85 e-Letters

published between 2008 and 2011

  • Death and legal fictions
    David W Evans

    Shah, Truog and Miller(1) argue that current death determination practice for organ procurement purposes does not conform to a scientifically coherent understanding of death and that vital organs are being taken from still-living donors. This has been known to those who read the medical and scientific literature for some time but, as they say, the public has not been informed. Fearing that this information cannot be hidd...

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  • Conflicts for Jewish patients and physicians
    Irene Campbell-Taylor

    The article by Waltho (1) raises some issues of concern for Jewish patients, and physicians, outside of Israel Canada is a country with a significant mix of races and religions. To the observant Jewish population, the issue of "informed refusal" presents a conflict between what is required of physicians and what religion dictates. My own experience when working in a hospital functioning on strictly observant rules did n...

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  • Physician role in medical decision making
    Ramon S. Dunkin


    My commentary in Letters to the Editor in the Aug. 2, 2011 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine reflects very well the results of your study. My comment was primarily related to end of life decisions, but I believe, applies to all patient care decisions. Physicians' failure to make their best recommendations to patients is an all too common deficiency. I hope your publication fosters a much needed...

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  • A safe ground to take for facebook activity of residents and fellows
    Bing H. Tang, M D, M P H

    A safe ground to take for facebook activity of residents and fellows

    Bing H Tang, MD, MPH

    Research & Ethics

    Danville, California, U S

    I read with interest Facebook activity of residents and fellows and its impact on the doctor-patient relationship (J Med Ethics jme.2010.036293Published Online First: 15 December 2010 doi:10.1136/jme).

    Basically, facebook is a way of maki...

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  • That "Non-maleficence is not a novel concern" is precisely why it should be discussed more widely
    Simon D Waltho

    Many thanks to Adam J Sher for drawing my (and others') attention to this particular aspect of the IPRA's genesis. Notwithstanding that it renders my own contribution to such debates even more modest than I had at first suspected, to discover that my thoughts echoed (however belatedly!) those of such a respected individual as Rabbi Feinstein is somewhat edifying, and I would hope that most people would rather find their v...

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  • Legal physician-assisted dying in Oregon and the Netherlands: The question of "vulnerable" groups. A reply to I.G. Finlay and R. George
    Margaret P. Battin

    In their critique of our paper "Legal physician-assisted dying in Oregon and the Netherlands: evidence concerning the impact on patients in "vulnerable" groups," I.G. Finlay and R. George claim to challenge our underlying assumptions and methodology with "another perspective on Oregon's data." In our view, however, they miss the point of our paper and address a quite different issue. While we welcome their attempt t...

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  • Why sexual and reproductive health policies might fail
    Richard Ma

    Strickland's paper in the JME highlights one of the key barriers to any policy on sexual and reproductive health matters: the attitude of the doctor to sexual health interventions.

    Although the study only involved four medical schools and the sample was not powered or stratified to be deemed representative, the views of 733 medical students out of an estimated 7,600 due to graduate this summer may be important....

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    Hugh V. McLachlan

    David Shaw rejects my suggestion that, although it is not necessarily unethical, it might well be unprofessional for a doctor to perform euthanasia on or to have sex with his or her patients.[1,2] However, his argument is unconvincing.

    According to him: '...if something is really contrary to a professional's role, it is almost certain to be unethical in some respect. McLachlan provides the example of doctors havin...

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  • Harris, Sparrow and "rational" genetic conclusions
    Tom Koch

    In his spirited response to Robin Sparrow (J Med Ethics, 37:5), John Harris insists he is ...misunderstood. "No sane person", he writes, "would recommend the exclusive production of females as a reproductive method of choice".

    Nor, of course, does Sparrow whose point was that the eugenic enthusiasms of Harris and others for genetic selection, and the elimination of "harmful" choices, leads to positions no sane p...

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  • Brain death is not 'complete death' in Islam: A global call for revising the legal definition of death in Islam
    Mohamed Y Rady

    Brain death is not 'complete death' in Islam: A global call for revising the legal definition of death in Islam

    To the editor

    Dr Bedir and Professor Aksoy have made an important scholarly contribution addressing the validity and legitimacy of equating brain death with human death in the Islamic faith. This contribution has significance not only for the medical community of practicing physicians and h...

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