Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Executive Deputy EditorIndividualAuthor
In Reply: Dr Maclure and colleagues caution
against shooting the messenger—ie, the evaluators of the PIP1—when, in fact, the Georgia legislature and
Department of Human Resources developed and implemented the potentially coercive
statewide immunization policy under study. In our Commentary, Dr Lantos and
I placed the responsibility for the welfare of Georgia's Medicaid beneficiaries
in the demonstration project with state and federal authorities, not with
the program evaluators.2 We agree with
Maclure and colleagues that society benefits when evaluations of policies
make the effects—positive and negative—of such policies more transparent.
In the case of welfare program demonstration projects with waivers from the
US Department of Health and Human Services, policy evaluations by objective
investigators are mandated by federal statute.3
Certainly, objective policy evaluators should not be criticized for any unethical
aspects of the programs they study.
Davis MM. Effects and Ethics of Sanctions on Childhood Immunization Rates—Reply. JAMA. 2000;284(16):2056-2057. doi:10.1001/jama.284.16.2053