AMA: More Trouble Brewing?
Top American Medical Association executives may have to defend more firing decisions, as an ex-AMA official has filed ethics complaints charging that his due process rights were violated when he was fired, the Chicago Sun-Times. Dr. Larry Goldman, former head of the AMA's now-defunct Department of Mental Health, has filed charges against AMA CEO Dr. E. Ratcliffe Anderson, AMA Senior Vice President Dr. Reed Tuckson and AMA Director of Science, Public Health and Technology Dr. Thomas Houstan, charging that the three "acted in concert as a tribunal -- without trial -- to fire" him. Dr. Robert Tenery, chair of the AMA's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, said he would consult with the AMA's attorney to see if his panel has jurisdiction over the matter, which he believes it does. If the council rules in Goldman's favor, the three executives could be placed on probation or see their AMA membership revoked; the action "would have no direct effect on their licenses," but would be reported to the National Practitioners Database, according to Tenery. The Sun-Times reports that the latest complaint follows Anderson's decision to fire JAMA Editor Dr. George Lundberg. Former AMA board member Dr. Jerald Schenken said, "It must be very unnerving to AMA employees and to doctors when there appears to be a pattern in Dr. Anderson's decisions." The Sun- Times reports that the Illinois State Medical Society is asking its board to investigate Anderson's dismissal of Lundberg (Wolinsky, 4/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.