Monday, June 28, 2010
I can see that there is an argument to be had that democratically elected heads of state should be able to meet even if there's violent protesters threatening to disrupt their meeting. In Canada, what was odd were marketing exercises (like a - get this - fake lake) that might have been of interest to tourists (who saw mostly violent protests on TV) but that were certainly of no interest to the attending heads of state (they got their own lakes). The photo shows an artist rendering of the lake ...
So, my question is this: if these heads of state believe it's worth meeting - the official results along would suggest that perhaps they might be mistaken - why can't they meet in some out-of-nowhere place? You know, all things considered, it might be cheaper building them a hotel in some place in the sticks and have em take their helicopters or planes there. Should be cheaper than shutting down multi-million people cities. What a waste!
Friday, June 25, 2010
So, today said court ruled that if someone competent has decided they wish to die, even if the nature of their illness does not suggest that their dying process has begun, whoever removes pro-actively their means of life-support has not broken German law. Further, in the case of unconscious patients the patients' likely intention is considered sufficient to make the removal of life support systems legal. In the case under consideration a reportedly a woman who had been in persistent vegetative state for 5 years had her means of life support terminated by her daughter based on the patient's expressed wishes. Part of the problem was that her wishes were only expressed verbally to her daughter prior to her coma, hence no written advance directive existed. The patient had no chance of an improvement of her clinical situation. I wonder whether different circumstances might have changed the verdict or whether this really suggests that self-determination takes priority over the purported sanctity of life in German law.
This, of course, is terrible news for those God people who believe that we are not entitled to make respect demanding decisions about how we wish to die.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Ghostauthors, ghost management and the manipulation of medical research
There are three articles in the June issue of Bioethics on different aspects of ghostwriting.
The first article, by Tobenna D Anekwe, “Profits and plagiarism: the case of medical ghostwriting” argues that “medical ghostwriting often involves plagiarism and, in those cases, can be treated as an act of research misconduct” and suggests measures to counter ghostwriting.
The second article, by Sergio Sismondo and Mathieu Doucet, “Publication ethics and the ghost management of medical publication" discusses the wider issue of management of the whole publication process, showing how “pharmaceutical companies engage in the ghost management of the scientific literature, by controlling or shaping several crucial steps in the research, writing, and publication of scientific articles."
The final article, by Carl Elliott and Amy Snow Landa, "What’s wrong with ghostwriting?" concludes that ghost authorship and ghost management are part of a much larger problem, “the manipulation of medical research for marketing purposes.”