The Police State of Medicine

Author: 
Arthur R. Traugott, MD
Article Type: 
Correspondence
Issue: 
May/June 1999
Volume Number: 
4
Issue Number: 
3

Dear Governor Pataki,
At its 1998 annual meeting, the Illinois State Medical Society House of Delegates passed a resolution opposing the criminalization of medical mistakes and supporting the cause of Gerald Einaugler, M.D. of New York. While we are most thankful that you have commuted Dr. Einaugler's sentence, we are writing today to urgently request that you grant him a full and prompt pardon.

It is our understanding that Dr. Einaugler was convicted of a criminal offense while exercising good faith clinical judgment, and that the conviction was based on testimony which was later retracted. We also understand that Dr. Einaugler is barred from participating in Medicare and Medicaid as long as the conviction stands, and that this exclusion has resulted in his personal, professional, and economic ruin.

Delegates to the ISMS House take seriously our responsibility to represent the approximately 17,000 physician members from across Illinois. We speak with a unified voice when we vigorously affirm our intolerance toward the criminalization of malpractice. It is our belief that such action interferes with appropriate decision-making toward patients and ultimately threatens the quality of patient care.

For Dr. Einaugler's sake and the sake of all physicians who face the threat of criminal liability and jail when exercising good faith medical judgment, we ask that you act now to pardon Dr. Einaugler. Thank you for your consideration of this very serious matter.

Arthur R. Traugott, MD
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Illinois State Medical Society
Chicago, IL

Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1999;4(3);77-81. Copyright©1999 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

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