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Thread: Should Sir Roy Meadow have been struck of the medical register?

  1. #1
    Humbled Father Member Duke of Gloucester's Avatar
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    Default Should Sir Roy Meadow have been struck of the medical register?

    The link gives the background to this case.

    Roy Meadow struck off

    Now when I heard about his 73 million to 1 statistic in the Sally Clark case I was really angry, but I wasn't just angry with Roy Meadows. His statistical analysis was flawed at a very basic level - so basic that an intelligent, reasonably educated 16-year-old should have been able to point out the flaw. In fact my daughter (12 years old at the time) did just that: "what if they both had a gene that meant they would die?" is what she said at the time. Obviously an intelligent and highly educated man like Sir Roy should not have made such a basic mistake, but what about all the other intelligent and well educated people in the legal system whose job it was to consider and challenge the validity of what Sir Roy said? It was the judge, the prosecution lawyers (who should have said "we can't use this - it's rubbish") the defence lawyers who (who should have put up their own expert witness to challenge the nonsense being spouted, after all he or she would only need GCSE maths!) I was more angry with them.

    Sir Roy did not maliciously mislead the court and he is entitled to have his ideas properly challenged. By taking his word as Gospel truth and then turning on him when suddenly we all realise he was completely wrong is just not fair. It isn't as unfair as locking up a women because she has been unlucky enough to have two babies die, but it is unjust. Obviously as an expert witness he is totally discredited, but should he be struck off and stopped from working as a paediatrician? Only if the judge in the case and all the lawyers from both sides have to find new jobs too. After all Sir Roy's real job was to treat sick and injured children. Expert evidence was a sideline. They were meant to sift and challenge evidence. They are supposed to be experts in doing this. They failed, and, to my mind, they bear the greater guilt for the unfair verdict.

    Rant over.
    Last edited by Duke of Gloucester; 07-16-2005 at 09:11.
    We all learn from experience. Unfortunately we don't all learn as much as we should.

  2. #2
    The Sword of Rome Member Marcellus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should Sir Roy Meadow have been struck of the medical register?

    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of Gloucester
    but should he be struck off and stopped from working as a paediatrician?
    He's retired.

    But should he be struck off the register? It's a tricky question. I suspect that the reason no-one questioned his figure was that as an 'expert' witness, they assumed he knew what he was talking about. The thing is, he didn't do anything wrong medically , so I don't think that he should be struck off the register. However, because, as an expert witness, he presented statistical evidence without knowing about statistics, perhaps he should face legal charges for misleading the court (even if he was not doing it intentioanally)?
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