Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Conflict of interest

Diverting attention from financial conflicts of interest

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 30 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3505
  1. Jeanne Lenzer, freelance journalist, associate editor, The BMJ1,
  2. Shannon Brownlee, senior vice president2
  1. 1New York, USA
  2. 2Lown Institute, Brookline, MA, USA
  1. jlenzer{at}

Godlee’s comment that “there is little dispute that non-financial conflicts of interest—such as academic passion and personal belief—are just as important [as], if harder to track” than financial conflicts, begs examination for two reasons.1

Firstly, personal biases are generally, although not always, multidirectional; some experts might prefer one approach to patient care for personal or philosophical reasons, or may believe fervently in a …

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