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L. Syd M Johnson
SUNY Upstate Medical University
  1. Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers' Brief.Kristin Andrews, Gary Comstock, G. K. D. Crozier, Sue Donaldson, Andrew Fenton, Tyler John, L. Syd M. Johnson, Robert Jones, Will Kymlicka, Letitia Meynell, Nathan Nobis, David M. Pena-Guzman & Jeff Sebo - 2018 - London: Routledge.
    In December 2013, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) filed a petition for a common law writ of habeas corpus in the New York State Supreme Court on behalf of Tommy, a chimpanzee living alone in a cage in a shed in rural New York (Barlow, 2017). Under animal welfare laws, Tommy’s owners, the Laverys, were doing nothing illegal by keeping him in those conditions. Nonetheless, the NhRP argued that given the cognitive, social, and emotional capacities of chimpanzees, Tommy’s confinement constituted (...)
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  2.  35
    Toward an Anti-Maleficent Research Agenda.Hope Ferdowsian, Agustin Fuentes, L. Syd M. Johnson, Barbara J. King & Jessica Pierce - 2022 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 31 (1):54-58.
    Important advances in biomedical and behavioral research ethics have occurred over the past few decades, many of them centered on identifying and eliminating significant harms to human subjects of research. Comprehensive attention has not been paid to the totality of harms experienced by animal subjects, although scientific and moral progress require explicit appraisal of these harms. Science is a public good and the prioritizing within, conduct of, generation of, and application of research must soundly address questions about which research is (...)
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    Shifting the Moral Burden: Expanding Moral Status and Moral Agency.L. Syd M. Johnson - 2021 - Health and Human Rights Journal 2 (23):63-73.
    Two problems are considered here. One relates to who has moral status, and the other relates to who has moral responsibility. The criteria for mattering morally have long been disputed, and many humans and nonhuman animals have been considered “marginal cases,” on the contested edges of moral considerability and concern. The marginalization of humans and other species is frequently the pretext for denying their rights, including the rights to health care, to reproductive freedom, and to bodily autonomy. There is broad (...)
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  4.  93
    The Philosophers' Brief in Support of Happy's Appeal.Gary Comstock, Sue Donaldson, Andrew Fenton, Tyler M. John, L. Syd M. Johnson, Robert C. Jones, Will Kymlicka, Letitia M. Meynell, Nathan Nobis, David M. Peña-Guzmán, James Rocha, Bernard Rollin, Jeff Sebo & Adam Shriver - 2021 - New York State Appellate Court.
    We submit this brief in support of the Nonhuman Rights Project’s efforts to secure habeas corpus relief for the elephant named Happy. The Supreme Court, Bronx County, declined to grant habeas corpus relief and order Happy’s transfer to an elephant sanctuary, relying, in part, on previous decisions that denied habeas relief for the NhRP’s chimpanzee clients, Kiko and Tommy. Those decisions use incompatible conceptions of ‘person’ which, when properly understood, are either philosophically inadequate or, in fact, compatible with Happy’s personhood.
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  5. The Philosophers' Brief on Chimpanzee Personhood.Kristin Andrews, Gary Comstock, Gillian Crozier, Sue Donaldson, Andrew Fenton, Tyler John, L. Syd M. Johnson, Robert Jones, Will Kymlicka, Letitia Meynell, Nathan Nobis, David Pena-Guzman, James Rocha, Bernard Rollin, Jeff Sebo, Adam Shriver & Rebecca Walker - 2018 - Proposed Brief by Amici Curiae Philosophers in Support of the Petitioner-Appelllant Court of Appeals, State of New York,.
    In this brief, we argue that there is a diversity of ways in which humans (Homo sapiens) are ‘persons’ and there are no non-arbitrary conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can include all humans and exclude all nonhuman animals. To do so we describe and assess the four most prominent conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can be found in the rulings concerning Kiko and Tommy, with particular focus on the most recent decision, Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc v Lavery.
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