Jan/Feb 2002 BCMJ cover art

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 44, No. 3, April 2002, Page 116 Letters

While I am pleased that you decided to emphasize my article on emergency contraception by highlighting it on the cover of the journal (BCMJ 2002;44[1]), I was appalled at the choice of illustration that was used. The image of a male fantasy figure portraying such an offensively aggressive stance was in complete contrast to the subject matter concerning human sexuality; worse still it perpetuates the stereotypical tradition of men as aggressors, both as partners and as physicians.

I would appreciate it if you would make it clear to the readers of the BCMJ that I had no part in the discussions about the front cover. I sincerely hope that in future the Journal will ensure that the front cover illustration is vetted by the author of the article it is meant to highlight before going to print.

—Roey Malleson, MB 
Medical Director, Planned Parenthood Association of BC

We are concerned colleagues and readers of your magazine writing regarding the cover art for your January/February 2002 publication of the BCMJ. We question why you would depict the delivery of emergency contraception by a crazed Viking. His conquering leer, bulging muscles, and IUD weapon further add an undeniable element of violence to the image. We are appalled at the use of this image to depict such a sensitive topic as contraceptive options. This cover is entirely inappropriate and we are shocked by the absolute lack of judgment exhibited by your publication.

—Hana Masata, Linda Voda, Christine Singh, Ursula Gutteridge 
UBC Medical Class, 2002

I would like to express my anger with the cover of the January BCMJ. The article that was referred to was a very thorough and balanced reference for the use (or lack of) of emergency contraception. I found the cover, which shows a cartoon of the Norse god Thor holding an IUD, very distasteful, both as a woman and as a physician who is dedicated to the education of both the public and the profession of all options available to prevent unwanted pregnancies for the women in this province.

As a dues paying member of the BCMA, I am appalled with the apparent anti-choice perspective that this cartoon appears to promote, that emergency contraception is a primitive, violent, and medieval practice, and was allowed to be on the cover of our journal.

The BCMA is not only the economic voice of physicians of British Columbia, but also the political voice, and as such, this cover should never have been considered, let alone approved. Despite the apparent personal beliefs of the editorial staff of the BCMJ, the vast majority of physicians in this province do support the personal freedom of choice for all women in the area of reproductive health.

—Catherine Clelland, MD 
Treasurer, Planned Parenthood Kelowna Branch

The cover was an artistic interpretation of the use of an IUD to prevent fertilization of the ovum, not an expression of anyone’s opinion on emergency contraception.—Ed

. Jan/Feb 2002 BCMJ cover art. BCMJ, Vol. 44, No. 3, April, 2002, Page(s) 116 - Letters.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

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For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org

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