White Coat, Black Hat

PharmedOut Dissenters: A Profile in Courage (part 1)

Freedom of SpeechAs you are surely aware by now, the extremists at Pharmed Out delivered a crushing blow to academic freedom at this week’s conference.  Snubbing the Ethicator, they brought Carl Elliott to spew his anti-pharma hatred unchallenged.  What you may not know, however,  is that a few brave and lonely voices of dissent emerged among the conference organizers, seeking to undo the damage done.  In the end, their efforts were no match for the Big Anti-Pharma forces controlling the event, but I feel compelled to repost here the courageous emails they sent me earlier this week.

Dear Mr. Elliott, B.

I hope this letter reaches you while you are seated comfortably on a giant squishy chair, listening to your favorite soundtracks, and not chained to a plastic folding chair in a cubicle somewhere arbitrarily chosen by your brother, the Other Elliott. There has been some rumor that you have not been formally invited to attend the PharmedOut conference that is being held in DC this coming week. This news has devastated me as I have been preparing to meet the Real Elliott, he with such brilliance and charisma, the mastermind. How could it be that The Ethicator would not show at such an event? It is my most sincere hope that you will come to this conference. Pretty please, with cherries on top, go to the conference! After all, B comes before C.


An Admirer

Dear Admirer,

Thank you for your courageous stand for academic freedom.  I can only imagine the pressure you must be feeling from your conference overlords, and I'm deeply moved by your steadfastness.   There should be more bioethicists like you.

As for my attending, I'm afraid the chances are now remote.  I can only encourage you to join the legions of protesters who are picketing the conference on my behalf.   It would take a lot to appease me at this point (first class flight, a room at the Watergate, and of course the usual bourbon and percocet, just for starters; an award would be nice, too).  Still, my fans have the right to hope, and to continue working for a better world.

Thank you for your heroism, and keep up the fight.

The Ethicator

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