11.14 Who Gets Hurt? Examining Infamous Plagiarism Scandals (Obj. 4)

Have you ever wondered who gets hurt when students, teachers, journalists, scientists, and other authors are dishonest researchers and writers? Occasionally we read about people who plagiarize their work, try to cheat their way through college, invent news features, copy from others, or fabricate research results. Earlier in the chapter you learned about anesthesiologist Yoshitaka Fujii, who wrote 172 bogus scientific papers, 126 of which were based on imaginary research studies. Two shocking cases in medical research rival Fujii’s fabrications in gravity and scope.

Former British surgeon Andrew Wakefield published an article in the reputable medical journal The Lancet that seemed to provide evidence that a common immunization against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) could cause autism. Wakefield had fabricated evidence and was found guilty of professional misconduct. He lost his license to practice as a medical doctor. His fraudulent research, however, caused a precipitous drop in vaccinations in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In the words of one pediatrician, “That paper killed children.”36

German anesthesiologist Joachim Boldt was fired from his professorship and is being investigated for allegedly manipulating data in his drug trials that led to more than 90 now suspect papers. Although no research subjects were directly harmed, Boldt’s fraudulent drug research could have put millions of patients at risk.37



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