There are some lively comments on the posts about the JAMA fetal pain article. (See Reaction to fetal pain article and Politically charged journal article of the week.) One commenter wondered why the authors didn’t disclose their affiliations (one used to work for a pro-life group, another is a medical director at a clinic that performs abortions).
So I sent an email to the corresponding author Dr. Mark Rosen, and he replied as follows:
August 29, 2005
Please read the instructions to authors for JAMA, and take careful note of the editorâ€™s comments made to the press about the relevance of this â€˜failure to discloseâ€™. There is no precedence for disclosure of clinical activities for physicians publishing a peer-reviewed, scientific article. The fact that Dr. Drey performs abortion procedures and the less than one-year employment of the medical student (more than 3 or 4 years ago) posed no bias and had no relevance to the content of the article. Those who wish to comment on our science, Iâ€™m pleased to engage, but to focus on this issue of disclosure seems like a subterfuge. Note that I didnâ€™t â€˜discloseâ€™ that I have been providing anesthesia for fetal surgery for over 25 years, in fact, â€˜inventedâ€™ the field.