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June 20, 2007

Confidentiality of Medical Information After Death—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2007;297(23):2585. doi:10.1001/jama.297.23.2585-a

In Reply: Dr Sade's comments are a useful reminder of the often divergent agendas of law and clinical ethics. However, it is clear that the AMA guidelines,1 with which we are in agreement, may not be shared by all North American writers on medical ethics.2 Given the still underdeveloped nature of ethics teaching in many medical schools worldwide,3,4 his letter points to 2 professional development imperatives: (1) staffing, funding, and curricular status of medical ethics teaching must be strengthened, and (2) professional organizations must continue to lobby intensively for legislation that is sensitive to ethical clinical practice. As our Commentary indicates, this is particularly relevant to freedom of information legislation.