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Letters
January 23/30, 2002

Citation of Unethical Research—Reply

Author Affiliations
 

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;287(4):452-453. doi:10.1001/jama.287.4.447

In Reply: In preparing our consensus report on the medical and public health management of tularemia as a potential weapon of bioterrorism, we followed a straightforward process of literature review using a computerized search of the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE listings from 1966 through 2000 as a first step. This search identified several studies published in the United States on the preventive and curative antimicrobial treatment of tularemia in volunteers, and citations in these reports led us to earlier relevant publications. Among the many publications and reports reviewed and cited in our consensus document were the publications on tularemia by McCrumb et al1 (1957) and by Sawyer et al2 (1966), which were the sources of Dr Furmanski's concern. Furmanski speculates that volunteers in the study by McCrumb et al might not have been fully informed of the objectives of the research and that the study by Sawyer et al might have been based on an unacceptably risky hypothesis. On the basis of this interpretation, Furmanski concludes that the studies were unethical.

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