Friday, 23 October 2009

Dr Adrian Treloar. Non Declaration of Religious Affiliations

Dr Adrian Treloar is a Consultant Psychiatrist with a distinctly pro-life view on matters related to the Liverpool Care Pathway and other end of life issues. While his opinions are admirable, we were concerned about his constant non declaration of his religious affiliations during his written work to the British Medical Journal etc.

He is a council member of the Guild of Catholic Doctors. Declarations should be made in light of the GMC's guidance on Personal Beliefs. The public have a right to know whether a doctor's views have been influenced by the Catholic Church in order to place these views in perspective. Medicine should be secular but sadly various religions do influence the treatment of patients. This may be acceptable or not acceptable to the patient. The public though deserve a choice. It is the duty of all doctors to provide a scientific evidence based opinion. If this view has added influences, it should be declared. One such influence is the Spirituality Group at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Spirituality is not a branch of Psychiatry and is therefore in breach of the Royal College's own rules on the matter. No other Royal College appears to have such a group influencing medicine. It is also in direct conflict with the GMC's Guidance on Personal Beliefs.

Correspondence between us and the BMJ.
"I wanted to raise a important issue with you. Until recently, I did not realise that Dr Adrian Treloar was a council member of the Guild of Catholic Doctors. I note that a number of his posts do not carry a conflict of interest declaration - in some posts he writes "None Declared" eg here . He is a avid contributor to the BMJ and quite rightly so but it is immensely misleading to the general public not to declare his personal interests. Medicine should be largely secular and the public have a right to believe that opinions are based on science and not a pro life twist influenced by the Catholic Church. You are no doubt aware of the GMC's guidance on Personal Beliefs"

I hope you will therefore add the Conflict Declaration to all his posts. I have copied this to Dr Treloar.


Member of Doctors 4 Justice

Response from Fiona Godlee Editor of the BMJ

We have recently (this month) moved to requesting that authors include their non-financial conflicts of interest, as part of the ICMJE uniform requirements. Up until now we have required only financial conflicts. Any future postings from Dr Treloar will need to include relevant non-financial conflicts of interest.

If you would like to post a rapid response to Dr Treloar along the lines of your email, to which Dr Treloar could reply, that would be helpful.

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