Did Professor Didier Raoult violate the code of medical ethics by promoting hydroxychloroquine against Covid-19? Responsible for analyzing two complaints filed against him by his peers at the end of 2020, the disciplinary chamber of the Order of Physicians sanctioned the director of the University Hospital Institute for Infectious Diseases (IHU Méditerranée Infection) in Marseille with a reprimand, Friday December 3. The authority published this sanction, the second in importance after the simple warning, without accompanying it with its motivations.
The 69-year-old infectious disease specialist from Marseille was targeted by two complaints filed by the Bouches-du-Rhône departmental council of the order of physicians and the national council of the order of physicians. He is accused of having promoted hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19, “Without established scientific data”, which is similar to “Charlatanisme”, said the rapporteur of the disciplinary chamber during a hearing on November 5 in Bordeaux, disoriented far from Marseille. He was also accused of taking “Reckless risks” treating patients with this treatment “Not proven by science”, she added.
Filed on the basis of several reports initially made by the French-speaking infectious pathology society, the complaints also accuse Professor Raoult of having violated, by his communication, article 56 of the code of ethics, in “Failing in its duty of brotherhood” towards other doctors. These complaints were examined by the disciplinary chamber of the New Aquitaine Order of Physicians, made up of eight physicians and chaired by an administrative magistrate.
Present at the beginning of November in front of the chamber by “Respect for this institution”, Didier Raoult, retired since August 31 as a university professor and hospital practitioner, considered himself ” not concerned “ by possible « sanctions ».
“Possible breaches of regulations”
“It’s the doctors who complain about us, not the patients”, he had launched to the lawyer of the plaintiffs, assuring to have received “More than 600,000 patients” within the IHU Méditerranée Infection during the health crisis, “Without any complaint” from them. He had defended ” the success “ of its treatment combining hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat Covid-19 patients, despite the lack of proof of its effectiveness even today. His lawyer, Fabrice Di Vizio, had pleaded for the rejection of the procedure, asking the disciplinary body “That it declare the complaints inadmissible”.
In addition to this procedure, Professor Raoult is also targeted, with the IHU he created in 2011, by several other surveys on the conditions under which the institute conducted its studies around Covid-19. These investigations were opened this year by the University of Aix-Marseille, another founding member of the IHU, by the hospitals of Marseille (AP-HM) and by the National Medicines Agency (ANSM), after an article from L’Express sure of “Possible breaches of the regulation of clinical trials”.
The IHU and its director are also accused, in an article from Mediapart, for having led “A wild experiment” against tuberculosis. ANSM announced at the end of October that it would “Order an inspection” within the IHU, the AP-HM launched an investigation, while the Marseille prosecutor’s office requested a ” Evaluation “ legal follow-up to be given to this case.
Finally, on November 4, it was the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, and his colleague from higher education and research, Frédérique Vidal, who asked the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs and the General Inspectorate education, sport and research to conduct “A control mission” at the IHU. Didier Raoult should only stay a few months at the head of this institute, which started the process of selecting a new director a week ago, without however giving a specific date for the transfer of powers.
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Professor Didier Raoult sanctioned with a reprimand by the order of physicians