eLetters

408 e-Letters

  • Prostitution, harm, and disability: Should only people with disabilities be allowed to pay for sex?
    Brian D. Earp

    Brian D. Earp University of Oxford

    Introduction

    Is prostitution harmful? And if it is harmful, should it be illegal to buy (or sell) sexual services? And if so, should there ever be any exceptions? What about for people with certain disabilities--say--who might find it difficult or even impossible to find a sexual partner if they weren't allowed to exchange money for sex? Do people have a "right" to s...

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  • Ancient conceptions of dignity. The secular sacred.
    Peter H.M Brooks

    Dignity need not be coupled with theology. The South African offence of 'crimen injuria' is the offence defined as the act of "unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another."

    It is based on the 'Latin phrase crimen iniuriae, which should mean 'accusation of abusive behaviour' ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimen_injuria ).

    The search for an understanding of a secular basis...

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  • For Drugs that Save Lives, a Steep Cost
    Joseph Y Ting

    This represents a thoughtful analysis of costly drugs. Recently, the potential overpricing of a device that allows safe bystander delivery of the established staple narcotic antagonist naloxone bears closer examination. As an emergency physician, I am cautious to avoid needle stick injuries when reversing overdoses in patients who are at high risk of HIV or hepatitis B/C. No matter how careful one is, the clinician still...

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  • Should Obesity Be a 'Disease'?
    Joseph Ting

    Obesity being designated a disease recognizes its adverse effects on physical and psychological health. Pleas on behalf of the corpulent to not being judged and regarded without compassion are timely. However, obesity's classification as a disease could devolve the self-control needed to assume personal responsibility for the unhealthy dietary and sedentary choices we make. Dieting, weight consciousness, anxiety about bo...

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  • The Unrealized Horrors of Population Explosion-Increased longevity and enhanced reproductive capacity
    Joseph Y Ting

    To the Editor: The threat posed by human "population explosion" goes beyond that capable of being supported by the earth's diminishing food and natural resources. The long standing but recently dormant debate on the sustainability of population growth is an integral topic that complements recent media focus on global warming and catastrophic weather events. There needs to be balanced discussion on the societal and health...

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  • Research fraud thrives in today's competitive science endeavour
    Joseph Y Ting

    It does us all well to recognize that despite only a minority of scientists engaging in dishonest means to achieve academic gains, their disrepute will unfortunately taint the hard work of the honest majority. The greater harm will be loss of faith in publicly funded research and the waste of resources on non-credible work. Provided one evades detection, contemporary academia's unbridled publish or perish imperative breed...

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  • When Doing Everything Is Way Too Much
    Joseph Y Ting

    To the Editor: It is crucial that hospital staff have ready access to background health care information about patients who come into their care -- including end- of-life care preferences -- that allow better decisions to be made. However, it is important to incorporate the reality that chronically ill and debilitated patients can at best, only achieve a return to the level of health or function they had before they becam...

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  • Freedom of speech risks inciting race based abuse and vilification
    Joseph Y Ting

    To the Editor: The rights to unrestrained free speech in Australia, including the abolition of the ban on hate speech in the Racial Discrimination Act that makes it it unlawful to "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" a person or group on the basis of their "race, colour or national or ethnic origin," could incite race based abuse.

    Racial discrimination and vilification remains a prescient worry for the rece...

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  • Lost in Clinical Translation: Difficult communication in futility
    Joseph Y Ting

    Getting your message across to a patient and their family is difficult and fraught with misunderstanding. Aside from not having enough time and patience to explain complex diagnoses and sophisticated treatment plans as well as ensuring that understanding has occurred, English may not be the patient's first language.

    As a hospital doctor, even when using non-technical terms, I wonder whether a family member or a p...

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  • Patients with psychosis should not be disqualified from assisted dying on grounds of mental incompetence.
    Kevin R. Smith

    Dear Editor.

    Schuklenk and van der Vathorst's feature paper articulates powerful and persuasive arguments to the effect that denying patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) assistance in dying results in unnecessary suffering and amounts to unfair discrimination against TRD patients.

    Beyond TRD, the same arguments can readily (and in my view appropriately) be used to support assisted dying...

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