To the Editor: The recent letter by McLaren1 focuses attention on conflicts of interest which can arise from public, rather than private, relationships. We, as authors of a recent article on developing guidelines about conflicts of interest,2 wish to comment on this particular issue. Certainly, the potential influence of an anticipated government appointment or promotion, or government research funding (or the feared loss of a position or of funding) is rarely recognised as constituting a conflict of interest.
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