Disclosure: Appropriate or Not?

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The ASCO Post is an outstanding publication that I always look forward to reading. I also understand there are policies and rules to be followed, particularly regarding conflicts of interest and disclosures from contributors. I am writing in regard to “Cancer Has Made Me A Better Doctor,” by David Posner, MD (The ASCO Post, March 15, 2013, page 1). Dr. Posner shared a deeply personal and courageous story about his own experiences as a patient with recurrent cancer. Was it necessary to end this moving narrative with the statement “Dr. Posner reported no potential conflicts of interest”? ■ 

—M. Steven Piver, MD
Buffalo, New York

Dr. Piver is Medical Director of the M. Steven Piver, M.D. Center for Women’s Health and Wellness and Senior Gynecologic Oncologist for Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo, New York. 

Publisher’s Note: Regarding the letters from Dr. Baker and Dr. Piver, readers have on occasion written to The ASCO Post to question whether a particular disclosure statement was comprehensive. The disclosure statement serves as a means to allow readers to determine in their own opinion whether there is any perceived conflict of interest between an individual cited and material discussed in a particular article. Inclusion of a disclosure statement following every article has become almost second nature in many medical publications, including The ASCO Post. While important in many instances, there are times when a disclosure statement is not appropriate, as Dr. Piver has thoughtfully reminded us. Dr. David Posner shared a selfless and inspiring personal essay; certainly The ASCO Post should have recognized this as one such time and omitted the disclosure statement. Watch for more on this important topic in future issues. ■




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