Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
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.
Gruen RL, Pearson SD, Brennan TA. Physicians as Citizens—Reply. JAMA. 2004;291(17):2075-2076. doi:10.1001/jama.291.17.2076-c