89 e-Letters

published between 2011 and 2014

  • That "Non-maleficence is not a novel concern" is precisely why it should be discussed more widely
    Simon D Waltho

    Many thanks to Adam J Sher for drawing my (and others') attention to this particular aspect of the IPRA's genesis. Notwithstanding that it renders my own contribution to such debates even more modest than I had at first suspected, to discover that my thoughts echoed (however belatedly!) those of such a respected individual as Rabbi Feinstein is somewhat edifying, and I would hope that most people would rather find their v...

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  • Legal physician-assisted dying in Oregon and the Netherlands: The question of "vulnerable" groups. A reply to I.G. Finlay and R. George
    Margaret P. Battin

    In their critique of our paper "Legal physician-assisted dying in Oregon and the Netherlands: evidence concerning the impact on patients in "vulnerable" groups," I.G. Finlay and R. George claim to challenge our underlying assumptions and methodology with "another perspective on Oregon's data." In our view, however, they miss the point of our paper and address a quite different issue. While we welcome their attempt t...

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  • Why sexual and reproductive health policies might fail
    Richard Ma

    Strickland's paper in the JME highlights one of the key barriers to any policy on sexual and reproductive health matters: the attitude of the doctor to sexual health interventions.

    Although the study only involved four medical schools and the sample was not powered or stratified to be deemed representative, the views of 733 medical students out of an estimated 7,600 due to graduate this summer may be important....

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    Hugh V. McLachlan

    David Shaw rejects my suggestion that, although it is not necessarily unethical, it might well be unprofessional for a doctor to perform euthanasia on or to have sex with his or her patients.[1,2] However, his argument is unconvincing.

    According to him: '...if something is really contrary to a professional's role, it is almost certain to be unethical in some respect. McLachlan provides the example of doctors havin...

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  • Harris, Sparrow and "rational" genetic conclusions
    Tom Koch

    In his spirited response to Robin Sparrow (J Med Ethics, 37:5), John Harris insists he is ...misunderstood. "No sane person", he writes, "would recommend the exclusive production of females as a reproductive method of choice".

    Nor, of course, does Sparrow whose point was that the eugenic enthusiasms of Harris and others for genetic selection, and the elimination of "harmful" choices, leads to positions no sane p...

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  • Brain death is not 'complete death' in Islam: A global call for revising the legal definition of death in Islam
    Mohamed Y Rady

    Brain death is not 'complete death' in Islam: A global call for revising the legal definition of death in Islam

    To the editor

    Dr Bedir and Professor Aksoy have made an important scholarly contribution addressing the validity and legitimacy of equating brain death with human death in the Islamic faith. This contribution has significance not only for the medical community of practicing physicians and h...

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  • Re-defining "depression."
    John West

    I am not a scientist, but I know this issue very well from a practical point of view. I assisted both of my parents with their suicides, and wrote a book about it, entitled "The Last Goodnights" which was published in the U.S. in 2009.

    I agree that depression is an important consideration for physicians to take into account, re/ PAS, but this begs the question of: "What is depression?" and perhaps more accurat...

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  • Non-maleficence is not a novel consideration
    Adam J Sher

    Simon Waltho is right to note that his analysis does not offer anything particularly new to this debate. Gross was not the only author to highlight the harm that the actual act of forcing a patient to receive treatment against his express wishes might cause. Before the State of Israel introduced the Israeli Patient's Rights Act in 1996, the issue of whether one could force life-saving treatment on a patient had already b...

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  • Is trust enough for Muslim women in the clinical encounter?
    Michelle McLean

    No-one who would dispute that trust is the cornerstone of an effective doctor-patient relationship. Trust must, however, be earned, and probably more so in a cross-cultural encounter where factors such as the language of communication and the physician's understanding of the religious and cultural practices of the patient come into play. For Muslim women, the medical reason for their visit is probably the important considerat...

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