White Coat, Black Hat Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine

29Aug/111

Another Church joins the Movement

Posted by B Elliott

Filed under: Ghostwriting 1 Comment
4Aug/110

Heroes at Globe and Mail Boldly Praise Ghostwriting

Posted by B Elliott

GhostwriterCheck out yesterday's copy of the Toronto Globe and Mail, where the heroes in the editorial section take a bold stance in favor of pharmaceutical companies hiring ghostwriters to publish in peer-reviewed academic publications.  I say good for them.

Now, I know what you are all thinking:  As a victim of ghostwriting myself, shouldn't I be against the idea?  Well, not exactly. If you pay your ghostwriters (unlike someone else I know),  I'm all for it.

Let's face it:  Scientists have the credentials and the name recognition, but can they make their product sound awesome?  Not a chance.  Bad self-presentation is an occupational hazard; just look at the way they dress.  Plus they're busy.

And yes, as the Globe admits, there is a danger that these Big Bad Pharma Companies will turn the articles into an advertising opportunities, but hey, that's the reviewers' job to sort out.  Which is why the Globe calls for  "particularly vigilant reading of the draft by the researchers, so that no advertising spin creeps in".  Caveat emptor, baby -- we've got bigger fish to fry.  Kudos, G&M.

The Ethicator

Got a moral quandary you just can't solve?  Send your questions to the Ethicator: info@whitecoatblackhat.com

 

3Mar/112

The Ethicator: Can I pay someone to write my dissertation?

Posted by B Elliott

Dear Ethicator,

I am a current PhD student but am worried that I am not making timely progress toward completing my dissertation. I'm contemplating purchasing a dissertation from a ghost writing organization so I can just be done already, and the website I'm considering guarantees that it is 100% plagiarism free so I don't have to worry about that! My adviser is too busy writing articles for the New Yorker and checking the sales of his own book to help me along. Can the Ethicator advise me on whether it's ethically acceptable to pay someone to write my dissertation? I mean, I'd totally read over it once before I turned it in...

Thanks Ethicator!
A concerned graduate student

Dear Concerned:

I am somewhat conflicted. As you know, I have very strong feelings about plagiarism. On the other hand, though, I see that you are paying for the work (unlike, well, you know . . .). So you're happy, the writer's happy. What's the harm? After all, If you really like something enough, isn't that kind of like writing it yourself? And if you are a serious bioethicist like I am, your time is precious. There's only so much time to waste on writing when you are busy building and managing your brand, tweeting and talking to cable news. So I understand.

What I don't understand, though, is why you assume that the financial burden should fall on you, rather than your professor. After all, he's the one slacking off, raking in the bucks, writing for the fancypants magazines and clicking Amazon every 5 minutes to see if his book's broken into the top 50,000. I say, order the paper and send him the bill.

You're welcome,

The Ethicator

Send your questions to the Ethicator:  info@whitecoatblackhat.com

12Nov/105

More Ghostwriting

Posted by B Elliott

pitchman

"Hey, everybody, check out my Atlantic article. It's in the Atlantic, did you hear?  I got an article in the Atlantic.  It's a chapter from my book.  Did you know I wrote a book? Go to Amazon and buy my book. Or Chapters. It's there too!  Oh, yeah, and did you know I write for the Atlantic? I should put my Atlantic article on my website!"

OK, fine, I'll post the goddamn link again.  Happy?

Ghostwriters. Yeah, I feel their pain. I'd hate to spend my days writing just to see some tenured fucker at a university get all the glory.  Hey wait . . . .

Filed under: Ghostwriting 5 Comments
11Nov/100

Playing Writer

Posted by B Elliott

recycleYeah, yeah.  More of the same in today's Atlantic online.

Filed under: Ghostwriting No Comments
11Sep/101

Ghostwriters

Posted by B Elliott

Ghost

A Ghost Writer

This Beacon Press page asks a “study question” on Carl Elliott’s discussion of medical ghostwriters:  “How much moral responsibility should medical ghostwriters bear for their work?.”

Nice.  Of course, nothing in Dr. Elliott’s book is ghostwritten.  Nothing at all.  No connections between his book and, say, emails sent to him between April and June 2009, or long conversations at the parents’ house at Christmastime.  Nopers.  Not a thing.