Lessons in Conflict of Interest: The Construction of the Martyrdom of David Healy and The Dilemma of Bioethics

American Journal of Bioethics 5 (1):W3-W14 (2005)
Abstract
Bioethics journals have lagged behind medical and science journals in exploring the threat of conflict of interest (COI) to the integrity of publications. Some recent discussions of COI that have occurred in the bioethics literature are reviewed. Discussions of what has been termed the ?Healy affair? unintentionally demonstrate that the direct and indirect influence of undisclosed COI may come from those who call for protection from the undue influence of industry. Paradoxically, the nature and tone of current discussions may serve to dull sensitivities to what is indeed a serious set of issues facing bioethics. Some proposals are presented to address COI and other challenges to the integrity of bioethics and its journals. COI is too important a topic to be left to ideologues, and there is no substitute for readers' caution and skepticism as tools in dealing with the full range of biases that exist in published papers
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