eLetters

151 e-Letters

published between 2005 and 2008

  • Are vulnerable groups no more likely to receive physician-assisted dying?
    Eleanor Grogan

    Battin et al’s article1 suggests vulnerable groups are no more likely to receive physician-assisted dying than other less vulnerable groups. This claim needs challenging based both on the figures presented and from experience in palliative medicine.

    Palliative medicine frequently encounters patients wishing their lives were over. They may not explicitly request to have physician- assisted dying but clearly expres...

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  • Perspectives on ethics
    Colin Parker

    This critical response to Professor K M Boyd's paper [1] argues that hermeneutics as a perspectives based approach is not an effective method in moral discourse; it brings nothing distinctive to the arguments. The construction of a new vocabulary which relies on the old way of speaking for its sense does not clarify anything. Further, that Boyd's undefined contrast between controversy and conversation does not point to any...

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  • Response to "consent" article
    Colin Parker

    This is a surprising scientific example of not seeing the forest because of the trees which are carefully numbered and described. The error is taking one example from tissue retention and building a theory on it; the researchers take their own good research and simple information and conclude patients do not need 'more complex information'. But the contrast between simple and complex information is too simple.

    Of...

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  • Circumcised by Force
    Michael Glass

    Dear Editor,

    Rennie, Muula and Westreich are right to draw attention to ethical questions surrounding circumcision. This is particularly important, especially now, when circumcision is being promoted as a way of reducing the chances of contracting HIV. I want to draw attention to something that is clearly unethical: forced circumcision.

    When Muslim extremists forcibly circumcised Christian men, women and...

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  • Male circumcision as a public health policy: ethical challenges
    Michel L. GARENNE

    Dear Editor,

    The article by Stuart Rennie, Adamson Muula and Daniel Westreich [JME, 33:357], which focuses on the promotion of male circumcision for public health purposes, raises many practical issues, economic issues and ethical issues. The ethics of male circumcision have been already widely discussed, especially from a physician perspective [1]. Here we focus on the arguments developed by Rennie and colleagues...

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  • The concept of brain death did not evolve to benefit organ transplants: Author’s Response
    Calixto Machado
    Dear Editor,

    Michael Potts emphasized that the social acceptance of BD since the Harvard Report was induced by the longing to find organ for transplants. We agree that the final success of transplants was improved by refining the BD concept. Nonetheless, when in 1959 the first accounts of BD were published, organ transplant surgery was in its first steps.(1)

    Potts also argued about accepting BD. Some scholars who wer...

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  • Scientists, bioethics and democracy: the Italian case and its meanings. A question to G. Corbellini
    Carlo Petrini

    Dear Editor,

    The author offers his personal interpretation on a number of themes that have been at the centre of a heated debate in Italy in the past few years. Scientists, ethicists, and politicians have expressed their views on these themes, moreover the mass media and the public opinion have pinned a great attention to them. The author refers to a number of topics, including, for instance, genetically modified fo...

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  • A Non Sequitur
    Michael Potts

    Dear Editor,

    Calixto Machado and his colleagues (1) claim that because the development of organ transplantation and brain death originally developed independently, that “the concept of brain death did not evolve to benefit organ transplantation.” This is a classic non sequitur, since it remains possible that the contemporary development of brain death criteria from the Harvard Report (2) on was influenced by the de...

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  • calendula officinalis as palliative for gastric cancer
    Prof. Guillermo Acebedo

    Dear Editor,

    We have a clinical case of a woman 77 y.o. with gastric cancer that was sent home to die and to get morphine as an ultimate resource to control pain or reduce pain. We started to treat her with an extract of Calendula officinalis (hydroalcoholic: 6%Ethanol, 2% Calendula flores, a spoonfull 3 times a day, and her reaction is incredible. After 6 months of treatment she has no pain, has a normal life...

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  • The Knave Responds
    James S. Taylor

    Dear Editor,

    `The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts,

    All on a summer day:

    The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts,

    And took them quite away!'

    --Part of a traditional nursery rhyme, quoted in Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 11.

    Alice watched the White Rabbit as he fumbled over the list, feeling very curious to see what the next witness...

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