Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Friday, 20 June 2008 18:14 UK

Media doctor hit with suspension

Dr Raj Persaud
Dr Raj Persaud has had a high profile media career

Celebrity psychiatrist Dr Raj Persaud's has been suspended from practising for three months over plagiarism.

Dr Persaud had admitted plagiarising others' work in a book and a series of articles - but denied being dishonest.

But the hearing rejected his defence this week and ruled he had brought his profession into disrepute.

The General Medical Council panel said it wanted to send a message that his actions were "unacceptable", but Dr Persaud said he was "saddened".

In a statement, the panel said it acknowledged patients had not been harmed and Dr Persaud's actions did not warrant being struck off.

And the statement also said: "Your misconduct occurred between three and five years ago and there has been no evidence that you have repeated this type of behaviour since.

"The panel considers that it is highly unlikely that you would ever repeat your actions in future."

Behaviour

But added it had "responsibility to protect the public interest, particularly with reference to maintaining public confidence in the profession and upholding proper standards of conduct and behaviour".

Dr Persaud is a former presenter of BBC Radio 4's All In The Mind, and appeared regularly on the television chat show This Morning. Dr Persaud admitted plagiarising four research papers for his 2003 book From The Edge of The Couch.

He also admitted copying the work of two foreign academics for five articles he wrote for publications including the British Medical Journal and The Independent.

He claimed he was in a confused mental state at the time because of the pressure of juggling his NHS and media work.

Dr Persaud, 45, was first seen alongside Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan on This Morning in 1994.

He has combined a high-profile media career with an equally successful career in psychiatry, and is currently employed as a consultant psychiatrist for the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust.

After the verdict, Dr Persaud said: "As I said during the hearing, I accept that my use of the work of some authors lacked adequate acknowledgement.

"I have apologised repeatedly for this during the hearing, and I apologise for this now."

But he added: "I am saddened that this occurred while I was seeking to promote the work of academics to the wider public."


SEE ALSO
Profile: Dr Raj Persaud
16 Jun 08 |  Health
Plagiarism row dogs radio doctor
03 Apr 06 |  Entertainment

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