Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Is bioethics a bully?

“Ethics Man” misses mark: most bioethicists are not thugs

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 02 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6549
  1. Joshua S Crites, assistant professor1,
  2. Rebecca L Volpe, assistant professor1
  1. 1Penn State College of Medicine, Department of Humanities, Hershey, PA 17033, USA
  1. jcrites{at}

Although Sokol never explicitly says that bioethicists (clinical ethics consultants) are bullies, his anthropomorphism of bioethics insinuates this.1 It would be a tragedy for readers to believe that Sokol accurately portrays the entire field.

Clinical ethics straddles theoretical inquiry and practical application, but theoretical inquiry is not responsible …

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