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On the Ethics of Precision: Funding Priorities and Diachronic Justice in Psychiatry

Tabb, Kathryn (2017) On the Ethics of Precision: Funding Priorities and Diachronic Justice in Psychiatry. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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While issues of distributive justice in the clinical setting have received significant attention from bioethicists, less attention has been paid to the distribution of resources in the research setting. This paper analyzes ethical questions resulting from shifts in funding priorities in psychiatric research over time, that is, questions of “diachronic justice." It focuses on current adjustments to the National Institute of Mental Health's budget, which reflect a growing interest in funding basic science research over clinical research in pursuit of the epistemic value of “precision." Chapter 1 introduces the NIMH's new vision for psychiatric progress, best captured in its framework for classifying research proposals, the Research Domain Criteria Project. Chapter 2 shows how this shift in vision can be described as a problem of diachronic justice. While there are numerous theoretical challenges involved in assessing diachronic justice, the present discussion focuses on empirical ones that are requisite to any analysis, here called “epistemic puzzles." Chapter 3 discusses the epistemic puzzles most central to assessments of the ethics of precision psychiatry. Finally, a concluding chapter considers other ethical concerns that arise from the embrace of a precision medicine paradigm in psychiatry, and introduces two alternative frameworks for thinking about psychiatry that avoid some of these pitfalls.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Tabb, Kathrynkathryn.c.tabb@gmail.comkct5
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairSchaffner,
Committee CoChairWicclair,
Committee MemberSeverance,
Date: 20 January 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 16 September 2016
Approval Date: 20 January 2017
Submission Date: 8 December 2016
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 72
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Bioethics
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychiatric ethics; healthcare policy; RDoC; Psychiatric Nosology
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2017 15:52
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2022 06:15


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