Education And Debate

Commentary: The ethical issue is deceit

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7129.460 (Published 07 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:460
  1. D D Raphael, emeritus professor of philosophya
  1. a Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine, London SW7 2BX
  1. Correspondence to: Professor D D Raphael 54 Sandy Lane, Richmond, Surrey TW10 7EL

    Introduction

    The article of Logmans et al is presented as “an ethical dilemma.” The chief point that strikes me is its apparent blindness to the real ethical issue involved. It considers and rightly rejects two objections to reconstructing the hymen—firstly, that it is analogous to clitoridectomy, which is agreed to be reprehensible, and, secondly, that it does not benefit the physical wellbeing of the patient. But these objections are trivial. The real ethical difficulty is that the operation involves collusion with deceit. Should a doctor …

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