Deborah M. Prout, MAS
Too often the concept of "checks and balances" is relegated to forgotten civics classes and to texts on government. In a society seeking news in brief, and among physicians desiring certitude in law and public policy, headlines such as that carried by the New York Times on the Patrick case seem to say it all: "Doctors Can Sue in Peer Reviews, Justices Declare" (1).
But legislative determinations, and hence the law, are best understood when viewed through the prism of checks and balances. Patrick v. Burget et al. (2) is a stunning example of a case in which the nuances
Prout DM. Checks and Balances in Peer Review: Advice from the Patrick Case. Ann Intern Med. ;109:689–690. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-109-9-689
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(9):689-690.
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