College issues apology at Doctors in Denial book launch

14 February 2017

Media Statement

The New Zealand Committee of the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) deeply regrets the events referred to by Professor Jones, are sorry for the harm suffered by the women, as well as the effects it had on them and their families, and extends our heartfelt sympathy towards them all.
The episode was a turning point in the approach to medical research in New Zealand, leading to the Cartwright Enquiry and subsequently the establishment of the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner.  As a consequence of these changes, it is now highly unlikely that such events could recur in any area of medicine in this country.  Within the specialty, the College has developed a Code of Ethics1 which clearly defines what is expected from its Fellows and Members, and strengthens the ability of others to challenge behaviour they feel is inappropriate.  It also spells out the requirements for any research project involving patients.  The College also states what is expected from anyone practising as a College Fellow2 with particular note of ethical behaviour and acting as a patient’s advocate.  In addition, the requirements of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights 1996 is clearly brought to the attention of all Fellows3
In ending, I again extend our heartfelt sympathy to the women and their families who were affected by these events.


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