Cardiologist admits research misconduct

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 24 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1501
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    A £2m libel action brought against Channel 4 by a former consultant cardiologist at one of London's leading teaching hospitals collapsed last week after he admitted that errors in scientific papers coauthored by him appeared to be “more than an honest slip of the pen.”

    Dr Peter Nixon, a consultant at Charing Cross Hospital until his retirement six years ago, withdrew his action and agreed to pay £765520 in costs to Channel 4, which he claimed had branded him a charlatan, unfit to practise medicine.

    In a comprehensive climbdown, he also agreed to the disclosure of all documents in the case to the General Medical Council–unless he voluntarily retires from practice in the meantime–and not to take legal action if the allegations are repeated by Channel Four, the producer and journalist Duncan Campbell, or his production company.

    Dr Nixon, who claimed that hyperventilation could cause a range of illnesses, including many heart attacks, Gulf War syndrome, post traumatic stress disorder and premenstrual tension, sued Channel Four, Mr Campbell, and his company Investigation and Production (TV) Limited over the programme “Preying …

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