December 29, 2002
Dr. Jane Orient
Executive Director, A.A.P.S.
Dr. Donald J. Palmisano
Dr. Dennis S. O'Leary
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