House of Lords inquires into medical research

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 11 February 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:352

Dr Iain Chalmers got into the Sunday papers last week by recalling that his medical training was so out of date that in the first four years of his career he did his patients more harm than good. He may even have killed some by withholding antibiotics—as the textbooks of the day advised. Coupled to similar evidence that textbooks continued to caution against thrombolysis for 10 years after it was shown to benefit patients Sunday's front page headline ran, “Hundreds killed by doctors relying on outdated manuals.”

The newspaper stories were based on testimony that Dr Chalmers had given to a House of Lords committee inquiring into the state of medical research in the postreform NHS. He told the peers that he was not reassured that his experiences …

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