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The Dictionary of Kelly-speak
Because I don’t come with a decoder ring.

Affect – to touch and be touched. To produce a change in something while change can concurrently happen within yourself. Affect is a rational and embodied response; that is to say, it is experienced within the body and the autonomous nervous system as well as the functional, rational mind (which sees the embodied response and attempts to label it).

Agency – self-reflective consciousness

Assent – agreement by an individual not competent to give legally valid informed consent.

Autonomy – in medical terms, autonomy means that a patient has the right to make decisions and act intentionally without controlling influences that would mitigate a free and voluntary act. It is the principle behind the idea of informed consent, and is sometimes summed up as ‘paternalism is bad, mkay?” In broader terms, autonomy assumes that rational agents are capable of making informed and voluntary decisions, and these decisions should be respected even if they go against common belief/knowledge unless the action violates another’s rights.

Beneficence – to provide benefit to the patient, as well as mitigating harm. Often considered the self-evident goal of medicine. It is a limited duty, in that physicians can opt whom to accept in their practice as patients, opposed to non-maleficence, which is a constant duty. (One can refuse to take a new patient, one cannot refuse to help someone bleeding to death on the sidewalk.)

CHID: The Program on Comparative History of Ideas. This was my undergraduate major, a large part of my life for several years, and a serious source of passion. It’s a place I miss, for a lot of reasons.

Consent – agreement that may be expressed or implied. In medical terms, someone who is mentally incapacitated (temporarily or permanently) or a minor cannot consent to treatment, and it must be sought from the parent, guardian, or family. In the case that no one is available to consent to a procedure, medical staff make a best guess decision of what the patient would want done (erring on the side of preserving life).

Emotion – a physical, embodied reaction

Eros (morality) – a somatic, intuitive form of agency in which empathy, compassion and care are the central moral qualities.

Feeling – the rational labeling of emotion

Informed Consent – the process by which a fully informed patient can participate in choices about her health care.

KST – Kelly Standard Time. I do my best to match it to local time, at least for the purpose of prompt attendence. It has been suggested this be renamed BST – Bioethicist Standard Time – as many of the folks I know in that field seem to run on hours strangely similar to my own.

kellymarks – Ellipses. I have what you might call a… problem, with them. And it’s rumoured to be contagious…

memorywrite – having the experience of hearing a song or seeing a movie or painting or whatever that reminds you of something bad being overwritten with a positive association

Non-maleficence – to avoid or minimize the risk of harm. Specifically, not creating needless harm to a patient through acts of commission or omission. This is a constant duty – one is never relieved of the duty to do as little harm as possible.

PF: Peer facillitate. The formal name for a CHID undergraduate who functions as a TA in a class. Except instead of being paid for the privilege to teach, we paid for said privilege.

Veil of Ignorance – Originally proposed by John Rawls, building on the ideas of Kant, Rousseau, Hobbes, Locke and other thinkers from the social contract tradition, this theory says that if you operate on the basis of not knowing what effect your decision will have on you, you will make the most socially beneficial and equal decision possible. For example, if you are cutting a birthday cake, and you know that once you slice the cake, everyone else will be able to choose a piece before you, you will be motivated to slice the pieces of cake as equally as possible, maximizing your own benefit. Rawls first published this theory in 1971’s A Theory of Justice. While most people refer to this as the veil of ignorance, or Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance, Rawls himself called this “justice as fairness.”

Whyloop: A function children often get stuck in, repetitively asking their adults “why” in response to answers. Also, a state of being I can get into when confused, especially about the actions of other people.


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