The Medical Association of Georgia is asking the AMA to take editorial control of articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association that contradict AMA policy or "impugn the integrity of physicians."
In a resolution submitted for the Dec. 6-9 AMA House of Delegates meeting in Honolulu, the Georgia delegation requests that the AMA "regain control over the content of articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association, while allowing JAMA to have editorial freedom for its scientific articles."
The Georgia delegation, which represents MAG, cites a JAMA article in July on gifts to physicians by pharmaceutical and other industries, saying it "drew conclusions based on questionable scientific research that reflects adversely on the ethical standards and integrity of practicing physicians."
The resolution also cites articles and opinion pieces in the Aug. 13, 2003, JAMA about a single payer healthcare system, "which run contrary to the official policy of the American Medical Association."
"Articles which impugn the integrity of physicians and are counter to clear AMA policy do severe harm to our AMA by reinforcing the perception of many that the AMA is out of touch with the rank-and-file physician," the resolution adds.
A note attached to the resolution by AMA staff warns that "the mandated change in editorial independence is likely to be highly controversial with potentially significant adverse reputational, operational and financial impacts to JAMA and the AMA."
It would not be the first time the AMA has interceded in JAMA editorial policy.
Several years ago, former AMA Executive Vice President E. Ratcliffe Anderson Jr., M.D., fired then-editor George Lundberg, M.D., for publishing an article that many AMA members objected to. Anderson said the article dealt with teenagers' views on the definition of sex, which appeared to defend President Clinton's view of his relations with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.