91 e-Letters

published between 2014 and 2017

  • 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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  • Asking the Right Autonomy Question about Genomic Tests
    Effy Vayena

    Eline Bunnik's comment(1) concludes with the observation that not all existing direct-to-consumer genetic tests enhance the autonomy of their consumers, not if autonomy is understood in the Razian sense employed in my article.(2) This is a demanding sense of autonomy, one that requires the presence of an adequate range of valuable options from which to choose. Bunnik's conclusion is difficult to disagree with, but that's...

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    Debashish Danda

    Cannot agree more than this title. This "Live and Let die" attitude is probably highest amongst doctors, whether in academic or non academic set up. You send a manuscript for publication; You will find a jealous reviewer colleague (often donot even know you personally, but have competing interest) will turn it down as "reject" only to publish his similar work in a short time by clever means of planted peer review. So, "o...

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  • Neuberger review evidence
    J Logan

    You seem to have based your article on the evidence contained in the Neuberger Review [NR]. I note myself with some dismay that the actual evidence submitted to it was never published in full (names redacted of course), so we'll never know what complaints were actually received or considered by this panel. John Ellershaw (who wrote the LCP) was permitted to use his complaints databases in Liverpool as examples, accord...

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  • ' Good Death'?
    Dr Logan

    Since the first version was published in 2003, up until the LCP renal prescribing guidelines were issued in 2008, versions of the Liverpool Care Pathway issued to staff in Acute Hospitals mandated the use of Diamorphine for relief of both 'pain' and 'breathlessness'.

    Administering these drugs to anyone in renal compromise must have led to thousands of appalling and undiginified bad deaths - delirium and hallucinati...

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