To the Editor:-This is a letter regarding the Editorial Views in Anesthesiology 1998; 89:289-91 entitled “Anesthetic agents and hypothermia in ischemic neuroprotection.”
Dr. James Cottrell called to our attention the fact that substantial sections (about 40%) appear almost verbatim from his article in the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) course book entitled Brain Protection in Neurosurgery. He is correct. During the preparation of this editorial view, it is clear that I lost sight of the original source (Dr. Cottrell's article) of some of the ideas and text and failed to reference the article as an important source of these ideas. Omitting Dr. Cottrell's article as a reference was a grievous error, but this was not done with any malicious intent or with goals of self promotion. This serious mistake was committed out of a combination of carelessness, haste and inexperience.
My coauthor, Dr. Jeffrey R. Kirsch, had absolutely no knowledge of my methodology in preparing this article. Dr. Kirsch has been an excellent mentor and role model for me over the past several years and I have nothing but admiration for his work ethic and integrity. I understand that the unattributed use of another's work is not consistent with the forthright pursuit of scientific truth in an honest and collegial manner. This is a mistake I could not regret more. I would like to express my deepest regret to Dr. James Cottrell and the readers of Anesthesiology. I also deeply regret the anguish and pain I have caused my other mentors and collaborators at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
I request that this editorial be formally retracted from Anesthesiology.
Anish Bhardwaj, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Neurology, Johns Hopkins Medicine; 600 North Wolfe Street; Baltimore, Maryland 21287