Selective presentation of data by doctors is in the news again today with the Fertility Society of Australia concerned that some IVF clinics are presenting misleading figures on their success rates.
It is not only medical research that is allegedly compromised by lies, damned lies and statistics. Audit / Quality Assurance activities are also being questioned.
It is not hard to do. If you filter data by enough variables/subgroups you can find numbers to support any conclusion you want. And you don't even have to fabricate data. Why fabricate data when you can get exactly the same result by generating lots of data and then presenting selectively?
I have never heard of any medical researcher in Australia being busted for failing to tell the whole story. Yet the end result is no different from data fabrication.
Can you trust doctors to tell you the whole story?
It really is time for an enquiry into medical ethics. I suggest the ICMJE choose the people to run it.
(ivf pic to go here)