The American Medical Association's 550-member House of Delegates, at its annual policymaking meeting this week in Chicago, is considering several reports and resolutions dealing with doctors' ire over medical malpractice costs. For example, one motion asks the AMA to create a special Internet list of physicians who testify against other physicians in malpractice cases -- described by one opponent as a "blacklist." In another example, delegates carried out a long and spirited debate Sunday on a resolution by South Carolina surgeon J. Chris Hawk that called for an AMA endorsement of Hawk's effort to encourage doctors to refuse non-emergency care to plaintiffs' lawyers and their spouses. Hawk revealed that he had "fired" one female patient after learning that her husband was a plaintiff's attorney. "With trial attorneys and their spouses," he said during floor debate, "I need to excuse myself from their care." Hawk then voluntarily withdrew his "infamous resolution," saying, "It has served its purpose -- it has brought attention to the problem." -- by Michael Romano
At AMA meeting, docs talk of blacklists, boycotts
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