Saturday, February 10, 2007

I’m Published

This morning’s Boston Globe (February 10, 2007) published the following Letter to the Editor from me.

Isn’t it ironic that the Globe, published in a city that considers itself second to none when it comes to things medical, should choose to title its Feb. 9 editorial “….and too few medical experts?”

The editorial deals with the tragic and heavily reported death of 4-year-old Rebecca Riley, allegedly from an overdose of psychotropic drugs. It states “A social worker with a queasy feeling that a case is being mismanaged by a doctor doesn’t have much clout.” One would like to think that reporting such a feeling to the hospital would set off a flurry of investigation and, if indicated, remedial action. That ought to be the least to expect and besides, what hospital wants to be known for harboring doctors who mismanage their cases?

The editorial talks about providing the Department of Social Services with a panel of “medical experts with the heft to challenge other physicians.” Wouldn’t it be less expensive and more effective simply to insist that our internationally renowned local hospitals do their jobs?

The context should be clear for the most part from the text. The first part of the editorial was titled “Too much medication…..” According to newspaper reports, the psychiatrist who prescribed the drug, an employee of Tufts-New England Medical Center, has agreed to suspend her practice while the matter is being investigated and is on paid leave. The parents who administered the overdose were arrested. None of the stories have held Tufts-NEMC accountable to any extent for what happened.

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