Ethics committee chairwoman is not obliged to reveal source of concerns about surgeon’s work, judge rules

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 22 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7130
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

A surgeon has failed in a High Court attempt to try to find out who made remarks he considered slanderous about him, so that he could sue for defamation.

Hilali Noordeen, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, northwest London, asked the court to order Rosemary Hill, chairwoman of the London Stanmore research ethics committee, to reveal who made the comments to her and what they said.

The remarks made to Hill led Janet Wisely, director of the National Research Ethics Service, to write a letter to the Royal National’s joint medical directors, which “outraged” Noordeen, the court heard.

The surgeon, an expert in scoliosis who previously worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, had applied to the London Stanmore research ethics committee for approval to do a study on magnetic growth rods.

Developed in 2009, …

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