|Misconduct Case Studies|
The following are clear examples of misconduct. We place them here to demonstrate that misconduct happens in one's own house (the Thomas and Contreas case) and to demonstrate the severity to which misconduct can occur (the Wakefield case).
Siva 2010). The General Medical Council's investigation into Wakefield's misconduct span two and a half years; the longest in their history. They found that Wakefield failed to acquire informed consent from the parents of some test subjects and failed to acquire assent from the subjects themselves. The children were paid £5 each. Those subjects were attendees at his son's fifth birthday party at Wakefield's private residence. Wakefield failed to acquire UK's equivalent to IRB approval for conducting the study. Wakefield was also found guilty of data falsification/fabrication. The General Medical Council revoked Wakefield's professional license to practice as a physician. At the time, Wakefield was working as a gastroenterologist at London's Royal Free Hospital. Wakefield was found guilty of 30 charges (Triggle 2010).
Other cases for consideration:
The Unofficial Drug Study
Dr. Felpert has developed an experimental anti-coagulant drug, AstraZeneca, aimed at reducing the risks of post-operative strokes or cardiac arrests following cardiac surgeries. He is conducting a study with IRB approval for its use. AstraZeneca currently does not have FDA approval. Potential participants are allowed to select between AstraZeneca, Plavix, or Coumadin. Only subjects who agree to AstraZeneca will be enrolled in the study. The study is aimed primarily at risk factors and side effects, efficacy against the competitors. Dr. Felpert wants to track AstraZeneca's efficacy against Plavix and Coumidin. He begins collecting data from his clinical practice where he prescribes both as part of routine clinical practice. No patient who receives Coumadin or Plavix are aware that Dr. Felpert is collecting data about their health for these purposes. Dr. Felpert does not track identifying information.