LETTER : Academic freedom for Aids doctor

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From Professor S. A. Moore

Sir: Your article "Admission of false Aids case suppressed by NHS" (6 April), a follow-up to one on 24 March relating to the world's first ever Aids victim, accused NHS officials of suppressing information and implies that the Central Manchester Healthcare NHS Trust tried to gag an employee, Dr Gerald Corbitt, who was involved in the case.

I can assure you that neither of these statements is correct. I have spent a lifetime as an academic and I believe in academic freedom. I would not countenance any attempt to prevent a full discussion of all the issues involved in this or any other case.

This trust does not gag its employees. Dr Corbitt has assured me that he has felt free to discuss his work on the 1959 Aids victim freely and he has done so.

Yours sincerely,


Chairman, Central Manchester

Healthcare Trust

Manchester Royal Infirmary


18 April