Disgraced doctor William Tarnow Mordi was allowed to quietly stand down from treating babies in the Centre for Newborn Care, the Neonatal Intensive care Unit, at Westmead Hospital after whistleblower Dr Michael Cole alerted authorities to Tarnow Mordi’s lack of competence and an external investigation found that he should not be allowed to treat babies.
But despite this scandal Tarnow Mordi, a University of Sydney Professor, was allowed to remain as Director of the unit and to manage research on the babies he was not allowed to treat. He was promoted to Director of neonatal trials at the National Health and Medical Research Council’s clinical trials unit.
The Human Research Ethics Committee at Westmead Hospital ignored complaints that Tarnow Mordi continued to experiment on babies after his clinical privileges were removed in July 2009. Dr Cole and another doctor wrote to the Human Research Ethics Committee’s Chairman, Professor Stephen Leeder, expressing concerns. The doctor’s concerns were ignored.
The same concerns remain unanswered. Are the parents who agree to experiments being performed on their babies fully informed about the professional status of Tarnow Mordi who has no clinical privileges and is not allowed to treat babies? Or are parents misled, believing that their babies are under the competent care of a University of Sydney professor and Director of the NHMRC neonatal trials unit?