Intended for healthcare professionals

BMJ: 321 (7260)

BMJ 2018; 321 doi: (Published 01 February 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;321:521


The first occasion the 'offending' picture appeared in your journal I
looked, in admiration of course, at the image. Not for a second did I
absorb the manufacturer's name. Now, it seems, never did the BMJ provide a
product with better free publicity than in promoting the debate sparked
off by providing a platform for Liam Farrell's prudish views. He, and
other opponents of publication seem to be saying "We don't approve of it,
and we don't want others to either".

What will your French readers make of this priggish nonsense? Come to
think of it, what would Delacroix himself, or the only British painter of
the time to fully celebrate the female form, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema,
have thought?

Your correspondent Dr Joy David feels it may offend India, writing
from a country who's temples are adorned with the most delicious sexual
imagery. Mr John Scott commits perhaps the biggest error of all when he
suggests the painting unsuitable for such a "serious medical journal". The
fact is the BMJ, with its 'news section', 'soundings', 'fillers', 'career
focus' and 'personal view'(this week on an emotional abortion experience)
simply isn't a serious medical journal any more. We are all specialists
now. We get our serious 'fixes' in our own journals. We buy the BMJ for
the spice these sections provide, not the scientific articles. Long live
the inclusion of 'Liberty'!

Competing interests: No competing interests

02 September 2000
Peter Mahaffey
Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Lister Hospital, Stevenage, Herts., SG18 9QT