Journal Mobile

M Gordon, T Staples
Journal Issue: 
Volume 36: Issue 2: 2006


Within  the  last  three  years  there  has  been  considerable  comment and   discussion,   especially   in   electronic   online   forums,   regarding   the appropriateness of including political commentary in medical journals. Given the mandates of representative journals, and the direct impact politics can have on the health of populations, it is appropriate that politically related commentaries be included in medical journals. However, these commentaries should adhere to five criteria: the issue should be discussed in terms of its impact on health; any challenges  based  in  ethical  principles  should  use  the  relevant  ethics  code; if challenging  the  actual  ethics  of  a  group, the  standard  should  be  one  that  is globally  accepted; all  defamatory  comments  should  be  excluded; and  journals should not participate in academic boycotts.  Given adherence to these criteria, medical  journals  can  expand  their  continued  impact  on  health-related  topics, without moving beyond their mandates.