“We’re talking about families who lose their mother, who lose their baby because of this problem,” one accuser told Jezebel.’
A doctor responsible for more than 50 papers on reproductive health issues—including chronic hypertension in pregnancy, drug treatment during preterm labor, and heart disease—has likely faked the data behind the studies, according to a group of scientists in the field. Even worse, some of that work has made it into trend studies in major American scientific journals that influenced clinical care.
When fabrication and falsification of data leaks into professional practice it can impact on humans (such as clinical care) it is a big deal that we all should be concerned about. Institutions should respond especially harshly if a researchers misconduct could result in harm to patients or others community users of professional services. This is likely to include all clinical trials and all clinical research. Distortion of professional practice should be a factor that is considered when evaluating the severity of the misconduct.
Rezk is already known in academic fraud research circles. His name is connected to eight papers listed in Retraction Watch’s database, half of which were retracted. Retraction Watch is an independent blog that tracks scientific fraud, fabrication and, of course, retraction. If all Rezk’s 51 accused papers were retracted, he’d make into the site’s top 10 worst offenders. The doctor did not respond to Jezebel’s email requests for comment.
This group of scientists say they’ve found evidence of falsification of data across Rezk’s work. The problems alleged by the group are best illustrated by two studies Rzek authored or co-authored. Each paper is about a randomized clinical trial (the gold standard for testing drug efficacy) that studies mild to moderate chronic hypertension in pregnancy, a condition affecting upwards of 20% of pregnant women.