The Semmelweis Society: Medical Credentials, Privileges, and Unbiased Peer-Review. Safe Practices.
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4 Career Considerations
The Danger Is Immunity
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Semmelweis Services

'Let us raise a standard to which the Wise and Honest can repair.'           George Washington

December 29, 2002
Dr. Jane Orient
Executive Director, A.A.P.S.
Dr. Donald J. Palmisano
President, A.M.A.
Dr. Dennis S. O'Leary
President, J.C.A.H.O.
Dear Doctors Palmisano, Orient, and O'Leary:
         Given the personal and societal costs associated with peer review injustice, we think there is merit in protecting doctors' careers from the rigors of competitive bias by requiring due-process in medical peer review.  The Supreme Court has defined due process (Enclosures).  Ralph Bard M.D., J.D. FACS estimates that 20% of doctors subjected to biased peer-review commit suicide.  We urge doctors to include this consideration when selecting a practice, and to seek dual appointments at all times...   
    As an ethical responsibility, we will regularly alert physicians and students to the hazards of medical peer-review absent due-process.
     As a matter of public health, choice, and access to care, do you agree that due-process peer review should be a condition for payment of public funds (Medicare, HIll-Burton, etc.)?  We do.
   Would you support additonal ways to protect the public from loss of its physicians to prejudicial peer review, for example by requiring due-process peer review for accreditation by the JCAHO? 
                                       Verner S. Waite M.D., FACS
                                       Henry E. Butler III, M.D., FACS

Enclosures (2):  Segall

CV: Dr. Palmisano