Doctors question departure of top medical journalist

The announcement of the resignation of Howard Bauchner, MD, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in June following a podcast and a tweet deemed racist, prompted angry reactions from the share of health professionals. Dr Bauchner was put on administrative leave following a JAMA podcast in February titled “Structural Racism for Physicians: What is it?” Hosted by JAMA Associate Editor Edward Livingston, MD.

Dr Livingston has been castigated for saying, “Structural racism is an unfortunate term. Personally, I think taking racism out of the conversation will help. Many of us are offended by the concept that we are racist, “in the podcast which was promoted by a tweet from JAMA:” No doctor is racist, so how can there be structural racism in healthcare? health ?

The reaction was swift. A petition from the Institute for Antiracism in Medicine with nearly 7,000 signatures called for a “formal review” of the leadership of JAMA and Aletha Maybank, MD, the head of health equity for the AMA called the podcast and tweeted of “demonstration of structural and institutional racism”, on Twitter. “I am furious,” she added. Dr Livingston resigned in March.

Dr Bauchner apologized in an audio post on the JAMA site calling the podcast “offensive, hurtful” and saying that “racism and structural racism exist in the United States and in healthcare.” In a released statement, Dr Bauchner said he was “deeply disappointed in myself for the shortcomings that led to the publication of the tweet and podcast. Although I did not write or even see the tweet, nor created the podcast, as editor-in-chief I’m ultimately responsible for it. ”He added that he“ always supported WADA’s commitment to dismantle structural racism in American medical institutions, such as This is evidenced by numerous publications in JAMA on this and related topics, and looks forward to personally contributing to this work in the future. “

American doctors weigh

Doctors who spoke to The Epoch Times opposed Dr Bauchner’s forced resignation and JAMA’s surrender to activists who have increasingly been successful in removing public figures from their posts. “The failure of WADA’s leadership to resist ‘racist’ allegations from the ‘waking’ crowd is shameful. Obviously, principle and decency count for little or nothing, ”said Paul Leber, MD, director of Neuro-Pharm Group, LLC.

Dr Leber is currently a consultant on strategic and technical issues related to clinical investigations that establish whether a new drug is safe and effective to use. He was previously the FDA director of the Neuro-Pharmacological Drug Products Division where he was responsible for monitoring clinical research and evaluating new drug applications in neurology and psychiatry.

The Epoch Times also asked Chris Gonzalez, MD, a practicing physician in New Orleans, if the swift end of Bauchner’s ten-year career as JAMA editor was warranted. Eliminating a public figure is easy compared to tackling real social change like fixing our violent and dysfunctional public schools and cities, said Dr Gonzalez. “The current group of hypercritical people are more concerned with being right morally than factually – they just sit down and play with their constituents. Because they don’t have a big plan, when they come across a disagreement they end all dialogue and discussion, as we saw with Dr. Bauchner.

There is also an undercurrent of paternalism in much of white anti-racist activism, Dr Gonzalez said, “as if without the help of whites, black people would not or could not get anywhere. help themselves “.

Referring to the message in JAMA’s tweet, Dr Gonzalez said: “To state that ‘no doctor is racist’ was a hyperbole mistake, but the reactions make a mountain out of a molehill. Dr Bauchner shouldn’t have bent over and apologized. He should have just said, “I meant that a lot of doctors are not racist.”

Angry posts on a medical webpage

Healthcare professionals posting on the MedPage Today site were less charitable than Drs. Leber and Gonzalez on the resignation. “False accusations of racism are as destructive of reasonable speech as real racism [and] create this absurd “canyon of self-righteousness,” posted James Carmine.

“Another falls into wokism on steroids,” wrote Edwin Leschhorn. “If you say something today that could offend someone from a distance, you run the risk of being crucified. “

“Another example of a system going mad and eating its own children,” wrote Edward Smith. “It reminds me of the French Revolution, in the absence of the guillotine… a good man was forced to leave a life of good works, like [many] have been and will be under this new system.

“This witch-hunt garbage is one of the main reasons I gave up the AMA membership years ago,” wrote Charles Christian MD.

Commentators did not immediately respond to requests for further comment from The Epoch Times.

WADA 2021 Special Meeting Resolutions May Spark More Controversy

Some resolutions drafted at the American Medical Association (AMA) special meeting in June 2021 may also cause controversy that sparked Dr Bauchner’s exit. Delegates called on WADA to advocate for “the removal of sex as a legal designation from the public part of the birth certificate, recognizing that information on an individual’s gender designation at birth will always be submitted through the U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth for medical, public health, and statistical purposes only.

The reason for such a seal is that gender information “perpetuates the idea that the sex designation is permanent and does not recognize the medical spectrum of gender identity,” said the president-elect of the board of directors. AMA administration, Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD.

Doctors who spoke to The Epoch Times said the resolution shows how the transgender movement, sometimes seen as a fad, has infiltrated society and medicine; Only a few years ago, the gender designation was considered permanent with recognition of a small percentage of outliers, they said.

Keeping gender information on birth certificates private “is an inherent and insane bias on the part of people who want to run their entire world on the basis of the ‘exception’,” said Dr Gonzalez. “If you knew the temperature was going to be below zero someday, would you wear a jacket every day?” “

Dr Leber said he opposed the concept behind the gender claim itself. “What is ‘gender-affirming care’, please?” Who should it be given to, at what age and for how long? he said. “What qualifies someone to be a provider of such care? What objective evidence, if any, establishes that “gender-affirming care” offers a substantial benefit? If so, what is the source of this evidence? Has any evidence to support its “benefits” been presented in valid clinical experience? “

Dr Leber also suggested that the negative aspects of gender-affirming care are not being sufficiently addressed. “What evidence is there that the benefits of ‘gender-affirming care’ outweigh its risks? ” he said. “It stands to reason that until the medical profession has the answers to these and other related questions, it is, to be charitable, far too early to claim” the benefits of such care.

Sex reassignment surgery is now covered by US government programs (pdf) and has become a booming medical practice. Globally, sex reassignment surgeries are expected to approach $ 1.5 billion globally in five years.

Another resolution drafted at this year’s WADA meeting is a call for the establishment of alternatives to the detention of illegal immigrants by the Department of Homeland Security, such as “social worker assignments, home recordings, ICE recordings or telephone monitoring ”. In 2019, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told a Senate panel that 90% of asylum seekers released in the United States, as alternatives to detention would, skip court hearings. – a phenomenon that some call “catch and release”.

Whether it’s Dr Bauchner’s forced resignation or WADA’s new resolutions, there is one thing most members of the medical community agree on: the way the controversy is handled today. hui has changed radically from the more civil times.

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