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Authors’ response: hand washing is about respect for patients
  1. Donald A Redelmeier1,
  2. Eldar Shafir2
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Department of Public Policy, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Donald A Redelmeier, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, G-wing Rm 151, 2075 Bayview Ave, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4N 1J5; dar{at}

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To the editor,

Cohen1 provides a thoughtful and heartfelt clinical anecdote that complements our review of the shortfalls around hand washing among physicians.2 We agree that hand washing shows care and diligence in patient treatment. It also conveys an image of being calm rather than rushed, humble rather than self-important and wanting contact rather than distance. Unfortunately, the metaphor of just-washed warm-hands may no longer apply …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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