94 e-Letters

published between 2007 and 2010

  • Is research for improvement in palliative medicine necessarily moral?
    Colin Parker

    Given the sincerity and commitment of all parties in debate it is important to test the coherence of the principles or arguments guiding any policy. For example, is medical paternalism or participant autonomy desirable or even necessary in the development of medical science? Such questions are considered in the context of palliative medicine to analyse some moral arguments intended to show how to improve clinical practi...

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  • The "Pure Process" Procedural Approach to Medical Futility
    Thaddeus M Pope

    Dr. Morati provides a nice history of the function of the notion of "futility." But she seems to ignore this very history when moving from the descriptive to the normative section of her article.

    Looking to the USA, Dr. Morati rightly observes that there has been a major shift to a "procedural" approach to medical futility disputes. But she mischaracterizes exactly what that approach entails. In defining the circumstanc...

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  • Dr. Gershon is Off Base
    Elizabeth L Maloney

    It is ironic that Dr. Gershon, president of the IDSA, would decree the article by Johnson and Stricker to be full of “inaccuracies and misleading information” only to mislead readers using inaccurate information. A look at the science may be enlightening.

    The IDSA holds that Lyme disease is easily cured, yet data from treatment trials cited in the 2006 IDSA guidelines suggests otherwise. The issue of persiste...

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  • Three cheers
    Amelia M Withington MD

    I am wholeheartedly in agreement with Dr. Stricker's and Ms. Johnson's response to Dr. Gershon's letter. Lyme Disease and its associated conditions are extremely complex illnesses, and patients who are suffering from them have their suffering exacerbated by misguided attempts to "treat ideologically".

    Just last week, a new patient gave me the history that her clotted 'pic' line was ignored for hours by an ER p...

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  • 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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