91 e-Letters

published between 2014 and 2017

  • Is Home Birth Really As Safe As Hospital Birth? "Woman-centred Care" vs "Baby-centred Care"
    Julian Savulescu

    [This is an elaborated version of a blog on May 13, 2014: http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2014/05/is-home-birth-really-as-safe- as-hospital-birth-woman-centred-care-vs-baby-centred-care/#more-8493] Imagine that you and your partner are having a baby in hospital. Tragically something goes wrong unexpectedly during birth and the baby is born blue. He urgently needs resuscitation if there is to be a chance of preventing...

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  • Homebirth and the future child: factual inaccuracies in commentary on the Birthplace study
    Jennifer Hollowell

    In their article 'Homebirth and the future child', Dr De Crespigny and Professor Savulescu acknowledge that they "lack sufficient evidence" to establish definitively that homebirth is less safe, yet they conclude that "couples should be clearly informed of the excess risks of future child disability" associated with home birth.[1]

    We believe that women should be given information about the potential risks and be...

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  • Unethical not to recommend circumcision
    Brian J. Morris
    Evidence-based policies[1-6] concur that medical male circumcision (MC), best performed early in life[7] under local anaesthesia by a trained provider, is a simple, safe procedure conferring lifetime protection against numerous adverse medical conditions that together affect half of all males[2,7]. Data from numerous clinical trials and hundreds of research studies show benefits greatly exceeding risks[2,7], particularly in resour...
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  • Non-therapeutic circumcision: The problem of advocacy-based medicine
    J. Steven Svoboda

    Non-therapeutic circumcision is a contentious issue on which most readers will drift toward the position that reflects their backgrounds or affirms their cultural affinities. Unfortunately, the efforts of various self-appointed "experts" have done little to clarify the issues, and some are notorious for cherry-picking a vast and inconclusive medical literature in order to advance their prior agenda.

    We invite readers...

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  • Re:A Response to "Conflict of interest in online point-of-care clinical support websites"
    Kyle T Amber

    We thank Dr. Post for his response to our brief report, "Conflict of interest in online point-of-care clinical support websites" (J Med Ethics doi:10.1136/medethics-2013- 101625). We additionally commend UpToDate for many of its policies that protect the integrity of the educational material presented. In light of Dr. Post's comments, we recommend further clarification in the UpToDate conflict of interest policy, particu...

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  • Reply to "Circumcision: A bioethical challenge" by Svoboda & Van Howe
    Brian J. Morris

    I thank Mr Svoboda and honorary adjunct clinical professor Van Howe (S&VH) for their Letter [1] responding to our critique [2] of their article [3] criticizing the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) infant male circumcision (IMC) policy statement [4]. Their Letter provides little in the way of material disagreement with our critique [2], in which we pointed out the extensive factual errors in their article [3]....

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  • A Response to "Conflict of interest in online point-of-care clinical support websites"
    Theodore W. Post

    In the brief report, "Conflict of interest in online point-of-care clinical support websites" (J Med Ethics doi:10.1136/medethics-2013- 101625), Kyle A. Amber et al. offered their perspectives on the role of conflicts of interest in clinical decision support resources. It is an important dialog, one UpToDate, a Wolters Kluwer Health company, supports and welcomes. Indeed, as an organization we continuously and proactively...

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  • Dead people ARE totally and irreversibly disabled people
    Thor Harald Johansen

    I would argue that a totally and irreversibly disabled person HAS ceased to exist. Personhood, medically, exists in the brain. If the brain has been made permanently incapable of sustaining coherent thought or experience, it no longer belongs to a person. This view seems to be widely held by relatives of those with Alzheimer's disease, who speak very vividly of the gradual loss the person they once knew and loved. Many p...

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  • Response to: Homebirth and the Future Child de Crespigny L, Savulescu J. J Med Ethics. 2014 Jan 22.
    Judy S. Cohain

    "Through most of human history, around 1% of mothers have died while giving birth" concludes Homebirth and the Future Child. The citation for this statement makes no reference to maternal mortality through most of human history. Still the statement itself raises the interesting question: How many women died while giving birth through most of human history? The Talmudic scholars state less than 1 per 1000. They may...

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  • Circumcision: A bioethical challenge
    J. Steven Svoboda

    "Professor Morris is a man on a mission to rid the world of the male foreskin."

    -- Dr. Basil Donovan, Clinical Professor in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Sydney, reviewing "In Favour of Circumcision" by Brian Morris.[1]

    "I have some good friends who are obstetricians outside the military, and they look at a foreskin and almost see a $125 price tag on it. Each one is...

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