Personal Views

Was the paper I wrote a fraud?

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7146.1755a (Published 06 June 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1755
  1. Cameron Bowie, emeritus director of public health
  1. Somerset

    See retraction box p 1700

    The sad thing is, it was a good paper about people with severe physical disability and how a coordinated approach can successfully meet their needs (BMJ 1993;306:95–8). One professor called it seminal. It was used as an empirical base to promote community care. I trumpeted the findings with gusto. But it has had to be retracted (retraction box p 1700) because my coauthor was struck off the medical register for research fraud and I am unable to vouch for the probity of the data used (28 February, p 647). It has been an unedifying experience putting my own scientific credentials into question.

    Mark was a registrar and senior registrar in my department in Somerset when the survey was done in 1989. He was a reliable trainee and became a trusted friend and colleague. He was on the way to becoming accredited as a public health physician and was appointed lecturer and later senior lecturer at our local university department of social medicine. He was a success.

    The survey was commissioned and designed jointly by our social services department and us. It was carried out in house. One hundred and eighty one severely disabled adults were interviewed in 1989 and underwent physical assessment. Mark supposedly carried …

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