Doctor resigns after wrong diagnoses

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 13 August 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:430
  1. C Essex

    A New Zealand pathologist has retired on grounds of ill health following confirmation of the wrong diagnosis of more than 50 cancer patients. Surgeons at Wanganui Hospital raised concerns about unexpected biopsy results from Dr James Burkinshaw. An independent laboratory assessment confirmed the misdiagnosis, and Dr Burkinshaw resigned the following day. About half the patients were told they had cancer when they did not, and the remainder were wrongly diagnosed as not having cancer. Five women had unnecessary mastectomies and one woman had an unnecessary …

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