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In May 2019, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services warned that "around one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction." In September 2019, Naomi Klein, an astute writer on environmental change, described the interconnected social and ecological breakdowns on the planet in a new book. Ecological crises noted by these and other scholars speak well to the rise of planetary health as a new scholarship. Loss of biodiversity has manifold negative impacts on health, for example, rise of zoonotic infections and changes in healthy microbiome. But reducing our ecological footprints is not enough. We ought to change mindsets, the narrow science, and technology governance regimes that value nature and other life forms instrumentally by their usefulness to us. I describe three new, broader and critically informed, frames on governance for planetary health. First, I explain why we ought to acknowledge animal sentience, for example, as recognized in Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. I describe how political determinants of health, power, and agency operate at multiple sociological and planetary loci, not only among human beings but also at human and nonhuman animal interfaces. Second, planetary health calls for a shift toward ecological and political determinants beyond a narrow anthropocentric view, while resisting the entrenched dogma of exponential growth with finite planetary natural resources. Third, for critically informed governance of emerging technologies in planetary health (e.g., glycomics, artificial intelligence, health care robots), I refer to a question highlighted recently (Frodeman, 2019): "When Plato (more exactly, Juvenal) asked who guards the guardians, he was questioning whether any group can be trusted to look past its own interests for the common good." Hence, it is time we broaden the question "Who will guard the guardians?" beyond the scientific community, to actors in science policy as well. Policy questions cannot be limited to "which social issues emerge from a new technology?" but ought to include, "who should be science and technology policy, and why?" Youth leaders of the global climate movement such as Greta Thunberg and others are now rightly asking these epistemological questions that might contribute toward a new social contract on health for all sentient beings on planet Earth. While ecological changes accelerate and a new space industry is emerging, governance for planetary health will continue to be at the epicenter of systems thinking, responsible innovation and science policy in the 21st century.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Omics : a journal of integrative biology
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Comparison of ICG livertesting with copeptin and SAPS II score as prognostic markers in critically ill patients.
A framework through which the United Kingdom's National Health Service organizations are accountable for continually improving the quality of their services and safeguarding high standards of care by creating an environment in which excellence in clinical care will flourish. (Scally and Donaldson, BMJ (4 July 1998): 61-65)
Health care provided to a critically ill patient during a medical emergency or crisis.
An assessment of HEALTH STATUS requested by third parties (e.g. insurers, adjudicating bodies, law enforcement, attorneys, etc) on a subject’s functional ability. Such information may be used in optimizing treatment or making informed decisions on compensation.
An acronym for Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation, a scoring system using routinely collected data and providing an accurate, objective description for a broad range of intensive care unit admissions, measuring severity of illness in critically ill patients.
A way of providing health care that is guided by a thoughtful integration of the best available scientific knowledge with clinical expertise. This approach allows the practitioner to critically assess research data, clinical guidelines, and other information resources in order to correctly identify the clinical problem, apply the most high-quality intervention, and re-evaluate the outcome for future improvement.