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Candid Reporting on Complications, Then and Now

Joseph Hoffman
Arch Ophthalmol. 2001;119(2):308-309. doi:.
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Dr George Waring is correct in his article in ARCHIVES that both supporting and contradictory evidence must be presented if physicians are to make informed judgments.1 Because this applies to nonclinical as well as clinical questions, I must point out that he incorrectly characterized the 1992 article in Ocular Surgery News from which he selectively quoted.

Dr Waring called writers of articles such as the one on hexagonal keratotomy (HK) "uncritical" and said that candid reporting on complications was missing or "disguised." He mentioned that Drs Nordan and Maxwell "reported in the news media" their assessment of HK as a failure but specifically cited only their letter from the Journal of Refractive Surgery. In fact, the very first line of the page 1 article on HK by Dawn Harr in the August 1, 1992, issue of Ocular Surgery News was a quote from Dr Nordan: "Hexagonal keratotomy does not work and should be condemned." Dr Nordan is quoted extensively and just as unequivocally throughout the article, as in his statement that the main proponent of HK at the time "claims that the special way he teaches people to make these cuts makes it a better operation in his hands. I'm afraid I just don't believe that."

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