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March 12, 2009

Rules of Criticism

My discovery that West Coast Leaf has a web presence should simplify airing my disagreements with public positions taken by Reform organizations, many of which are unknown to the general public, (including a majority of my patients). On the other hand, airing disagreements might easily raise ethical issues best addressed now:

1) Patient Information and Confidentiality: I've always believed that because I'm a physician, I'm obligated to treat any medical information learned from or about a personal acquaintance as confidential, whether they've consulted me professionally or not. On the other hand, I'm free to discuss information that has already appeared in a public record. Recent examples are my speculations about Michael Phelps' ADD and George Bush' drinking problem.

2) Criticize the Message; not the Messenger. Mostly I try to follow this rule; exceptions are people who have taken public positions I consider either outrageously dishonest, punitive, or both. Good examples are Rush Limbaugh and Bill Bennett. Any number of politicians, including some Democrats, might also be mentioned.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at March 12, 2009 05:14 PM