Ethics and law in psychiatry

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BMC Medical EthicsBioMed CentralOpen AccessResearch articleUnder-representation of developing countries in the research
literature: ethical issues arising from a survey of five leading medical
Athula Sumathipala*1,4, Sisira Siribaddana2,4 and Vikram Patel3
Address: 1Section of Epidemiology, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London SE5 8AF UK, 2Sri Jayewardenepura Postgraduate Teaching
Hospital, Thalapathpitiya, Nugegoda, 10250, Sri Lanka, 3London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK and 4Forum for Research
and Development in Sri Lanka
Email: Athula Sumathipala* – [email protected]; Sisira Siribaddana – [email protected]; Vikram Patel – [email protected]
* Corresponding authorPublished: 04 October 2004
BMC Medical Ethics 2004, 5:5doi:10.1186/1472-6939-5-5Received: 22 April 2004
Accepted: 04 October 2004This article is available from:
© 2004 Sumathipala et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.Abstract
Background: It is widely acknowledged that there is a global divide on health care and health
research known as the 10/90 divide.
Methods: A retrospective survey of articles published in the BMJ, Lancet, NEJM, Annals of Internal
Medicine & JAMA in a calendar year to examine the contribution of the developing world to
medical literature. We categorized countries into four regions: UK, USA, Other Euro-American
countries (OEAC) and (RoW). OEAC were European countries other than the UK but including
Australia, New Zealand and Canada. RoW comprised all other countries.
Results: The average contribution of the RoW to the research literature in the five journals was
6.5%. In…