eLetters

480 e-Letters

  • Deeply worried about your guest editorial
    Michael Andreae

    Dear Editor

    I am deeply worried about the guest editorial by Dickens.[1] Please see my comments below

    • Trying to dispel some of the counter arguments to sex selection, your argument of prospective parents’ autonomy is void. If anyone has a right to determine his or her sex, it would be the person concerned, in this case the unborn child. Surely, the parents will not have surrogate decision making pow...
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  • Deaf Children – A response to Levy
    Bennett Foddy

    Dear Editor

    In his article ‘Deafness, culture and choice’, Neil Levy argues that ‘the deaf will always be cut off from the buzz of conversation, always restricted to a narrower range of jobs, always slightly alienated from the mainstream of political, social, and cultural life.’[1]

    He argues that deaf children will always be somewhat worse off than hearing children, because ‘We are, in many ways, a logocen...

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  • Authors' reply
    Steven Joffe

    Dear Editor

    We thank Derek Narendra for his carefully considered response to our recent article.[1] We are pleased that our work stimulated such a thoughtful reply.

    Narendra criticises our analysis on two major grounds. First, he suggests that a survey such as ours cannot identify patients’ "considered moral judgments," and therefore that the data are not valid for the purpose we put them to. Second, he...

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  • Organ donation: dead interests, living needs and the limits of obligation. A response
    Michael M Rivlin

    Dear Editor

    In his response to our paper "A stronger policy of organ retrieval from cadaveric donors: some ethical considerations".[1] Professor Harris criticises our position on the matter of mandatory posthumous organ donation.[2]

    Whilst some of his comments are fair we believe others to be ill-judged. In this reply to Harris we not only defend our position but will raise a new argument to support our conten...

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  • Private or intimate relations between doctor and patient: is zero tolerance warranted?
    Wolfgang L. Spiegel

    Dear Editor

    Five arguments put forward for a "zero tolerance policy" have been summarised by Cullen, who, we believe, has also hinted at their weaknesses.[1]

    There is the "empirical" claim that sexual contact in the P-P-R is "almost always harmful to the patient". But the evidence in support of this argument consists mainly of case reports and small case series of patients receiving psychotherapy. No represen...

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  • Response to C. Levyman
    Nereo Zamperetti

    Dear Editor

    the concept of brain death (BD) refers to two different but strictly related conditions: the death of the brain ("the irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem"[1]) and the patient's death certified by neurological criteria.

    In his letter, C. Levyman strongly supports both aspects of the concept. Actually, even if nobody challenges the fact the BD i...

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  • Response to Marang and Kievit
    David,O.E, Gebhardt

    Dear Editor

    The comments of Marang and Kievit are interesting, but are they relevant?[1]

    I fear not, or at best only in part. The authors have failed to answer the question, which I raised and its implication. Therefore I will try to do this myself.

    1. Are medical doctors required to present medical information to a judge, if there is a likelihood that the information or evidence can be used in cour...

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  • What do patients value in their hospital care?
    Derek Narendra

    Dear Editor

    In the Journal of Medical Ethics, Joffe et al. recently published an article titled:
    What do patients value in their hospital care? An empirical perspective on autonomy centred bioethic [1]
    This empirical study evaluates whether patients’ willingness to recommend their hospital to others is more strongly associated with their belief that they were treated with...

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  • The return to the heart definition of death
    Celio Levyman

    Dear Editor

    Since the 50s,with the work of Guillan and Mollaret, there has been a preoccupation with the point of no return in brain activity; these French authors choose the expression “coma depassé”. After the first and ethical heart transplantation in South Africa, performed by the Barnard brothers, the medical world was suddenly thrown into a debate about the definition of death. The Harvard ad hoc Committee was...

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  • Re: The implications of starvation induced psychological changes for the ethical treatment of hunger
    Shimon Glick

    Dear Editor

    Dr. Fessler discusses in detail the implications of starvation induced psychological changes for the ethical treatment of hunger strikers,[1] but cannot bring himself in his conclusions to deviate from respecting the competent hunger striker's decision to continue to fast until death. This is clearly also the virtually unanimous Western ethical consensus, giving autonomy the priority over life.

    In a...

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