December 24, 1997

Patient Consent for Publication-Reply

Author Affiliations

Editor, Western Journal of Medicine San Francisco, Calif

JAMA. 1997;278(24):2140-2141. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550240030019

In Reply.  —The logic goes like this: A healthy society depends on healthy individuals. "Health" is more than physical well-being; health includes emotional and social well-being. An essential contributor to physicla, emotional, and social well-being is personal privacy, which signifies that an individual's autonomy is respected and value is affirmed. As Drs Kirsch and Rothschild point out, efforts to ensure privacy can go far beyond the ICMJE's modest proposals.Drs Ridzon and Onorato report that journals have inconsistent policies regarding "protection of patients and rights to privacy." This is not surprising, since, although ICMJE requirements are meant to decrease the need for authors to change the format of manuscripts in case of repeated submissions, journal editors, like scientists, are an independent lot and make decisions on their own. The answers to most of Ridzon and Onorato's questions are contained in the ICMJE statement1 or in guidelines used by institutional review boards.