eLetters

151 e-Letters

published between 2005 and 2008

  • In Defense of the Body from the Queen of Hearts to the Knave of Hearts:
    Nancy Scheper-Hughes

    Dear Editor,

    The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts all on a summer's day;
    The Knave of Hearts he stole the tarts and took them clean away.
    The King of Hearts called for the tarts and beat the Knave full sore;
    The Knave of Hearts brought back the tarts and vowed he'd steal no more.

    Nursery Rhyme (traditional)

    "Off with their heads" - the Queen of...

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  • Re: Perspectives on ethics
    susanne mccabe

    Dear Editor,

    David Bohm (physicist) wrote several books which resonate with the concerns raised about problems inherent in discussions about ethical issues. His emphasis was similar to that of Kenneth Boyd - the importance of open ended dialogue rather than discussions imposed by an agenda. David Bohm taught how this leads to deeper levels of meaning and the possibility of coming to better solutions than those impo...

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  • The concept of brain death: Let us not ignore the context of its social reception
    Miran Epstein

    Dear Editor,

    Machado and colleagues rightly argue that the concept of brain death evolved independently of any social interests(1). However, they ignore the fact that its social reception has indeed depended, and continues to depend, on such interests.

    The concept of brain death was canonised soon after the publication of the report of the Harvard Committee in 1968(2). The committee, on which two trans...

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  • Brain death and organ transplants
    David W Evans

    Dear Editor,

    As Machado and colleagues point out(1), the idea that death of the brain, while the body remains alive, might be considered the death of the person did, indeed, develop in isolation from the practice of organ transplantation. But there was no attempt to define brain death and establish formal clinical testing for its diagnosis as a basis for the certification of death(2,3) until that became necessary f...

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  • Male circumcision for HIV - conclusions sensitive to assumptions
    John D Dalton
  • The lack of blood donor counselling services in Kerala is a disappointment.
    Sam Philip

    Dear Editor,

    Choudhury et al raise a very important point highlighting the missed importunity in treating and preventing the spread of transmissible infections detected in voluntary blood donors.The continuing lack of counselling services even in a very literate Indian state like Kerala is very disappointing. There is still widespread concern and apathy regarding donating blood as I learned during my recent visit to...

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  • Perspectives on ethics
    Kenneth M Boyd

    Dear Editor,

    I am grateful to C Parker for his close reading and detailed criticism of a paper of 2005 in which I suggested some possible advantages of moving from controversy to conversation in medical ethics.1,2 His arguments are incisive, but also illustrate what I was attempting to articulate. In conversation of the kind I was commending, one’s aim is not to defend or attack a thesis but to explore the possibilit...

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  • Ethics of editors
    Kenneth A Hoekstra, PhD

    Dear Editor,

    The article by Kassirer outlines some of the inherent struggles within the universal health care system of Canada (1). Additional communications reinforce these struggles (2). Is the Canadian Medical Association hiding behind the screen of autonomy while discussions of private public health care are in the minds of the Canadian people and its health care providers? (3).

    References:...

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  • Do patients desire telephone passwords to access their information?
    Kenneth A Hoekstra, PhD

    Dear Editor,

    In the article by Sokol and Car titled 'Patient confidentiality and telephone consultations: time for a password'(1), the authors express their concerns re: access to a patients medical information and outline a strategy using passwords during telephone consultations to secure patient privacy and protect against the unauthorized access to private and personal medical records/history. While we sympathize...

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  • Material Transfer Agreements are a "must" when transfering specimens across national boundaries
    Paul Ndebele

    Dear Editor,

    The issue of transferring human research specimens across national boundaries has become a hot issue especially for Developing Countries due to fears of exploitation. Stories of "parachute, tourist and mosquito" researchers are common in Africa and other Developing Countries. These are researchers who come from Developed Countries to Developing Countries just to collect specimens and then leave to go...

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