94 e-Letters

published between 2013 and 2016

  • The pendulum could swing the other way: underperforming doctors are left alone
    Joseph Ting

    To the Editor: Harassment and bullying are unacceptable in any workplace, let alone the health professions whose calling purportedly subscribe to healing, compassion and humanity. The highly publicised examples of sexism and exploitation serves notice to perpetrators fuelled by the perverse incentive of hierachical authority gradients. It goes without saying that we need a paradigm shift in standing up to the inertial s...

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  • More than the bi- and tri- of parenthood, paid parental leave, same sex parents and gay marriage are ethical considerations that matter to society at large
    Joseph Ting

    More than the bi- and tri- of parenthood, the equity and justice of paid parental leave, same sex parents and gay marriage are ethical and pragmatic considerations that matter to society at large.

    The press rightly highlight the workplace obstacles that women face in sustaining a career and raising their children. However, we neglect to mention that the childless in society already subsidize and assist with the...

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  • Secrecy can confer unequal power, confidentiality should confer respect
    susanne stevens

    Respect for citizens' rights to confidentiality have come a long way over the past decade or so in the UK but not without resistance in some parts of the medical establishment. Along with and allied to confidentiality, respect for a person's right to know what is being said about them (access to files) has been something of a struggle and still is for those who are incarcerated in prisons or hospitals. 'Secrecy' rather...

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  • Depression is not the only treatment-resistant psychiatric condition.
    Colin Brewer

    Dear Editor. I do occasional psychiatric assessments for people contemplating medically-assisted rational suicide (MARS) in Switzerland and broadly agree with Schuklenk and van der Vathorst's arguments. Usually, my role is limited to assessing mental capacity and excluding the existence of a treatable psychiatric condition that might be influencing the patient's decision to include MARS in the list of acceptable options....

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  • PLR - better to boost PPI
    Malcolm Harrison

    The Article states "In health research, funding bodies and academic institutions actively undertake patient and public involvement programmes to ensure that studies adequately reflect the perspectives and input of patients and citizens." I do not agree.

    I have been a member of a research ethics committeee in England for seven years. I do not recognise this statement, nor would my colleagues. In very few cases...

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  • Where should this go next?
    Peter H Brooks

    I think this is a very important article. Well written, well researched and timely.

    It seems that there is a large body of ancient wisdom locked away in the Adab writings. I suspect that there will be material of great value to Western, as well as Islamic medical practice.

    I had, until now, been only vaguely of Adab, as a counter-balancing ethic, to Sharia. I'm ashamed of my ignorance, and also surprise...

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  • Rejecting Demand Absolutism
    Toni C Saad

    In his commentary on Francesca Minerva's paper 'Conscientious Objection in Italy'[1], Roger Trigg writes, "mutual respect is easy for people who agree", and, "it is against the spirit of democracy to ride roughshod over other's [sic] beliefs"[2]. His point is apposite: in a democratic society an individual's conscience in matters of ethical controversy ought not to be compromised by popular sensitivities. Sharp disagree...

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  • Religion Vs Science towards Life and Survival
    Atif A Baig

    With respect to all authors, I have read the article and the comments made in the e-letter. I agreed with Biggar to little extent. But one of the important point here is the reason of following religion Vs following the science. Religion is not only about the beliefs but also about the practices. It teaches us 24 hours way of passing life by giving us the heavenly or moral knowledge either with a concept of God or without...

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  • Teaching medical students rational prescribing and improving opportunities for doctors to appraise new treatments enhances rational prescribing
    Joseph Y Ting

    Greater transparency and regulatory oversight in disclosing gifts and payments to physicians from drug and medical device companies could well reduce their influence on a doctor's prescribing habits and medical management recommendations. The threat of a very public loss of professional reputation among peers and patients is likely to discourage a physician accepting drug and medical device company generosity. However, a m...

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  • The use of placebos in Ebola treatment trials
    Joseph Ting

    The argument for substantial benefit conferred by the placebo effect in treatment trials has been around for a while. Clinical triallists do not deny that inactive sugar pills and IV medications or sham surgery have some quantifiable benefit when compared with doing nothing at all. Patients who consent to participate in treatment studies tend to be more motivated and confident that they will get better than those who ref...

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