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CAUT Bulletin Archives

January 1999

Flaws Mar Naimark's Review of Sick Kids

In December, Dr. Arnold Naimark released his review of the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children's treatment of Dr. Nancy Olivieri - the eminent medical researcher who faced legal threats from pharmaceutical company, Apotex Inc., when her research raised questions about the safety of one of its new drugs.

"This report fails to address adequately the fundamental issues of the case," said CAUT President Bill Graham. "It does not explain why the Hospital failed to support Dr. Olivieri against drug company attempts to stifle her research findings."

Graham also said the report failed to deal seriously with Dr. Olivieri's charges that she was subjected to continuous harassment and intimidation by the hospital, including two attempts to constructively dismiss her.

At its November Council meeting, CAUT expressed serious concerns about the nature and process of the Naimark inquiry - demanding that the review be halted and that a truly independent judicial inquiry be set up to investigate this very serious matter. Council referred this case to CAUT's Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee.

The University of Toronto Faculty Association has launched a grievance against the university on behalf of Dr. Olivieri and three of the colleagues who have most actively defended her, alleging violations of their academic freedom.