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May 5, 2004

Physicians as Citizens—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(17):2075-2076. doi:10.1001/jama.291.17.2076-c

In Reply: We agree with Drs Wynia and Clark about the importance of collective action and the potential role of medical societies in addressing physicians' civic responsibilities. Medical organizations that promote the ideals of professionalism are well placed to focus attention on public health concerns and to advocate for change. These activities are, however, most robust when supported by evidence of disease causation. Civil disobedience against laws that unduly affect patients' health through mechanisms such as deportation fits into our model as a valid evidence-based public role.

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