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↵i Claxton and Culyer say “the editorials are littered with other personally abusive charges, including one of hypocrisy”. Such charges I make against NICE may be personally abusive if they were directed at any individually identified person. I was using “hypocrisy” according to the definition in The shorter Oxford English Dictionary,4 to mean “the assuming of a false appearance of virtue or goodness” by NICE in its published, but not individually authored, material. I do not think that to say of a corporation that its stance is “assuming a false appearance of virtue or goodness” and to explicitly state why this appearance is false could be called “abusive”, let alone “personally abusive”. I stand by this charge against NICE. The reasons that justify the use of the term “hypocrisy” against this corporate body, but against no individuals, are clearly set out in my editorial.
↵ii Contra what Claxton and Culyer seem to believe, this point has nothing to do with whether those who have to forgo benefits are personally identifiable or not.
Competing interests: None.
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