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“Obstetrician Suspended After Research Inquiry” by Dillner

The main idea of the article “Obstetrician suspended after research inquiry” is an outrageous scandal or fraud that involves a compromised research study in health care, particularly in obstetrics and gynecology. Consequently, a number of key points that should be considered via the analysis were detected. Then, some crucially important issues will be highlighted, while discussion and unique viewpoints of the framework will be described.

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Briefly, Mr. Malcolm Pearce, an obstetrician, has been removed for some time from his job and an honorary senior lectureship at St. George’s Hospital Medical School. Although lately, it occurred due to counterfeit scientific research papers, a news report by the editor of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Professor Geoffrey Chamberlain, assured “a procedure whereby the fetus in her third ectopic pregnancy was removed and replaced in her (woman’s) uterus” (Dillner, 1994, pp. 1459). Obviously, it was published without gazing upon the research, and there was no evidence that “the pregnancy reached term with no further problems” (Dillner, 1994, pp. 1459).

Notwithstanding that Mr. Malcolm Pearce’s motive in compromising the integrity of the study was not clearly mentioned in the article, the analysis lets assume it. One should maintain that there are the following reasons. Firstly, regular scientific publications are needed for medical staff and for gaining a professor’s status at the Medical School. Secondly, it was probably sponsored with the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, so his actions were motivated by profit. However, others may say that it was just a mistake in the research and its conclusion.

If one sticks to the first viewpoint, it should be said that Mr. Malcolm Pearce disregarded the norms of corporate policy and, moreover, cooperated with the sponsor Professor Chamberlain in agreement. Such neglect of both persons’ duties leads to ethical violations, including the safety of pregnant women, misinformation of nurses and falsehood brought in society in general.

Moreover, there is a list of essential Code’s provisions that have been violated. According to common knowledge, there are some basic ethical principles and one of the most vital was broken by the scientist. The principle is called “Minimising the risk of harm”, so Mr. Pearce did not have to provide psychological stress for readers and lead to social disadvantage. Besides, the editor (Pearce’s colleague Professor Chamberlain) also infringed the rules by putting his name on the paper as a co-author.

What is more, it is necessary to discuss what consequences the fraud carried for different people. Basically, it is mentioned about the researcher that he was suspended from the duty and “the trust and the medical school are considering what further action to take on the matter” (Dillner, 1994, pp. 1459). As for his future career, one should maintain that such a highlighted case in mass media put an end to it. Taking into consideration the editor’s fate, Professor Chamberlain was defended by the principal of St. George’s Hospital Medical School and “no further action be taken by the school” (Dillner, 1994, pp. 1459). In other words, unfortunately, he evaded penalty as many other heads of department (while it is still widespread to put one’s name on paper without taking participation).

The next question is, how could the researcher have avoided fraud and maintained the integrity of the study? Certainly, he had to put the reliable data into his research and, probably, to consult with another qualified professor or researcher. Owing to an oversight mechanism, St. George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, the investigation was carried out. There could be more flagrant lies in the healthcare system without such a department.

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In conclusion, it should be emphasized that this particular case has great implications for nursing research studies. All of the thesis, dissertations or scientific articles have to be thoroughly examined by an independent organization. Only that way, it is possible to avoid miscalculations and fatal mistakes in medicine. Thus, one should claim that the topic was considered from the different points of view and the main ideas were provided with straightforward arguments.


Dillner, L. (1994). Obstetrician suspended after research inquiry. British Medical Journal, 309(6967), 1459. Web.

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