Intended for healthcare professionals


Scientists call for whistleblowers' charter

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 15 November 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1251
  1. Sandra Goldbeck-Wood
  1. BMJ

    The British scientific community needs a statutory body to detect and prevent scientific fraud. This was the unanimous view of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), which met in London last week. The meeting also called for a whistleblowers' charter to protect people who draw attention to fraud from victimisation.

    Ian Kennedy, professor of medical law and ethics at King's College London, said that proper protection for whistleblowers was essential in detecting research fraud. Whistleblowers were often ignored, victimised, professionally ostracised, and labelled as pathological, he said.

    Dr Frank Wells from Medicolegal Investigations, a private company that investigates cases of scientific fraud, described a case in which a research nurse was victimised …

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