Peter C. Gøtzsche: Death of a Whistleblower and Cochrane's Moral Collapse

Peter C. Gøtzsche: Death of a Whistleblower and Cochrane's Moral Collapse

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Prof. Peter C. Gøtzsche is a physician, medical researcher, author of numerous books, and co-founder of the famous Cochrane Collaboration, an organization formed in 1993 to conduct systematic reviews of medical research in the interest of promoting unbiased evidence-based science and improving health care.

During his tenure with Cochrane, Gøtzsche fought to uphold Cochrane’s original values of transparency, scientific rigor, free scientific debate, and collaboration. However, in spite of its charter, when Gøtzsche attempted to correct the path of consensus science or point to industry-related bias, Cochrane sought to censor him. He was eventually expelled from the organization in 2018 after what he calls a Kafkaesque “show trial.”

Gøtzsche’s expulsion created rifts in the medical and scientific communities. John Ioannidis, a famed professor and medical researcher at Stanford, wrote a letter to the Danish Minister of Health condemning Cochrane’s actions. “Peter is undoubtedly a giant, one of the greatest scientists of our times … I believe that basic respect for scientific discourse requires that you do not eliminate your opponents through administrative machinations,” he wrote. Additionally, 3,500 scientists and health-care professionals signed a letter in protest of Gøtzsche’s treatment.

In this talk, delivered as part of a CrossFit Health event at CrossFit Headquarters on June 8, 2019, Gøtzsche shares the research that led to his fallout with Cochrane — research related to antidepressants and other pharmaceuticals, mammograms, and more — as well as his firsthand experiences as he witnessed what he characterizes as Cochrane’s moral collapse.

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