These UW Health physicians were acting on their own and without the knowledge or approval of UW Health. These charges are very serious and in response, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, the UW Health entities that employ the physicians, have immediately launched an investigation of the reported behavior.
The investigation will identify which UW Health physicians were involved and whether their behavior constituted violations of medical ethics or University of Wisconsin and UW Health policies and work rules. The investigation and any potential future action will follow the established procedures of the University of Wisconsin. Any future disciplinary action taken will be considered a personnel matter and will be treated with the confidentiality required by University of Wisconsin policies.
At the Atlantic, Dr. Ford Vox is obviously sympathetic to the protests yet can’t quite believe his eyes as he watches one doctor after another write fake notes with lame excuses in full view of handheld cameras. He shared the various YouTube clips with a professor of bioethics at the Medical College of Wisconsin to get his take. Quote: “Holy mackerel!”
After viewing the videos at my request last night, Dr. Arthur Derse called me up exclaiming, “Holy mackerel! It’s much worse than it looked in the paper. I’m stunned, absolutely stunned.” Dr. Derse is the Director of Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities a the Medical College of Wisconsin. “When all’s said and done, it’s really the profession of medicine that has the black eye in this case,” he says…
They’ve managed to belittle a public trust between physicians, employers and patients. A doctor’s sick note is a serious document. It represents an employer’s desire to verify through a respected, independent, medically qualified third party the fact of an illness and the true need for convalescence. In the videos now circulating online, we witness multiple members of a noted family medicine department trash one of the well-recognized rights and privileges of their profession, with little forethought as to the consequences…
I expect forthcoming complaints will center around this idea of fraudulent representation (and come from folks with obvious political agendas). Theoretically a school board official could make a complaint that their organization was financially harmed (many schools had to close due to the number of teachers at the protests, and some may have received pay on sick days). I’ll wager any complaining school board official will be a registered Republican.
He goes on to note, more in sorrow than in anger, that the explanations they gave on camera when confronted about doing this were, shall we say, pitiful. Ed posted one of the clips over the weekend (Vox has embedded several others at the end of his own post), but in case you missed it, here’s Andrew Breitbart himself politely requesting a sick note. As a gloss on all this, read Paul Hsieh at Pajamas Media wondering vis-a-vis ObamaCare how many others doctors out there are willing to flout ethical rules in the name of achieving “economic justice” or whatever. A little medical fraud for a “good cause” can surely be forgiven, no?