94 e-Letters

published between 2013 and 2016

  • Is it ethical for scarce research funding to be diverted to overzealous policing of low risk observational studies?
    Joseph Ting

    To the Editor:

    A substantial proportion of medical research funding in advanced health economies are diverted to the overzealous policing of low risk observational studies.

    As we plea and wait for the resumption of competitive funding to the research endeavour so necessary to maintaining Australia's global stature as a science and innovation based economy, the haemorrhage could be stemmed re- allocati...

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  • A very difficult area
    Malcolm Kendrick

    A very difficult area indeed. My view is that that, once you have decided to stop fluids and/or nutrition, then the patient will certainly die. Whether or not they will suffer whilst starving, or dehydrating, is unclear. However, prolonging life in such cases extends suffering for relatives, staff, and possibly/probably the patient.

    A lethal injection at this point is surely more humane than extending life and,...

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  • The best argument against the organ market still awaits refutation
    Miran Epstein

    Critics of a regulated market in organs have correctly focussed on its inability to protect the vendor from coercion and exploitation. However, they have consistently failed to realise that coercion and exploitation are not immanent in this market. Rather, they are immanent in the need to even consider selling ones organs (free people do not engage in such considerations). In other words, the critics have failed to ackno...

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  • Authorship for the grant winners and postgraduates
    Atif A Baig

    Dear Sir,

    The article was well read and understood. I would like to draw the attention of readers to the current reality, of having grant winners who are not the authors even though their hypothesis and proposal writing has contributed significantly and scientifically towards achieving the grant/funds, followed by processing of the entire scientific/social projects based on the proposed hypothesis. Authorship i...

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  • Re:Suicide tourism may not change the courts but the courts could alter suicide tourism
    susanne stevens

    The term 'suicide tourism' was first coined by the media for obvious reasons. Is it necessary to use such a repugnant term though. When used to refer to a group collectively this insult can can be glossed over- in a way it could not without causing anger if referring to an individual who takes the harrowing decision to go abroad for an assisted death. To refer to the increased number of people 'from England' (presumably...

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  • Re "Advance consent, critical interests and dementia research"
    Heather Zelle

    Formulating the desire to consent in advance to research as a critical interest is a valuable addition to the literature on consent to research by incapacitated individuals. As Dr. Buller notes, much attention has been paid to these concerns in the literature and many states have enacted statutes protecting human research subjects. States vary in how thoroughly they treat the topic, with some carefully defining who ma...

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  • Suicide tourism may not change the courts but the courts could alter suicide tourism
    Richard A Clubb


    I have no argument with Charles Foster's tortuously argued claim that suicide tourism has not led to a change in prosecutorial policy, although I am far more exercised by the potential for change in the latter influencing requirement for the former. Nor do I disagree with his admission that it is intellectually dishonest for us to allow Swiss clinics to siphon off our sufferings and responsibility, except t...

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  • Does the pragmatic model undermine the importance of the ethical obligations involved in information process? A defence of continuous genetic counselling for research participants.
    Felicitas S. Holzer

    Hallowell et al. advocate an interesting pragmatic approach to the disclosure of genetic information in research settings. Furthermore, they present a useful framework which explicitly addresses advantages and disadvantages linked to different feedback policies researchers could pursue (Hallowell et al. 2014, table 1).

    We agree with the authors that the feedback of findings from whole- genome sequencing (WGS) o...

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  • Re:' Good Death'?
    susanne stevens

    Every person's death will be unique and their response to treatment not altogether predictable. The recent degrading way a man on 'death row' in USA was put to death, using drugs which prolonged his dying by around two hours was obviously grotesque . Doctors gave the injections. The limits of responsibility by prescribing doctors in UK if assisted dying becomes law, must be made clear to both persons receiving 'help'...

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  • Headline-grabbing entertainment
    Michael Cook

    Honestly, this is one of the silliest articles I have ever read in the Journal of Medical Ethics. Apart from a host of other objections, I wonder if the author has investigated whether IVF actually raises the birth-rate, an essential consideration if she is to prove that the pitter- patter of little carbon footprints is environmentally unsustainable.

    I suspect that the net effect of IVF is to depress the birth-ra...

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