The Lancet - Medical misinformation and the internet: a call to arms (4) Retraction of misinformation by publishers

13 June, 2019

James Heilman makes a very important point [ which every journal editor, editorial board, publisher, and every researcher and author needs to learn from.

In addition, his point alerts everyone to the infallibility of human beings, and reminds us all of the well-known challenges of the peer review system of screening submitted manuscripts before they are published, to become part and parcel of the literature.

I suppose one way to control the damage that misinformation leads to, is that once it is discovered the same alacrity and level of resources must be applied without any delay to retracting and publicising the retraction to the world. In the case of the MMR falsehood, the retraction must be publicised to the lay media and general public in many languages as well, from the beginning. That is without prejudice to all the extant regulatory and professional sanctions that take place to deter other such publications of misinformation.

Joseph Ana.

HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group: jneana AT