15th October 2010, Volume 123 Number 1324

Elizabeth Overton

Dr R W Jones was a co-author of the 1984 ‘McIndoe Paper’,1 which became the principal catalyst of the 1987 Judicial Inquiry into treatment of cervical dysplasia at National Women’s Hospital. The 1984 McIndoe Paper states that of the 948 women with grade 3 cervical dysplasia reviewed, 1955–76, 923 had principal initial treatment of hysterectomy or cone excision of cervix and 25 punch or wedge biopsies.2
Dr R W Jones is also a co-author of a 2010 article in the ANZJOG,3 which claims to be the ‘final word’ to silence all critics of the 1984 McIndoe Paper. This 2010 article states that of the 948 women reviewed by McIndoe in the years 1955–76, 428 women, in the years 1965–74, had initial management in which treatment of ‘curative intent’ was deliberately withheld in unethical experiments. This era was selected to prove that the 1966 NWH ‘more conservative dysplasia management protocols were an added cancer risk’.
Simple arithmetic confirms that it is not possible to have 428 women with treatment of “curative intent withheld” in 948 women when the 1984 McIndoe Paper states 923 had initial treatments of cone excision or hysterectomy, i.e. on their own 2010 definition ‘treatment of curative intent’.
The 1984 McIndoe statistics are correct; the 2010 statistics are damaging fiction in my opinion.

Elizabeth Overton
Wife of Graeme Overton (Senior Consultant associated with National Women’s Hospital 1960–99)

Author Information

Elizabeth Overton, Wife of Graeme Overton (Senior Consultant associated with National Women’s Hospital 1960–99)

References

  1. McIndoe WA, McLean MR, Jones RW, Mullins PR. The invasive potential of carcinoma in situ of the cervix. Obstet Gynecol. 1984 Oct;64(4):451–8.
  2. McIndoe WA, McLean MR, Jones RW, Mullins PR. The invasive potential of carcinoma in situ of the cervix. Obstet Gynecol. 1984 Oct;64(4): p 452 Table 1, p 453 para 6, p454 para 4, p455 para 2.
  3. McCredie MR, Paul C, Sharples KJ, Baranyai J, Medley G, Skegg DC, Jones RW. Consequences in women of participating in a study of the natural history of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol (ANZJOG). 2010 Aug;50(4):363-70.