Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Dignity is a useless concept

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 18 December 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1419

Rapid Response:

Unusual, overlooked aspect of dignity.

In my opinion, Ruth Macklin in his intriguing editorial (1) fails to
remember a paramount paradigm of lack of dignity and respect for persons
or for their autonomy, regarding really both doctor’s and patient’s
dignity, although in opposite sense. What I mean is that now-a-days, in
this technologized world, at least apparently, all HNS provide people
with primary prevention – on more or less large scale – against the most
common human diseases, such as malignancy, diabetes, arterial
hypertension, rheumatic disorders, osteoporosis, a.s.o., which represent
accordingly today’s epidemics, so that a large amount of (people’s) money
is spent on preventive measures every year. According to the concept, all
physicians agree with, that prevention is surely better than treatment,
such as procedure seemingly respects all human rights documents. However,
not “all” individuals can be involved, e.g., by type 2 diabetes (2),
malignancy (3), hypertension (4), osteoporosis (5) a.s.o. (See HONCode
web site 233736,, Constitutions). As a matter
of fact, although overlooked or ignored by HNS authorities around the
world, for reasons very easy to understand, both Biophisical Semeiotics
and biophysical-semeiotic constitutions do really exists (6). At the bed
side, doctor is now fortunately able to recognize and assess in a
quantitative, and not expensive, way, the diverse constitutions, selecting
rationally people to undergo “real and efficacious” primary prevention,
without creating anxiety, easily avoidable, not causing loss of work
houers, and particularly not spending large amount of financial resources,
which could be more useful if consumed in other fields of the medicine.

1) Macklin R. Dignity is a useless concept. BMJ 2003;327:1419-1420
(20 December), doi:10.1136/bmj.327.7429.1419

2) Stagnaro S., Diet and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2002 Jan
24;346(4):297-298. letter [PubMed –indexed for MEDLINE].

3) Stagnaro-Neri M., Stagnaro S. Introduzione alla Semeiotica Biofisica.
Il Terreno Oncologico. Travel Factory, Roma, in stampa.

4) Stagnaro-Neri M., Stagnaro S., Stadio pre-ipertensivo e monitoraggio
terapeutico della ipertensione arteriosa. Omnia Medica Therapeutica.
Archivio, 1-13, 1989-90, 1990

5) Stagnaro-Neri M., Stagnaro S., Diagnosi Clinica Precoce
dell’Osteoporosi con la Percussione Ascoltata. Clin.Ter. 137, 21-27 [Pub-
Med indexed for MEDLINE] 1991

6) Stagnaro S. Primary Prevention based on detecting Biophysical-Semeiotic
Constitution. Rapid Response. 8 January 2002.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

30 December 2003
Sergio Stagnaro
Specialist in Blood, Gastrointestinal, and Metabolic Diseases. Researcher in Biophysical Semeiotics.
Via Erasmo Piaggio 23/8. 16037 Riva Trigoso (Genoa) Italy.