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 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
This letter was shown to the author, who chose not to respond.
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Cite this: A Reader Responds to "By Financial Disclosures, We're Fixing the Wrong Problem" - Medscape - Nov 16, 2007.