117 e-Letters

published between 2006 and 2009

  • The Janus-faced character of DBS - A Reply to Walter Glannon
    Uta Bittner

    In J Med Ethics 2009 (35) Walter Glannon [i] claims that deep brain stimulation (DBS) improves symptoms of some conditions, but could also have impact on thought, personality, and behaviour. His argument – although rich and in detail – misses three important points:

    (1) Why should the disruption of thematic unity of one`s life story always be a harm? Glannon appeals to our intuitions when he claims that cohere...

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  • Five precepts or commandments for research ethics committees
    Saroj J Jayasinghe

    This excellent paper should be taken in light of several reports, conferences and papers that draw attention to guidelines and procedures to be followed by research ethics committees (RECs). I wish to suggest five simple prescriptive precepts or commandments that ought to be institutionalized in RECs, and be part of the values or moral code of members of such organizations. Most of these are self-explanatory and are ther...

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  • IDSA Lyme Guidelines: Response to Dr. Gershon
    Raphael B. Stricker

    IDSA Lyme Guidelines: Response to Dr. Gershon

    It is not surprising that Anne Gershon, the current president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), would come to the defense of her society's beleaguered Lyme guidelines. What is disturbing is that Dr. Gershon relies on the same specious arguments that were debunked by the Connecticut Attorney General's investigation of the IDSA Lyme guidelines proc...

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  • Lyme Article Was Riddled with Inaccuracies--Putting Patients at Risk
    Anne Gershon

    The article entitled “Attorney General Forces Infectious Disease Society of America to redo Lyme guidelines due to flawed development process” that appeared in the Journal of Medical Ethics purporting to explain the agreement between the Connecticut Attorney General and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) regarding its Lyme disease guideline was extremely disturbing. This article is riddled with inaccurac...

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  • Not just pregnant women
    John C Duffy

    Given what we know and don't know about the processes from which the 'safe limits' for alcohol consumption in general are derived, would the author not agree that his criticism applies more generally in this area? On a somewhat pedantic note it's not establishing a negative correlation that's difficult, it's establishing a lack of correlation. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

  • Preferential Publication of Editorial Board Members in Biomedical Journals
    Christian T. K.-H. Stadtländer, PhD, MPH, MBA

    Dear Editor,

    I read with interest the article by Luty et al. (1) about the retrospective survey they conducted to determine whether medical specialty journals were more likely to publish the research of their own editorial board members or the research of editorial board members of rival journals. I was surprised about the high degree (i.e., almost three times more likely) to which these cases occur.


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  • patient/doctor care
    bob ratcliffe

    I'm sure you are aware of a simple and inexpensive test for heart failure and pulmonary patients called a six minute walk test. It has many useful outcomes (e.g. maximum oxygen uptake and possibility of a fairly certain prediction of mortality in 18 months if the distance walked is less than 300m). Clearly, over a period, periodic tests show if a patient's exercise capacity is falling (- 45m) and at least provide some war...

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  • The fallacy of the phimotic child and other lingering ignorance
    Heather Frances Dalgleish

    Dear editor,

    I am currently in an ongoing discussion on Richard Dawkins' forum with a young man who claims to be in an administrative position in an NHS clinic in London where male circumcisions are performed. He took it upon himself to quote anonymously some of the referral letters from GPs that it was his job to process. I suspect his aim was to try to legitimise the circumcision referrals that he deals with....

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  • We should not eliminate coercive measures in psychiatry. The priority of the good on the just.
    Maurizio Soldini
    We do good not eliminating coercive measures in psychiatry.

    The priority of the good on the just one

    Prinsen and van Delden ask if we can justify eliminating coercive measures in psychiatry, because the practice of coercive measures in psychiatry is controversial. They say also that because there are conflict between autonomy and beneficence/non-maleficence, human dignity, the experiences of patients and the eff...

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  • Psychiatric coercion
    Thomas Szasz

    Asking “Can we justify eliminating coercive measures in psychiatry?” underscores the importance of paying attention to our moral and political presumptions and illustrates the social value and moral wickedness of psychiatry as a system of social control. The question implies that eliminating psychiatric deprivations of liberty needs to be justified but continuing to inflict such deprivations in the name of mental illness...

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