A Reader Responds to "By Financial Disclosures, We're Fixing the Wrong Problem"

E.S. Prakash, MBBS, MD


November 16, 2007

To the Editor,

Is there anybody without a potential conflict of interest?

By disclosing financial conflicts of interest, we are actually not fixing any problem. Disclosing potential conflicts of interests is necessary professional etiquette. I believe that trying to find experts without a conflict of interest, a solution that Dr. Kassirer[1] suggests, is not practicable. It is worth asking whether it is ever possible to determine whether there is anybody who does not have a conflict of interest at all. Furthermore, having an obvious conflict of interest does not necessarily mean that it will affect the quality of one's contribution to the scientific issue in question. Eventually, it is trust that underpins the peer review process by which science is published and perused.

Conflict of interests: none.

E.S. Prakash, MBBS, MD
School of Medicine, Asian Institute of Medicine, Science & Technology
Bedong, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia

Editor's Note:
This letter was shown to the author, who chose not to respond.

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