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September 20, 2013

Don't Like a Research Paper? Sue the Journal and Authors...

What is a lawyer to do if medical research produces results that make it more difficult to win lawsuits? Why you sue the medical journal and the researchers who authored it.

And you ask the medical journal to retract it.

And than you ask for a court order forbidding the report to be entered as evidence in future litigation.

Sound like a joke?

Wish it was, except it happened... is happening...

A Boston lawyer has sued the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology for a case report published in 2008 regarding an infant delivery in which a brachial plexus injury was sustained via natural forces of labor without any excessive traction provided by the physician.

More info can be found on the lawsuit here which was initially dismissed by a trial court, but is on appeal to the First Circuit.

Given I'm an ENT, I can't necessarily state whether this published medical report has merit or not, but typically if a study is without merit, one criticizes it by publishing additional research studies to either support or refute it.

If lawyers now start influencing what can be published or not, or indirectly influence researchers whether to publish "unpopular" results for fear of lawsuits, it will have a chilling effect on the advancement of science and medical research.

Hopefully, suing medical journals and researchers will not become a popular trend.


Sources:
Publish an article that undermines lawsuits? See you in court. Overlawyered 9/18/13

Maternal forces causing injury. United Brachial Plexus Network 5/16/11

Permanent brachial plexus injury following vaginal delivery without physician traction or shoulder dystocia. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Volume 198, Issue 3 , Pages e7-e8, March 2008
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

1 comment:

  1. Are you suggesting that a paper that contains false data should be allowed to be published? Maybe it is allowed in the medical journals but if knowingly false data is published in scientific journals like JACS, the article is retracted and frequently careers ruined. I would think there would be such morality for medical journals as well

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