Doctor Ousted for Truth-Telling Gets Secret Hearing, States Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)

TUCSON, Ariz., Aug. 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Paul Church, expelled from the staff of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston on March 30 for communications related to the risks of homosexual behavior, had a two-day appeal hearing July 29 and 30, according to a report by MassResistance.

The hearing before a panel of the Medical Executive Committee was held in secret, as provided in the hospital's medical staff bylaws. Dr. Church was accompanied by his Liberty Counsel attorney, Richard Mast.

As previously noted by AAPS, Dr. Church, a urologist, was expelled from the staff for using the hospital's communication system to warn of the health risks of homosexual behavior. He had also reportedly voiced his opinion that BIDMC's pressuring its staff to participate in Gay Pride Week activities was contrary to BIDMC's mission to promote healthy behaviors and lifestyles.

Within 20 days after the hearing ends, the panel must report its recommendations. The ultimate decision will be made by the hospital's Board of Directors, said the MassResistance report.

Protesters carrying signs supporting Dr. Church gathered outside the hospital on July 30 and distributed information. "Most people were completely unaware of the situation. Many were shocked when they learned about it," stated MassResistance.

"The secret hearing process is typical of hospital peer review," states AAPS executive director Jane Orient, M.D. "It is supposed to protect confidentiality, but in cases of sham peer review (an attack on a doctor for reasons unrelated to quality of care), it protects the hospital."

"The hearing may superficially resemble a legal proceeding, but doctors have no meaningful rights," she said. "The hospital's panel is prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner."

"Many doctors have had their careers ended because they spoke out against a hospital policy, or called attention to unsafe care."

The outcome of the BIDMC attack against a highly respected surgeon will not be known for at least a few weeks. "Will a demand to support for Gay Pride supersede a doctor's right and duty to speak truthfully about the risks of certain behavior?" Dr. Orient asks.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943 to preserve private medicine and the patient-physician relationship.


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