"Medical writing" and ghostwriting as ethical challenges in medical communication

Transplant Proc. 2010 Oct;42(8):3335-7. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2010.07.023.


In the past years, it has become increasingly apparent that ghostwriting may erode the public trust in medical science and scientific publishing. It is estimated that approximately 10% of articles published in reputed journals are ghostwritten, and this rate may be even higher in some medical specialties. Although this practice is rather universally condemned, the propriety of participation of professional writers in producing papers remains an open question. Although some believe this practice should also be banned, others argue that such stringent policy would increase nonpublication and rather encourage disclosure; but should medical writers be included as authors on the final version of manuscripts? These and other questions should be solved to maintain the high scientific and ethical standards of medical communication and public trust in medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Ethics*
  • Journalism, Medical*