deCODE CEO demands apology Skip to content

deCODE CEO demands apology

Kári Stefánsson, CEO of deCODE genetics plans to file charges against the board of directors of the Icelandic Medical Association and the Medical Association of Reykjavík for not removing an article that criticizes Kári from the Icelandic Medical Journal’s website reports TV station Stöd 2. The two medical associations are the owners of the publication.

Kári is filing the charges with the Ethics Committee of the Icelandic Medical Association; a committee that harshly opposed deCODE genetics unfulfilled plans for a centralized medical database on the population of Iceland.

Kári has already charged the editor of the publication, Vilhjálmur Rafnsson, for allowing the article to be published in the September edition of the journal.

The article, penned by fellow physician Jóhann Tómasson, claims that it was a serious lack of judgment, and a major scandal, to employ Kári to relieve at the Neurology Department of the National University Hospital last summer. According to the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, RÚV, Jóhann writes that Kári holds a conditional and temporary license to practice medicine and has not practised clinical medicine for almost a decade.

When asked last night on RÚV news program Spotlight (Kastljós), if it was correct, that he had a limited license to practice medicine, Kári said, “That is not for me to answer. It is for those who issue the medical licenses to answer.”

Jóhann also criticizes the fact that during Kári’s five day stint of relieving at Neurology Department, Kári suddenly “ran away” to open the NASDAQ Market in New York. “How can something like this happen at Iceland’s most eminent medical institution? Is this a theater?” asks Jóhann.

The journal’s five member editorial board has resigned because they believe that it was not appropriate to publish the article. The editor of the journal, Vilhjálm Rafnsson, says that the author of the article is the one responsible for what he has written.

RÚV reports an Icelandic Medical Association lawyer saying that several members of the journal’s editorial board were not competent to address the issue because of their links to deCODE.

When asked on Spotlight last night if this was correct, Kári said he did not know but it was “likely” that some of them “could” have a contract with the company.

Kári wants an apology from the Icelandic Medical Association and the Medical Association of Reykjavík for publishing the article and wants the article to be taken down from the journal’s website. The board of directors of both associations refuse to do so.

Known for being outspoken, Kári recently told Bio IT that you had to be “somewhat twisted” to be concerned about privacy and it was “ugly and predatory behavior” not to participate in biomedical research. When interviewed shortly after opening NASDAQ this summer, Kári referred to the Icelandic Stock Market as a “small and muddy puddle”. No apologies have been reported.

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