A conference on the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) was held in September 1984 in Philadelphia, USA, jointly supported by the Ethics and Values in Science and Technology (EVIST) Section of the National Science Foundation, and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (USA). Twenty-two international research workers in the area of PMS met for a week's closed workshop discussing the scientific, legal and ethical issues raised by the present attention being given to the syndrome. PMS is now popular in the USA, with many private clinics and programmes being developed. Ten of the twenty-two invited participants were from medicine (six of these were psychiatrists, two general practitioners and four gynaecologists); the remainder were sociologists, anthropologists, lawyers, physiologists, philosophers, behavioural geneticists, psychologists, social workers, criminologists and bioethicists—an indicator of the diversity of the effects of and research into premenstrual syndrome. There were three UK participants—a general practitioner, a gynaecologist, and a psychiatrist. As the UK psychiatrist I felt that two in particular of the concensus opinions reached by such a diverse group would be of interest to readers of the Bulletin.
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