Doctors urged to present views in an objective way to the media

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 01 December 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1289
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    Doctors should discuss scientific arguments in an objective way when talking to the media, the Council for Medical Ethics of the Norwegian Medical Association ruled this week.

    The council was responding to a complaint that a professor of cardiology had claimed in a newspaper interview that government regulations requiring the first line use of thiazides for hypertension meant that doctors might risk “killing” their patients with a “rat poison drug.”

    The news report that provoked the case was a front page news story in a Norwegian national newspaper, Dagbladet, published on 11 February 2004. In the report Sverre Kjeldsen, professor of cardiology at the University of Oslo, was quoted as saying that “the authorities urge us to kill the patients with pure rat poison,” in an article that suggested that high doses of cheap thiazides worked in a similar way to …

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