- Category: News
- Created on Thursday, 17 November 2011 14:39
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
An ethics committee at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam found that Don Poldermans, a senior lecturer, made up material for his research papers and damaged the trust of his patients.
The case is the latest fraud scandal to hit Dutch academia, following the suspension of Tilburg university lecturer Diederik Stapel in September for manipulating his findings to make the results more favourable.
Last week it emerged that a senior researcher at UMC St. Radboud in Nijmegen had been dismissed for failing to collect reliable information from patients.
The Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen) has promised to set up a commission to look at ways of preventing fraud in scientific research.
A spokesman for the Erasmus Medical Centre said Poldermans had accepted the “broad terms” of the inquiry and admitted he had “not adhered to the prescribed working methods”, although he denied falsifying data.
Poldermans had worked for several years in the field of perioperative cardiovascular surgery and was researching how the risk of complications before and during heart-valve operations could be reduced.
The hospital said he had more than 500 medical publications to his name. It said the case represented a serious breach of scientific integrity, while the ethics committee described it as “scientific misconduct”.
Deacon Huib Pols said he was “deeply shocked” by the case, but stressed that no patients had been physically harmed.
In Poldermans’ most recent work, titled Decrease VI, he took blood samples from patients and let them undergo heart scans without their written consent, which is required by protocol.
Some of the results in his research did not correspond with information from patients, Pols added.
Poldermans’ earlier work will now be investigated after it emerged that some of his sources could not be traced. A previous inquiry cast doubts on whether he had acquired the written consent of his patients.