To the editor: Drs. Murphy and Dull (Ann Intern Med 79:907, 1973) found "highly objectionable the use, in published medical reporting, of patient identification that does not fully protect the reported patient's privacy." On its face this statement seems unassailable, and the Editors promptly responded by pledging the elimination of patients' initials from published papers. It seems to me that the statement of Drs. Murphy and Dull should have read "protect the reported patient's right to privacy," a right that the patient may or may not elect to exercise.
There were no derogatory allusions to the "eminent virologist" in the
Identification of Patients. Ann Intern Med. ;80:559. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-80-4-559_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1974;80(4):559.
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