Why religious belief should be declared as a competing interestBMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k1456 (Published 12 April 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k1456
- Richard Smith, former editor of The BMJ1,
- Jane Blazeby, professor of surgery2
- 1London, UK
- 2Bristol, UK
- Correspondence to: R Smith
“If in doubt, declare a competing interest” is standard teaching in ethics. Hiding a competing interest hints at dishonesty, raising doubts about the integrity of what has been written or said. It thus seems elementary that you should declare a religious competing interest because faith and other non-financial competing interests often have a profound effect on people’s views.1 Yet people with deep religious beliefs and other non-financial competing interests often do not make such a declaration,1 perhaps believing it to be a private matter or because of the tendency to focus on financial conflicts of interest.
Religious conflicts of interest are important in …