In reply: Several aspects of Mr Ruddock's letter concern us. The tendency to evade the substance of the message and instead to attack the messenger, in this case the MJA, is unwarranted. Fortunately, the Journal's reputation rests secure with its more usual, considered readership, but the accusation that the MJA has acted in a cursory manner is particularly jarring — the media response by the Minister to the publication of the relevant articles occurred within hours, hardly sufficient time to subject them to a considered analysis. The haste of the response is also evident in the substance of the letter, with its focus on largely irrelevant technical aspects rather than on the key issue — the legitimate concerns raised about the impact of detention on the mental health of inmates.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.