The researcher had been employed at Erasmus MC since 2003. He was dismissed on 21 June 2022. The reasons for dismissal included that he ‘systematically’ failed to abide by agreements, used the hospital’s name and logo without permission, and did not act openly and transparently towards colleagues. Erasmus MC also accused the man of acting in violation of academic integrity on several occasions.
Fired on the spot
The conflict between the microbiologist and the hospital arose due to the man’s study into the effectiveness of the PCR test, which is used to diagnose infection with COVID-19. He went public about the research in a YouTube programme hosted by a ‘citizen journalist’ before the study were completed. Erasmus MC says he did not communicate about the research in the appropriate manner. Even prior to his dismissal, he had already been relieved of certain teaching duties, such as lectures on the DNA technology CRISPR-CAS, his field of expertise.
The court agreed with the hospital’s argument that the man should be dismissed immediately. According to the judge, he did not follow up on promises to de-escalate the situation and did not demonstrate good employeeship, among other things by failing to share documentation about his research with colleagues. The court reproached the researcher for ‘seriously culpable conduct’ and therefore rejected a transition payment for him.