eLetters

421 e-Letters

  • Using anaesthetised patients for medical students
    Elizabeth Cockerell

    Dear Editor

    A current matter under discussion in the BMJ is the use of patients conscious or anaesthetised patients for the instruction of medical students in pelvic and rectal (my apologies if one includes the other) examination - with no consent from the patient. There was no indication of whether children are used in this way. I do hope that this aspect of freely given, informed consent is examined in these pages....

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  • Consent and choice
    Marion A Chester

    Dear Editor

    I read 'Why we should not seek individual informed consent for participation in health services research' with weary disbelief. The arguement made by the authors that UK citizens are members of the NHS and as such are required to give up their medical records and choice about whether to particpiate in research, displays a lack of understanding about the citizen's relationship to the NHS.

    The id...

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  • Gender balance and sex equality: Author's response to the letter by Frances H. Rushworth
    B. M. Dickens

    Dear Editor

    Injustice and oppression lie in prohibition not for birth of a first child, but of a second or later child.

    B.M. Dickens

  • Gender balance and sex equality
    Frances H Rushworth

    Dear Editor

    Without intervention, a small preponderance of female over male infants will be born, and female children will have a slightly higher chance of living to maturity. Thereafter, the female population will decline relatively sharply in consequence of death in childbirth. Historical evidence indicates that throughout the recorded history of Britain, there was a relative scarcity of women and men dominated...

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  • Baffled
    Dileep M Bagnall

    Dear Editor

    I must disagree with the view that there is no substantial difference between the withdrawal of a gastrostomy tube and the prescribing of drugs to end an life. I see no ethical or compassionate dimension in allowing slow starvation. To administer a measured overdose of Morphine, or such, is much kinder. The person dies with dignity and in the minimum of pain.

    How passive killing with no regard to co...

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  • To discuss or not to discuss CPR? That is the question
    Rajeena Ackroyd

    Dear Editor

    I read with interst the article by Cherniack [1] in October's issue. He questions whether or not more elderly people die with a DNR order beccause they are actually choosing to do so, and reviews evidence of doctors and patients knowledge and attitudes towards CPR decision making.

    It is all very well talking about whether a patient would want to be resuscitated and Cherniack feels more studies...

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  • Life imitates art
    John M. Freeman

    Dear Editor

    The discussion of this couples desire to have a deaf child is very reminiscent of a case we invented, published in Tough Decisions: Cases in Medical Ethics 2nd ed. Freeman J and McDonnell K Oxford Press 2001. The case explored the genetic issues in the desire of a deaf couple to have a deaf child. Most genetic manipulations are to avoid a genetic disorder, this, and the lesbian couple show that genet...

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  • DNA orders
    Andrew D Lawson

    Dear Editor

    I read Dr Cherniack's article regarding DNR orders with interest.[1] One of the problems with DNR orders is the patients’ assumption that if there is no DNR order they will survive resuscitative efforts. This of course is far from the truth. In my hospital these have been modified to "do not attempt to resuscitate orders". One cannot be truly autonomous without being informed. Long term survival, as measu...

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  • Editor's response: A call for rules of engagement
    Julian Savulescu

    Dr Lewis raises the important issue of what the rules of debate should be in electronic correspondence.[1]

    As an editor, I feel as if I am caught in the maelstrom of evolution. The web has radically changed the nature of debate and the presentation of information and knowledge. It is not clear to me how and whether it should be controlled. My general approach has been to let the experiment run in a free way and look...

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  • A call for rules of engagement
    Wayne Lewis

    Dear Editor

    At the time of writing there appears to have been no electronic submissions to the Journal of Medical Ethics. It seems appropriate, therefore, to begin electronic correspondence with a consideration of some of the ethical implications of this new form of ethical dialogue.

    I have posted this response to Kenneth Boyd’s editorial on ‘Mrs. Pretty and Ms B’ [1] as this article may provoke debate...

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