An 'unfortunate experiment' at National Women's
In 1987, Women's Health Action founders Sandra Coney and Phillida Bunkle, published an article called An 'unfortunate experiment' at National Women's in the monthly Metro magazine (Part 1 and Part 2). The article outlined an unethical study at the country's premier women's hospital. The study, started in 1966, involved following women with major cervical abnormalities without definitively treating them. By 1987 many had developed cervical cancer and some had died.
The revelations led to a Committee of Inquiry, named the Cartwright Inquiry after the presiding judge, Judge Dame Silvia Cartwright (New Zealand's Governor General 2001-2006). Her report (1988) was a blueprint for patients' rights in New Zealand and also recommended a National Cervical Screening Programme.
- Full text of the Cartwright report
- Summary of findings and recommendations from Cartwright Report, WHA 1988
- The story of the unfortunate experiment at National Womens Hospital, Sandra Coney with Phillida Bunkle, from The Unfortunate Experiment: The full story behind the Inquiry into cervical cancer treatment, Penguin, 1988
- A chronology of events related to the Cartwright Report 1987-1993 from Unfinished Business: What happened to the Cartwright Report? Ed Sandra Coney 1993
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