Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Observations Ethics Man

How to think like an ethicist

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 23 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c3256

Rapid Response:

How to think like a mathematician .... why quadrants?

The use of the term quadrant implies four zones divisible by two
orthogonal lines - ie that for two qualities or dimensions x and y, the
quadrants represent low x/low y, high x/low y, low x/high y and high
x/high y* (or if x/y are dichotomies, x=FALSE/y=FALSE, x=TRUE/y=TRUE etc).
I can't figure out what qualities x and y are supposed to be in this
example, as the four so-called quadrants seem to be independent.

This might seem a bit nitpicking but the use of the word quadrant
made the article confusing. If it's correct, then please explain the two
orthogonal dimensions on which the quadrants are based. If it's
incorrect, please choose a term which doesn't imply a relationship between
the four items.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 June 2010
Hilary Curtis
Independent consultant