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Cochrane director says his sacking was flawed and came after “show trial”

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 20 September 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k4008
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

The head of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, Peter Gøtzsche, has said that his dismissal from Cochrane’s board was the outcome of a “show trial” where the verdict was prefabricated and the process flawed.

In a statement defending himself, Gøtzsche sheds new light on an affair that has divided a highly respected organisation whose reviews influence care across the medical spectrum.

Gøtzsche was expelled from the Cochrane board on 13 September after a board meeting (from which he was excluded) voted by a majority of one to oust him.1 Four of his supporters subsequently resigned their board positions, and those that remained agreed a statement that was read to the Cochrane annual colloquium this week in Edinburgh by the organisation’s co-chair, Martin Burton.2

What the statement did not make clear is exactly what Gøtzsche did to warrant his expulsion. Burton referred to “repeated bad behaviour over many years” but legal reasons and reasons of privacy, he …

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