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Cochrane director’s expulsion results in four board members resigning

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 17 September 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3945
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

The Cochrane Collaboration’s governing board has voted to expel one of its most prominent members, Peter Gøtzsche, provoking the resignation of four other board members who backed him.

Gøtzsche, director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, is well known for his outspoken criticisms of breast cancer screening and the overuse of psychiatric drugs. His sacking came after a heated meeting of the governing board in Edinburgh on Thursday13 September as the organisation prepared for its annual meeting.

Maryanne Demasi, an Australian television journalist and ally of Gøtzsche, said in a blog post that he was given five minutes at the meeting to respond to a report by an external law firm commissioned by the board to review a growing dispute between him and Cochrane’s chief executive, Mark Wilson, who is backed by other trustees.1

At issue was the claim that Gøtzsche had overstepped the mark by using the Cochrane name …

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