AHCJ objects to JAMA policy on whistle-blowers

The Association of Health Care Journalists has sent a letter to the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association stating its objection to JAMA’s new policy that seeks to keep whistle-blowers from revealing information.

From the letter:

In an editorial (PDF) published March 20, JAMA said it will inform anyone filing a complaint about a potential conflict of interest that they “should not reveal this information to third parties or the media while the investigation is under way.”

JAMA also said it would require whistle-blowers to provide a “written detailed explanation of the unreported conflicts of interest and provide documentation to support the allegation.”

JAMA’s policy is counterproductive. It could discourage potential whistle-blowers from coming forward with crucial information that physicians and the general public urgently need to make informed decisions about medical care.

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