You did not show good judgment in publishing Gregg Bleschs cover story on caregivers actions being treated unfairly as criminal (Charges of a different kind, Oct. 1, p. 6). Of all the cases discussed in the article, two of them are very clearly criminal: Kaiser Permanentes dumping of patients and the case involving transplant surgeon Hootan Roozrokh. I am intimately familiar with these cases and the criminality of them is well-documented. To suggest that these may be beneficent providers of care who are wrongly accused is grossly indecent and irresponsible. Both Kaiser and Roozrokh acted with motivations that were not in the best interests of their patients and were, in fact, in their worst interests. That alone may not be enough to conclude that their acts were criminal, but it is very clear that after any mistakes may have been made, Kaiser and Roozrokh went further out of their way to harm these patients in the interests of financial gain. That is criminal; it is well beyond what a reasonable doctor would do. And if their being prosecuted deters caring providers from dumping patients and hastening peoples death without cause, so be it. I am wholeheartedly disgusted that this publication would even suggest that these two cases were misrepresented, when in fact it is this magazine that is misrepresenting them.
J. Westly McGaugheyResearch associate Program in Medicine & Human Values California Pacific Medical Center San Francisco