82 e-Letters

published between 2009 and 2012

  • Provincial Letter - a response to Shaw and Conway
    R Mohindra


    The reply of Shaw and Conway[1] is certainly impassioned albeit somewha...

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  • Deception is not the basis of good health
    susanne stevens mccabe

    As somebody who has been lied to by doctors in the past, albeit not about psychiatric drugs, this article makes my heart sink. Two weasel phrases especially shriek out:

    'The potential problem with placebos is that they may involve deception.' The level of self deception in this statement is glaringly obvious. Placebos involve deception. Parents and carers at times allow themselves to lie to their children about medi...

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  • Opening Biology: A response to Douglas and Savulescu
    Nicholas G. Evans

    In their recent piece, "Synthetic Biology and the Ethics of Knowledge," Thomas Douglas and Julian Savulescu argued for an "ethics of knowledge," in which bioethicists engage with the ethical issues surrounding the pursuit and dissemination of scientific knowledge.1 Their focus, as the title suggests, is the rapidly expanding field of synthetic biology.

    While I agree with the general claim made by Douglas and Sa...

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  • Islamic opinions differ regarding physical contact between genders within a doctor-patient encounter
    Deen M Mirza

    I would like to commend the authors on their well researched overview of doctor-patient interactions across a gender divide for a Muslim context. I would like to add two points to this discussion which I feel were overlooked:

    1) With the Muslim medical profession, there exists some disagreement amongst Muslim physicians as to what the limits are when a male doctor needs to examine a female patient.


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  • Teaching and assessing doctors competent to consult both Muslim and non-Muslim patients
    Engela Prinsloo

    To the authors of Muslim patients and cross-gender interactions in medicine: an Islamic bioethical perspective

    Thank you for a very clear and comprehensive explanation of the Islamic bioethical perspective on cross-gender interactions in medicine. It is of utmost importance that doctors should at all time take note of the cultural and religious background of all patients and practice accordingly. I refer to a...

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  • Religious Discourse
    Zoe B.McC. Fritz

    Dear Editor,

    I read Dr. Seale's article with interest, but am concerned that his findings may not represent the actual activity of the medical profession, whatever their beliefs. The questionnaire asked doctors to state their religion, then how religious they were. They were then asked to recall the last patient who died and to answer questions about "ethically controversial decisions". Isn't it possible (or...

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  • Serious danger of Abuse and exploitation
    Frederick. N. Nakwagala

    It is difficult to police the use of stored specimens across borders and different jurisdictions. While many research participants may not stand in immediate personal danger, it is obvious that many collaborating partners are being exploited. When laboratory based studies are done on these samples, the originating partners miss out on publications. If one runs a simple survey on authorship of these publications, very few...

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  • Doctors in dilemma
    Daksha P Trivedi

    Dear Editor,

    I read with interest the findings from Professor Seale's study and listened to the discussion with the author on Radio4's Today programme on the 26 August 2010.

    I commend the author's conclusions that "Greater acknowledgment of the relationship of doctors' values with clinical decision-making is advocated". The study opens up a wider debate about the relationship of both doctors' and nurs...

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  • Religion and discussion of end of life care: The hunt for the hidden confounder must begin
    Richard Body

    Dear Editor,

    I would first like to congratulate Dr. Seale for producing a thought- provoking piece of research that has captured the imagination of the nation's media. I would also like to point out an interesting discordance that I have noted with regard to the findings of this important research, which ought to stimulate further discussion.

    Although religious doctors were significantly less likely tha...

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  • Evidence, Equipoise & Endocarditis: Reply to Mohindra
    David M Shaw


    RK Mohindra's recent paper criticises NICE's decision-making regarding the use of antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent infective endocarditis. He is also critical of our defence of NICE, but does not actually engage with our argument, stating simply that he was "surprised" to see a philosophical defence of something that should be decided by evidence. We find it surprising that Mohindra believes that...

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