Rapid responses are electronic letters to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on thebmj.com. Although a selection of rapid responses will be included online and in print as readers' letters, their first appearance online means that they are published articles. If you need the url (web address) of an individual response, perhaps for citation purposes, simply click on the response headline and copy the url from the browser window. Letters are indexed in PubMed.
A contrary view from me, if I may be permitted to express -
RETRACTION should only be required and carried out if:
There is clear evidence that the authors have knowingly made false statements, deliberately omitted relevant clinical history, clinical findings, misleadingly analysed the data.
Because the authors did not obtain informed consent from the subjects of an innovative procedure should not be grounds for retraction. However, the persons carrying out such work - therapeutic or research - should be subject to legal,proceeedings in accordance with the law of the land.
If this view is accepted, much information useful to future therapy or research will be saved from destruction.