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Journalists accused of wrecking doctors' lives

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 14 April 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:890

Joanna Lyall, in her press review of journalists' “pursuit of human interest stories,” (BMJ 2005;330:485, 26 Feb) reported some statements made by Professor Raymond Tallis, professor of geriatric medicine at Manchester University, when he was talking at a recent debate on medical journalism. In relation to the organ retention issue at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool, Professor Tallis was reported as saying that “quite a few children died unnecessarily” as a result of the fall in organ donations after the press coverage about Alder Hey. Professor Tallis would like to make clear that this was an accurate report of what he said but that he cannot prove that children died unnecessarily “although it seems highly likely.” He apologises for having drawn “a conclusion that goes beyond what the facts could readily support.”


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