eLetters

145 e-Letters

published between 2004 and 2007

  • Comment on Ajayi's article on taboos and clinical research in West Africa
    Francis D. Masiye

    Dear Editor,

    I would like to thank Dr. Ajayi for his/her views about moral principles and taboos in clinical research in West Africa. The research setting he has described is similar to the setting where I work. However, much as I agree with some of his views, I disagree with his assertions that moral principles are relative to local contexts and that ethical principles must relate intimately with the norms of...

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  • Hogwash in the guise of research
    Joan C Clements

    Dear Editor,

    Recently the Journal of Medical Ethics published an article by L Bovens, from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method. Under a banner REPRODUCTIVE ETHICS, the article was entitled The rhythm method and embryonic death. The gist of the article was that the pro-life movement, and particularly Catholics, are responsible for the deaths...

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  • Re: A reply to my critics
    Mark F Whitty

    Dear Editor,

    A response to Bovens' reply to his critics.

    Readers generally would have thought the original article to be about early embryo loss and NFP. The Response of 12th June seem to have moved on somewhat from this.

    Rather than keeping to early embryo loss, Bovens now provides figures giving overall observed and estimated embryo losses; and not so much in observational studies of healthy...

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  • Are these results of a study or suggestions only?
    Guenter Freundl, Prof. Dr.

    Comments to the paper of L Bovens “The rhythm method and embryonic death“, J. Med. Ethics 2006; 32:355-356

    Dear Editor,

    There is no evidence that a conceptus has reduced survival chances if conception occurred on the fringes of the fertile period looking into data concerning the first 6 weeks of pregnancy (see also (Raith, E, Frank, P. et al. 1999; Freundl, G, Gnoth, C. et al. 2001; Frank, P., Freundl,...

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  • Rhythm method as cause of embryonic death based on flawed assumptions
    Richard Fehring

    Dear Editor,

    Luc Bovens’s assumption that intercourse on the fringes of the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle by users of rhythm will result in increased embryo loss is not based on convincing evidence (J Med Ethics, 2006;32:355-356). In fact, some scientific evidence points to the opposite conclusion. Researchers at the US National Institutes of Health Science reported they found no evidence for this associa...

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  • Missing pieces of the puzzle?
    Robert R Lavieri

    Dear Editor,

    Combining children and gene therapy has the potential to precipitate quite an ethically volatile mix. Consent may be impossible to obtain from a child. Yet, if we require valid consent from all research subjects, then will there not be large groups of people, children included, in need of the benefits of research who will never get them? Thus we arrive at the conclusion that through any number...

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  • We all have a finite lifespan
    Alexander R Pruss

    Dear Editor,

    For simplicity, I will assume (as I actually believe) that all human embryos are persons, since Bovens is trying to argue that granting this assumption, the use of rhythm or Natural Family Planning (NFP) is if anything more morally problematic than the use of hormonal contraception, at least in respect of embryonic death. Let me grant Bovens' empirical assumptions, though they do not seem based...

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  • A reply to my critics
    Luc J Bovens

    Dear Editor,

    Some of my critics draw a distinction between the rhythm method and natural family planning (NFP). I take the rhythm method to be any method that relies on abstinence around the time of ovulation. Of course there are various ways to determine when ovulation occurs, including the calendar method (Ogino Knauss), examining mucus (Billings) or checking basal temperature (STM). I do not take this metho...

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  • Alcorn misrepresented, argument misses mark
    John DiMarco

    Dear Editor,

    Bovens' argument is clever, but it misrepresents Alcorn, and pro-lifers in general, as being concerned about the absolute number of embryonic deaths without distinction as to the cause. But even a cursory reading of Alcorn (e.g. http://www.epm.org/articles/bcp5400.html) makes it clear that Alcorn's concern is not embr...

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  • Re: Rhythm method and embryonic death
    Sue E. Fryer

    Dear Editor,

    I have two comments to make with regard to the article about the rhythm method. It is not true that the Catholic Church only approves the “rhythm” method of family planning. It approves all natural methods and especially the Billings Ovulation Method of natural fertility regulation that has a better than 99% effectiveness rate, as shown in numerous recent published studies. (www.woomb.org)...

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