Rapid responses are electronic comments to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on bmj.com. A rapid response is first posted online. If you need the URL (web address) of an individual response, simply click on the response headline and copy the URL from the browser window. A proportion of responses will, after editing, be published online and in the print journal as letters, which are indexed in PubMed. Rapid responses are not indexed in PubMed and they are not journal articles. The BMJ reserves the right to remove responses which are being wilfully misrepresented as published articles.
Scare-care is a poor substitute for healthcare. Healthcare experts who manufacture public hysteria about controversial issues, without acknowledging the legitimacy of opposing points of view, are not advancing public health. Healthcare is not monolithic, and there are legitimate questions about such sacred cows as vaccines, statins, antibiotics, tranquilizers, antidepressants, and global warming (climate change). Healthcare requires balance and fairness, not bias or fear.