Screwed up statistics condemn nurse Lucia de B
Recent uncovered evidence shows that nurse Lucia de B has been convicted of murder on the basis of statistical arguments only and by abusing just about every rule in the book.
* Whether or not an incident was classified as suspect depended on whether or not Lucia was on duty (simply a question of checking which nurse is on duty and then asking enough doctors till you get a "suspicious" verdict
* Data was collected in this way till there was enough to condemn her
* A professor of statistics in law, and trained mathematician, does not know the meaning of one of the most basic statistical concepts – the p-value. (Statistician Henk Elffers multiplied three independent p-values in order to obtain a combined p-value).
It somehow reminds me of the old method to see if someone is a witch – if they drown they were innocent, if they are guilty you can burn them
The statisticial profession in the Netherlands, myself included, is deeply shamed that *no-one* has enquired how the data was gathered… this took many years and a philosopher to ask that question ….
Incredible that a mass murderer could kill ten or more people in a hosptial while simultaneously taking care that the number of unexplained deaths was lower than usual…
Peter Grünwald has put it all very elegantly in an email to me, in Dutch, but I’ll add an English translation as soon as possible.