Case commentary: Dowson v The General Medical Council [2015] EWHC 3379 (Admin)

Posted on

It is infrequent for a Court to have to consider a doctor's conduct relating to involvement with clinical research trials. Of note was the divergence of expert witnesses' opinions before the Panel. Edis J expressed some surprise at the Panel hearing three days of expert evidence in a case which concerned 'the more simple ethical aspects of a complex clinical trial'. This indicates that the issue of ethical standards in clinical trials might benefit from being reframed to ensure that these issues do not become unnecessarily complex and lead to prolonged hearings where the relatively simple issues to be decided by a panel may be lost.

This case also provides a useful but short discussion of the test for dishonesty, again indicating the consistency of approach of the application of the Ghosh test with the Hussain overlay, which was critically reviewed and applied by Mostyn J in Kirschner (Kirschner v GDC [2015] EWHC 1377).