Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Patient didn’t okay including her picture in plastic surgery paper

with 2 comments

indian-journal-of-plastic-surgeryA plastic surgery journal in India has retracted an article about rehabilitation following removal of an eye after a patient contacted the editors to say she hadn’t consented to publish her picture.

Mukund Jagannathan, the journal’s editor-in-chief and a plastic surgeon in India, told Retraction Watch:

The patient wrote to the editor, mentioning that her photo was present in the article originally published, and politely asked us to remove her photos from public display on the Internet.

Asked whether the journal considered issuing a partial retraction to only hide the patient’s identity, Jagannathan said:

The entire article has been retracted, as it was a short communication.

Here’s the retraction notice, issued earlier this year:

The article titled, “Surgical reconstruction or prosthetic rehabilitation following orbital exenteration: The clinician’s dilemma” published in pages 146-47, issue 1, vol. 47 of “Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery”[1] is being retracted. It has been reported and found that the article contains identifiable image of the patient in concern and the same has been used without her permission. Therefore, in regards of the privacy of the patient and on grounds of infringement of obtaining patient consent the article in concern is being retracted. The patient image will also be removed from the online version of the article.

The 2014 paper, “Surgical reconstruction or prosthetic rehabilitation following orbital exenteration: The clinician’s dilemma,” has yet to be indexed by Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science, formerly part of Thomson Reuters.

We’ve reached out to first author Himanshi Aggarwal, who is based at the King George’s Medical University in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India, to confirm they used the patient’s photo without her consent. We weren’t able to find current contact details for the other author Pradeep Kumar (also at King George’s Medical University).

Earlier this month, we reported on another retraction over consent issues regarding photos in another Indian journal — which, like the Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery, is open access and published by Wolters Kluwer.  In that earlier case, however, the parents of the child pictured in the article allegedly gave oral consent, but became concerned and revoked their permission after realizing the paper was freely accessible online.

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Comments
  • Y November 25, 2016 at 7:50 am

    I clicked the link to the paper. The patient’s picture is still online. Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of the retraction?

  • Dean November 25, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Journals where patient pictures are published should require that the signed consent form be attached to the submission.

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