91 e-Letters

published between 2014 and 2017

  • Dr. Miller disagrees but does not overcome the facts and logic
    Henry C Bissel

    Dr. Miller cites the "professional integrity of physicians" and the uncertainty of whether additional interventions will restore a patient's desire to live.

    Does Dr. Miller's professional integrity include honesty, truthfulness, and sincerity when speaking to severely treatment-resistant patients? Particularly with respect to the efficacy of treatments that will provide rapid response and prolonged remission? D...

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  • A calculus vs a developing guideline
    Peter H.M. Brooks

    Bentham's hedonic, or felicific, calculus doesn't work, in practice, either, so the criticism of a calculus being difficult or not absolute applies equally to utilitarianism.

    The hedonic calculus allows conclusions with no benefit, or negative benefit, or positive pain for some. If the net calculation is positive for all, then the negative consequences for one or more individuals is subsumed by the greater good...

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  • Montgomery: A clinician's view
    Raj Mohindra

    In their recent article Farrell and Brazier [1] assert that the recent decision in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board ...

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  • Children in Australian immigration detention - justice demands action
    David Durrheim


    Despite a damning 2014 Australian Human Rights Commission report into the plight of children in immigration detention, the disturbing findings of reported in the 2015 Moss Inquiry into allegations relating to conditions and circumstances at the Australian regional migrant processing centre in Nauru, and compelling evidence of the harm suffered by these children, Australia continues to hold children in im...

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  • Prostitution, harm, and disability: Should only people with disabilities be allowed to pay for sex?
    Brian D. Earp

    Brian D. Earp University of Oxford


    Is prostitution harmful? And if it is harmful, should it be illegal to buy (or sell) sexual services? And if so, should there ever be any exceptions? What about for people with certain disabilities--say--who might find it difficult or even impossible to find a sexual partner if they weren't allowed to exchange money for sex? Do people have a "right" to s...

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  • Ancient conceptions of dignity. The secular sacred.
    Peter H.M Brooks

    Dignity need not be coupled with theology. The South African offence of 'crimen injuria' is the offence defined as the act of "unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another."

    It is based on the 'Latin phrase crimen iniuriae, which should mean 'accusation of abusive behaviour' ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimen_injuria ).

    The search for an understanding of a secular basis...

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  • For Drugs that Save Lives, a Steep Cost
    Joseph Y Ting

    This represents a thoughtful analysis of costly drugs. Recently, the potential overpricing of a device that allows safe bystander delivery of the established staple narcotic antagonist naloxone bears closer examination. As an emergency physician, I am cautious to avoid needle stick injuries when reversing overdoses in patients who are at high risk of HIV or hepatitis B/C. No matter how careful one is, the clinician still...

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  • Should Obesity Be a 'Disease'?
    Joseph Ting

    Obesity being designated a disease recognizes its adverse effects on physical and psychological health. Pleas on behalf of the corpulent to not being judged and regarded without compassion are timely. However, obesity's classification as a disease could devolve the self-control needed to assume personal responsibility for the unhealthy dietary and sedentary choices we make. Dieting, weight consciousness, anxiety about bo...

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  • The Unrealized Horrors of Population Explosion-Increased longevity and enhanced reproductive capacity
    Joseph Y Ting

    To the Editor: The threat posed by human "population explosion" goes beyond that capable of being supported by the earth's diminishing food and natural resources. The long standing but recently dormant debate on the sustainability of population growth is an integral topic that complements recent media focus on global warming and catastrophic weather events. There needs to be balanced discussion on the societal and health...

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  • Research fraud thrives in today's competitive science endeavour
    Joseph Y Ting

    It does us all well to recognize that despite only a minority of scientists engaging in dishonest means to achieve academic gains, their disrepute will unfortunately taint the hard work of the honest majority. The greater harm will be loss of faith in publicly funded research and the waste of resources on non-credible work. Provided one evades detection, contemporary academia's unbridled publish or perish imperative breed...

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