Declaring all – Jane McCredie in MJAInsight

From MJAInsight, Monday August 25, 2014
Medical researchers are rightly required to declare potential financial conflicts of interest when they publish their results, but what of other, more personal, factors that might lead to bias in their findings?
Should, for example, a scientist working on a particular disease disclose their own history of the condition?
Medical ethicist Dr David Shaw argues in JAMA such factors may be as powerful a source of bias as any financial conflict of interest.
He’s faced the conundrum of whether to disclose a number of times over the course of his publishing career.
When he wrote a paper for a medical law journal arguing the addition of fluoride to water should be considered medication and was therefore illegal, Dr Shaw had to decide whether to disclose the staining to his own teeth caused by receiving too much fluoride as a child (though this was not due to water fluoridation).  Read more here

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