Alfie Evans case: how we refer to palliative careBMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2440 (Published 04 June 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2440
All rapid responses
In February, I stressed that instructions to authors wisely warn "Please anonymise the patient’s details as much as possible, eg, specific ages, ethnicity, occupations".(1,2)
Again this week, two articles were titled with the name and the surname of a patient.(2,3) This is four in a 2 month period for this patient.(4,5,6)
The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors which aims to standardize also warns "Nonessential identifying details should be omitted."(7)
Moreover, in case of error, the Committee advises for republication (also referred to as “replacement”).(8) For Elsevier such cases are among "Criteria for emergency takedown."(9)
The Journal must be commended for supporting those who blow the whistle as they experience a very hard time and, I was one of the so many who benefited from the Journal's outstanding assistance.(10) However, hard times for whistle-blowers are also when blowing in the wind.
3 Frader JE. XXX XXX case: how we refer to palliative care. BMJ 2018;361:k2440.
4 Smith MLC. XXX XXX case: the good of the patient. BMJ 2018;361:k2439.
5 Dyer C. XXX XXX case: Proposed law aims to prevent conflicts between parents and doctors.
6 Anthony-Pillai R. XXX XXX case: are the notions of best interests and futility just paternalism rebranded? BMJ 2018;361:k2436.
10 Benkimoun P. Doctor’s sacking is setback for French public health, supporters say. BMJ 2010;340:c711.
Competing interests: No competing interests