117 e-Letters

published between 2006 and 2009

  • Moral imperative protects the most vulnerable
    Faisal R Ali

    Trainees and society alike should embrace the authors’ [1] recommendation to shift the emphasis from patients’ right to refuse student involvement in their care to that of the moral imperative of patients to participate in medical education.

    Our current healthcare system places the burden of medical education upon those who through altruism or disempowerment do not veto student involvement in their care [2]...

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  • Some further developments concerning induced pluripotent cells
    Søren Holm

    After the Editorial was written two further papers on induced pluripotent cells have been published. A group led by Daley at Harvard has also reported the creation of such cells using very similar methods, and even more importantly Yamanaka's group has reported that pluripotency can be induced without the oncognenic c-myc factor used in their first publication.

  • Assisted dying in Spain
    Fernando Verdú

    Dear Editor:

    As a complement to the information provided in the interesting article on the involvement of doctors in the assisted death (1), we show the situation of the problem in Spain.

    With regard to the current legal situation, the spanish Penal Code (2) dedicates the article 143 to the induction to suicide and punish with a penalty attenuated, which causes or cooperate actively with acts necessar...

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  • In response to “Developing commensurate review”
    David Hunter

    Dear Dr Davies Thank you for your helpful response to my paper, “Proportional ethical review and the identification of ethical issues”.[1][2] I recognize that regulation will inevitably reduce the amount of research, though I suspect strangling is perhaps a bridge too far, I would be curious to hear whether the Central Office for Research Ethics Committees' and now the National Research Ethics Service's (NRES) annual repor...

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  • In response to “Is Triage Incoherent?”
    David Hunter

    I would like to thank Mr Parker for the opportunity of clarifying my paper presented by this somewhat vitriolic attack on its central premises and conclusions.[1][2] In the article I give four arguments for why systems of proportional review are unlikely to be as effective as full blown research ethics committee (REC) review. These are: expertise; ethical icebergs; ethical diversity and pluralism; and uncertainty. Unfor...

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  • Developing commensurate review
    Hugh T Davies

    Dear Sir,

    There is evidence that regulation is strangling research (1). The National Research Ethics Service, meeting its stated aim to "facilitate ethical research" is therefore undertaking a pilot study in which applications from 4 Research Ethics Committees are independently reviewed by 3 volunteers (members of RECs appointed after advertisement and interview)to see if it is felt studies present material e...

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  • Is Triage Incoherent?
    colin parker

    This response to Hunter’s article, ‘Proportional ethical review and the identification of ethical issues’, provides counter arguments to undermine his understanding of the issues. It is shown that his attempt to ground the effectiveness of the REC system in some similarity to democratic ideals fails, and that his criticism of the concept of triage is ineffective. The conclusion is that expert groups of whatever size d...

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  • Muddled thinking and unsubstantiated assumptions
    Robert S. Van Howe

    The analysis of the role of circumcision as a preventive for HIV infection provided by Rennie et al. is driven by the social norm to circumcise [1] and shows a failure to appreciate the place of circumcision within the context of other HIV preventives, the ethics of recommending a health care intervention, the applicability of proxy-consent, and everyone's right to autonomy and security of person. In addition, the analysis is...

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  • Duties are not only for publicly-funded patients
    Tomas Engler


    I believe that the arguments for patient duties outlined in this article definitely trascend those patients receiving publicly-funded care, and - if any - apply equally to all patients. All patients receive the benefit of the care and research involving those preceding them. All providers and patients have a moral obligation to make the best use of the resources available to preserve or restore their he...

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  • Bella
    Charlotte Stephens

    My daughter Bella has hydranencephaly which is a neurological condition you appear to be very familiar with. I am curious to know how many children with hydranencephaly you have worked with? Bella is very aware of her surroundings and people, she responds well and is a very happy baby. She does not have the cognitive function of a normal infant and would be described as profoundly physically and mentally disabled, how...

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