Poldermans case

Last modified: November 8, 2018

Don Poldermans is a Dutch former cardiovascular medicine researcher who was fired for scientific misconduct and ethics concerns over informed consent. The primary studies that have been brought into question are four of the Dutch Echocardiographic Cardiac Risk Evaluation Applying Stress Echocardiography (DECREASE) studies. Firstly, some of the randomized controlled trials did not obtain written informed consent from the participants before randomly allocating them to different strategies. These actions were a serious breach of medical research conduct. Secondly, the committee determined that the data were not collected according to the protocol described beforehand and reported in the publications. For example, events such as myocardial infarction were not diagnosed by a panel of independent researchers, but by a single person who made no documentation for the reason for the categorisations, which were later found to be contradictory to the patients’ own medical records. Thirdly, the committee determined that, in several cases, these trials had fabricated data. Lastly, the committee found that untrustworthy data had been knowingly submitted for publication, another breach of proper scientific conduct. Poldermans was dismissed from his position at Erasmus Medical Center. Don Poldermans acknowledged the committee’s decision but he claimed that his misconduct was unintended.
(summary from Wikipedia)

An episode of Zembla (a Dutch documentaries series) was dedicated to this case (video in Dutch).

Read also the reports on this case:

  • http://www.erasmusmc.nl/cs-research/bijlagen/integriteit/rapport-poldermans-2011
  • http://www.erasmusmc.nl/cs-research/bijlagen/integriteit/rapportpoldermans2012
  • http://www.erasmusmc.nl/cs-research/bijlagen/integriteit/eindrapport2014nl
  • The links were last checked on May 19th, 2017.

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