eLetters

47 e-Letters

published between 2000 and 2003

  • Patient consent to DNR orders: some legal observations
    Charles A Foster

    Dear Editor

    Dr. Biegler concludes that patient consent to a DNR order should be required [1]. He rightly locates the reason for that ethical demand in the principle of autonomy. If autonomy means anything, it must mean a right to be involved in decisions about one’s own survival. It is also correct to say that the law of consent, at least in common law jurisdictions, is built on the philosophical foundation of au...

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  • Re: Rogers and Draper: Confidentiality and the ethics
    Susanne McCabe (Stevens)

    Dear Editor

    In response to your interesting article I would thank you for raising the issue of potential breach of confidence in relation to the teaching of ethics.

    I think what is missing from your account, from my perspective, is the concept of members of OUR society being in this together. It is not simply an issue which should be debated in the rather 'them-patients' and 'us-practitioners' manne...

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  • Supporting whistleblowers in academic medicine:training and respecting the courage of professionals
    Susanne McCabe

    Dear Editor,

    Although the article highlights the reaction of practitioners in the medical profession to whistleblowers, I would point out that the same bullying, stigmatising, undermining of the person's credibility, by for example 'mentalising' or subtle or overt bullying and collusion - happens to users of health services who have experienced unethical actions and to those who have come across unethical resear...

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  • First: A Right to BE born . . .
    Tom koch

    Dear Editor

    As a bioethicist who works with and is a former board member of the Canadian Down syndrome Society (CDSS)I was thankful that Julian Savulesque noted the argument that "fetuses with Down's syndrome are 'devalued' and that this represents discrimination.

    The perspective of the CDSS is that Down is a condition and not a disease. Persons with Down while different must be taken as equal members of so...

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  • Human organs and markets
    Tom Koch

    Dear Editor

    Erin and Harris argue, as have others before them, for a regulated market in human organs. The rationale is the imbalance between a limited supply and growing demand for organs. Given that fact, and no others, it makes "sense" to create a market that might increase supply.

    The assumption of those who have argued this is that there are neither risks nor dangers to donation and that the act of don...

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  • Getting a fix on good governance
    Mark H Wilson

    Dear Editor

    The Olivieri symposium offers an opportunity to reflect on the Canadian regulatory climate and public governance. Baylis’ paper raises a concern about the Canadian bio-ethics community’s collective silence and stewardship regarding the Olivieri case.[1] A similar collective silence greeted the recent McDonald report [2] on research governance in Canada. The McDonald report assessed the integrity and e...

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  • Author's reply to Michael Andreae
    Bernard Dickens

    Dear Editor

    It may be most convenient to respond to Dr Andreae’s points[1] in turn:

    1. Unless the claim that a child should determine its own genetic characteristics before it is conceived or born is intended to be flippant, it is logically incoherent. Conception is a decision that only a prospective parent can make. The editorial argument is that denial of choice of sex contributes to preventable maternal...

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  • Deeply worried about your guest editorial
    Michael Andreae

    Dear Editor

    I am deeply worried about the guest editorial by Dickens.[1] Please see my comments below

    • Trying to dispel some of the counter arguments to sex selection, your argument of prospective parents’ autonomy is void. If anyone has a right to determine his or her sex, it would be the person concerned, in this case the unborn child. Surely, the parents will not have surrogate decision making pow...
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  • Deaf Children – A response to Levy
    Bennett Foddy

    Dear Editor

    In his article ‘Deafness, culture and choice’, Neil Levy argues that ‘the deaf will always be cut off from the buzz of conversation, always restricted to a narrower range of jobs, always slightly alienated from the mainstream of political, social, and cultural life.’[1]

    He argues that deaf children will always be somewhat worse off than hearing children, because ‘We are, in many ways, a logocen...

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  • Authors' reply
    Steven Joffe

    Dear Editor

    We thank Derek Narendra for his carefully considered response to our recent article.[1] We are pleased that our work stimulated such a thoughtful reply.

    Narendra criticises our analysis on two major grounds. First, he suggests that a survey such as ours cannot identify patients’ "considered moral judgments," and therefore that the data are not valid for the purpose we put them to. Second, he...

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