Indian-origin psychiatrist admits plagiarism

June 17th, 2008 - 4:55 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 17 (IANS) An Indian-origin psychiatrist known across Britain for his television and radio appearances has admitted wholesale plagiarism of the work of other scholars. Raj Persaud appeared at a hearing Monday of the General Medical Council (GMC), a regulatory body, where he admitted plagiarising four articles in his 2003 book, “From the Edge of the Couch”.

The GMC was told he also passed off other scholars’ work as his own in articles published in journals and national newspapers.

Persaud, who is a consultant psychiatrist for the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, denies his actions were dishonest or could bring the profession into disrepute.

The high-profile psychiatrist admitted his actions were “inappropriate” and “misleading” but blames a computer “cutting and pasting” error for some of the duplication.

Jeremy Donne, counsel for the GMC, told the hearing Persaud had benefited financially from the “hard work and scholarship” of others.

“Dr Persaud is, and at the relevant time was, one of the country’s best-known psychiatrists. As such he occupies a place of particular prominence. His articles, we say, speak for themselves and all demonstrate the extent he has appropriated the work of others as his own,” Donne added.

“We further allege that Dr Persaud has been dishonest. Dishonesty can be inferred from his repeated conduct in plagiarising the work of academics … thereby enhancing his professional reputation and standing with the public as well as enhancing himself in the press.”

Donne told the GMC that Persaud had sought and obtained permission to quote an article by a Professor Bentall and colleagues for his book.

“Professor Bentall gave his permission assuming that Dr Persaud … would know that quotations would have appeared in parenthesis and be properly attributed. Having seen the passage, Professor Bentall was astonished that a substantial portion of his paper had simply been copied into the book in what he believes was a deliberate act of plagiarism.

“While it’s true the book contains a general acknowledgement there’s no, or certainly no adequate, attribution of the passages themselves,” Donne added.

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