Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are intended to improve patient care, but hospitals that conduct sham peer reviews have become adept at misusing CPGs to prosecute adverse actions against physicians’ privileges, writes Lawrence Huntoon, M.D., Ph.D., in the spring issue of the of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.
“Prominent, innovative physicians have often been attacked and ruined via sham peer review,” he writes. “The history of medicine is replete with physicians who were subjected to sham peer review for their innovative ideas that turned out to be right.”
Fortunately, he notes, the developers of the implantable cardioverter defibrillator device (ICD), Dr. Michel Mirowski and Dr. Morton Mower, did not work in one of today’s hospitals that use sham peer review to end the careers of innovative physicians who challenge the “accepted” consensus. Considered sheer lunacy at the time, the ICD has saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
“CPGs are based entirely on consensus,” Dr. Huntoon writes. “They are often influenced or driven by profit, cost containment, and politics, and may vary widely depending on the underlying incentives of the entities that develop them.”
While developers assert that CPGs are not fixed protocols, they are often used as “cookbook medicine,” Dr. Huntoon states, and rigid adherence can lead to patient harm and death.
CPGs are not the standard of care, Dr. Huntoon notes, but they may be misrepresented as such by hospital attorneys in a sham peer review.
“During the COVID era, we have seen sham peer review on an unprecedented scale,” he writes, “as government, medical boards, professional medical societies, hospitals, and other entities have sought to punish physicians who hold views contrary to the official narrative promulgated by government health officials.”
Read Article: https://jpands.org/vol28no1/huntoon.pdf
The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.