eLetters

416 e-Letters

  • Response to Holland
    Derick T. Wade
    Dear Sir, I thank Dr Holland for his commentary [1] on my article [2]. I am replying to correct a possible misunderstanding he may have about the brain in people with prolonged disorders of consciousness.

    He argues that there are people who are definitely permanently unaware without fluctuation because they have no brain, citing "Tony Bland, whose higher brain had effectively liquefied'". I assume that he bases this statemen...

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  • Proposed FGM 'compromise' illuminates medical complicity with non-therapeutic fee-paying surgery on infants
    Susan Bewley

    The JME's peer reviewers failed to press the clinical issues before publication of this flawed paper(1). The unoriginal idea of a 'ritual nick' performed by health professionals in a harm limitation approach to female genital mutilation (FGM) was proposed by the American Academy of Pediatrics back in 2010(2), who rapidly replaced their statement(3) in the face of worldwide condemnation(4) by the World Health Organisation...

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  • Ethical Discrimination?
    susanne stevens

    A properly worded consent form must make risks transparent but if the person has not even been asked to participate, discrimination is too easily slipping in. Even giving the reason as duty of care can be mis/used to eliminate some people - but their participation may be valuable as well as ethical. There can be an unconscious bias to avoid difficulties for researchers but discrimination will miss opportunities for the...

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  • A devil's advocate outflanked by demons: Is it really time to stop talking to anti-vaxxers?
    Jacob M Kolman

    Brennan offers an interesting strategy in "A libertarian case for mandatory vaccination," though in form it is the common "devil's advocate." The apparently least charitable bases for one's own position (in this case libertarian premises) are granted for the sake of argument; one's position is nevertheless found defensible (mandatory vaccination); and thus the harshest critics are answered without having to pay out a fu...

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  • A hierachy of access to information/ knowledge is unethical
    susanne stevens

    There is a hierarchy of means to access opinions and information published in journals. This is unethical in a democracy which uses citizens' information to contribute to debates- from which they are then excluded. This to some extent mirrors my position that it is unethical to with hold information from clients in therapy. It is taking advantage of vulnerability however it is dressed up but also creates a hierarchy of...

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  • Response to Roberts
    Patricia N Neville

    Dear Editors, I read with interest the recent article on the ethics of doctor's strikes.1 I accept most of the arguments expressed in the article, however, there is one shortcoming to the framework: its under-analysis of the role that the social context can have when evaluating the ethics of doctors strikes.2 I contend that there is a need to contextualise industrial disputes of this nature, namely, reflecting on and ev...

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  • Contempt for Conscience, Contempt for the Profession
    Toni Saad

    A major conceptual problem this paper suffers from is the suggestion that those whose views do not accord with the majority are, by default, not tolerable.

    Such people, whom the authors assume are exclusively religious, are twice said to possess an idiosyncratic view of the universe. These remarks exclude the possibility that there might be good, even non-religious, reasons for conscientious objections. Moreover...

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  • Proposed FGM 'compromise' illuminates medical complicity with non-therapeutic fee-paying surgery on infants.
    Susan Bewley

    The JME's peer reviewers failed to press the clinical issues before publication of this flawed paper(1). The unoriginal idea of a 'ritual nick' performed by health professionals in a harm limitation approach to female genital mutilation (FGM) was proposed by the American Academy of Pediatrics back in 2010(2), who rapidly replaced their statement(3) in the face of worldwide condemnation(4) by the World Health Organisation...

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  • Utilitarianism in disguise will remain unconvincing to many
    Toni C Saad

    The authors submit an ethical theory which rejects categorical conceptions of right and wrong, and adopts a scaled view of rightness, believing that it can depolarise the debate over the use of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) in medical research. I will argue that their proposal is unsuccessful.

    They argue that binary ethics must be forgone in preference of a non- binary understanding of rightness and wrongnes...

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  • There is still an unethical failure of democracy
    susanne stevens

    I feel a huge debt of gratitude towards the Journal of Medical Ethics for showing that it can be possible for outsiders to contribute to what can seem like a closed circle of people talking to themselves. Just to point out though that there is not an equality of democracy when the Journal of Medical Ethics and others are still largely unknown to the public; that work carried out in the name of 'the public good' is unkn...

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