eLetters

412 e-Letters

  • A call for rules of engagement
    Wayne Lewis

    Dear Editor

    At the time of writing there appears to have been no electronic submissions to the Journal of Medical Ethics. It seems appropriate, therefore, to begin electronic correspondence with a consideration of some of the ethical implications of this new form of ethical dialogue.

    I have posted this response to Kenneth Boyd’s editorial on ‘Mrs. Pretty and Ms B’ [1] as this article may provoke debate...

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  • HIV transmission in crime? A Brazilian point of view
    Celio Levyman

    Dear Editor

    The basic principles of law applied in Brazil follow the Roman Right. The medical ethics and bioethics approach generally implies that doctors must respect patient confidentiality, even in a potentially risky situation, where, for example, someone with HIV does not tell his/her partner and the physician is aware of the patient's infection. Some have attempted to prosecute those who knowingly transmit HIV, b...

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  • Defending double effect
    Philip Pearson

    Dear Editor

    Dr Shaw makes some interesting points in discussing the doctrine of double effect.[1] However, I am unsure as to the validity of his conclusions. He states that the doctrine "permuits the use of drugs which relieve the distress of dying, evene when they hasten death." However, if opiates are in mind here, then the dose could and should be closely monitored - up or down - to fully palliate pain. They do...

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  • Importance of getting the facts right reconfirmed!
    Søren Holm

    Dear Editor

    The authors should be congratulated with this paper which again shows how important it is to get ones facts right, before passing ethical judgement.

  • American capitalism at its best
    John Smelcer

    Dear Editor

    Water used to be free. More than two-thirds of the planet is covered with water. Yet, American consumers (particularly) pay more for a bottle of water than they do for a soda, a bottle of juice, or even a beer (and yet all of these products are 90 % or more water in the first place). Cars cost more nowadays than a house did on twenty years ago. I remember going to see Star Wars (1977) for only about $...

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  • Re: Bad behaviour does not equal research fraud
    David Geggie
    Dear Editor,

    Professor Williamson makes a valid point about the term "research fraud" and I agree that the term covers a number of different categories of unethical behaviour. I also pointed out that "Research fraud can take many forms" in the discussion section of my paper. For the purposes of my article I stated that consultants who had answered "Yes" to questions 1,2 or 3 of table 1 had reported "observed misconduct" and...

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  • A brief clarification in response
    Tom Koch
    Dear Editor

    In this journal's recent symposium on disability Prof. John Harris vigorously defended his general view on "disability" and "harm" before a range of critics, including me. This letter is not offered as a rejoinder to his argument but instead presents a brief clarification of a point he obviously misinterpreted.

    A part of my argument for the protection of persons of difference - especially tho...

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  • Bad behaviour does not equal research fraud
    Bob Williamson
    Dear Editor,

    I was not impressed by Dr Geggie’s article offering a survey of the attitudes of newly appointed consultants towards research fraud (J. Med. Ethics 2001; 27:344-346). Indeed, by mixing up categories of misconduct from what is at most “bad behaviour” to the very serious, he is not entirely beyond reproach himself. I remind readers that Dr Geggie suggested that 55.7% of the respondents had observed (from the tit...

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  • Substance misuse and unethical behaviour
    Wouter Havinga
    Dear Editor

    Further research is needed into the effects of alcohol and drugs, and in particular opiates on suppressing morality. Alcohol is often involved in emotionally charged acts of violence where as opiates in calculated, 'callous' acts of violence. Therefore, substance misuse or susceptibility to dependency are factors that need specific attention when assessing the risk for unethical behaviour.

  • PNAJ: please, no abbreviations in Journal
    Neville W Goodman

    Sir,

    Could I make a request of the newly installed editor, whose first editorial is titled 'Future directions of the journal'? A direction I would not wish to see is towards more and more abbreviations. They serve little purpose other than to save printer's ink. [1] Looking through volume 27, issue 3, there are a number of abbreviations better replaced by the parent phrase or a contraction of it. Embryonic and f...

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