profession as a whole, and so any theory of welfare ought to be discussed under the general umbrella of the medical profession.

This requirement puts limitations on which theories of welfare are viable in the discussion of the treatment of PVS patients and the patient population, for any theory of welfare ought to correspond with the following assumptions of the medical profession: the welfare of patients is the primary guiding principle in the patient/physician relationship, and all patients have welfare. 

The first assumption is supported by the near universal acceptance of codes and oaths, such as the Physician’s Charter (2002), which emphasize the primacy of patient welfare.

The second assumption is evidenced by the professional requirement to treat human beings at all developmental stages and to determine the welfare of the patient with reference to the canonical health of a human being at a given stage.

By positioning the discussion in the realm of the medical profession, we can avoid the distractions of broader ethical and metaphysical debates. Given this, the medical profession ought to adopt a naturalist account of welfare resting on the idea that all human beings share the same good: the fulfillment of the biological, rational, and social capacities proper to human beings.  

Authors to review the article: Mackenzie Graham, Charles Weijer, Damian Cruse, Davinia Fernandez-Espejo, Teneille Gofton, Laura Gonzalez-Lara, Andrea Lazosky, Lorina Naci, Loretta Norton, Andrew Peterson, Kathy N. Speechley, Bryan Young, and Adrian M. Owen  

Peter Koch, UB Philosophy Graduate Student