91 e-Letters

published between 2014 and 2017

  • PLR - better to boost PPI
    Malcolm Harrison

    The Article states "In health research, funding bodies and academic institutions actively undertake patient and public involvement programmes to ensure that studies adequately reflect the perspectives and input of patients and citizens." I do not agree.

    I have been a member of a research ethics committeee in England for seven years. I do not recognise this statement, nor would my colleagues. In very few cases...

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  • Where should this go next?
    Peter H Brooks

    I think this is a very important article. Well written, well researched and timely.

    It seems that there is a large body of ancient wisdom locked away in the Adab writings. I suspect that there will be material of great value to Western, as well as Islamic medical practice.

    I had, until now, been only vaguely of Adab, as a counter-balancing ethic, to Sharia. I'm ashamed of my ignorance, and also surprise...

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  • Rejecting Demand Absolutism
    Toni C Saad

    In his commentary on Francesca Minerva's paper 'Conscientious Objection in Italy'[1], Roger Trigg writes, "mutual respect is easy for people who agree", and, "it is against the spirit of democracy to ride roughshod over other's [sic] beliefs"[2]. His point is apposite: in a democratic society an individual's conscience in matters of ethical controversy ought not to be compromised by popular sensitivities. Sharp disagree...

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  • Religion Vs Science towards Life and Survival
    Atif A Baig

    With respect to all authors, I have read the article and the comments made in the e-letter. I agreed with Biggar to little extent. But one of the important point here is the reason of following religion Vs following the science. Religion is not only about the beliefs but also about the practices. It teaches us 24 hours way of passing life by giving us the heavenly or moral knowledge either with a concept of God or without...

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  • Teaching medical students rational prescribing and improving opportunities for doctors to appraise new treatments enhances rational prescribing
    Joseph Y Ting

    Greater transparency and regulatory oversight in disclosing gifts and payments to physicians from drug and medical device companies could well reduce their influence on a doctor's prescribing habits and medical management recommendations. The threat of a very public loss of professional reputation among peers and patients is likely to discourage a physician accepting drug and medical device company generosity. However, a m...

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  • The use of placebos in Ebola treatment trials
    Joseph Ting

    The argument for substantial benefit conferred by the placebo effect in treatment trials has been around for a while. Clinical triallists do not deny that inactive sugar pills and IV medications or sham surgery have some quantifiable benefit when compared with doing nothing at all. Patients who consent to participate in treatment studies tend to be more motivated and confident that they will get better than those who ref...

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  • 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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