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CAUT Bulletin Archives

December 1998

Sick Kids Should Stop Review

CAUT Council adopted a strong statement about the ongoing case of University of Toronto clinician Dr. Nancy Olivieri at its semi-annual meeting held in Ottawa on Nov. 20-22.

"We are alarmed at the response of the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto to the case of Dr. Nancy Olivieri. Dr. Olivieri has charged that Apotex, Inc., a pharmaceutical company, tried to prevent her publicizing her research findings that raise serious questions about the safety of a new drug Apotex is developing.

"After a good deal of public pressure, the Hospital for Sick Children set up a flawed review process to examine these charges. The chair of the review panel has had a previous relationship with the pharmaceutical company. The other two members of the panel were selected by the chair only after he had conducted much of the investigation. No procedural safeguards were put in place.

"The Canadian Association of University Teachers urges the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto to stop this flawed review immediately and replace it with a proper, independent, external inquiry."

CAUT's standing committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure was asked to give the Olivieri case immediate attention.