Commentary: Consent and confidentiality in publishing—the view of the BMJ’s ethics committeeBMJ 2008; 337 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a1232 (Published 08 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1232
- Ainsley J Newson, senior lecturer in biomedical ethics1,
- Julian Sheather, deputy head of medical ethics2
- 1Centre for Ethics in Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol BS6 6AU
- 2British Medical Association, BMA House, London
- Correspondence to: A J Newson
We explain here the response of the BMJ’s ethics committee to the case study submitted by Isaacs and colleagues and make some broader points about the need for patient consent to publish case studies. We conclude that the “public interest” criterion for publication justifiably has a high threshold, which was not met by this paper. Yet we recognise that policy formation in this contested area can be difficult and that further debate is required.
The publication of case studies in medical journals provides a rich narrative of clinical practice with valuable lessons for other practitioners and has extended ethical debates, suggested …