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May 6, 1974

Editorial Ethics

Author Affiliations

Baylor College of Medicine Houston

JAMA. 1974;228(6):693. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230310015004

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To the Editor.—  It is difficult to see how Dr. Vaisrub, in his editorial on "Ethical Priorities" (227:434, 1974), arrived at his opening Voltairian condensation of the statement on "Ethical Experimentation and the Editor" by the Committee on Editorial Policy of the Council of Biology Editors. Nowhere in our Committee's statement can I find a basis for such paraphrasing.The instances in which "valuable information" derived from unethical experimentation "may never get into print" are probably more hypothetical than real, and only rarely, if ever, would society be seriously deprived if the dissemination of such information awaited its derivation by ethical means. The availability of human subjects and of funds for future medical research, on the other hand, would be sharply reduced by the public outrage ensuing from publication of unethically obtained data."Discourteous, underhanded, even unethical" are undoubtedly the adjectives that authors would apply to the editorial practice of