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Letters to the Editor
Eist Case
Psychiatric News
Volume 41 Number 2 page 38-38

Thank you for covering Dr. Harold Eist's battle to protect the practice of ethics-based medicine in the November 4, 2005, article "Board Backs Eist in Legal Fight Over Medical-Record Confidentiality." As you detailed, a Maryland medical board sanctioned Dr. Eist for acting in bad faith, fined him $5,000, and reported him to the National Practitioner Data Bank because he upheld the Hippocratic Oath and sought his patients' consent prior to the release of medical records. You noted that Dr. Eist has contested this, and the case is awaiting trial, stating "... APA has given Eist $5,000 toward the cost of the litigation and is considering joining another amicus brief in the case...."

I am pleased to report that APA has indeed signed on to the amicus brief and is not alone. Nineteen organizations voted to sign on to the brief, representing organized psychiatry, patient advocacy, and privacy advocacy groups. Five of these groups (APA, American Association of Practicing Psychiatrists, American Psychoanalytic Association, Mississippi Psychiatric Association, and Washington Psychiatric Society) have also pledged funds to cover the cost of the brief. These 19 groups are well aware of the pressing need to defend the practice of ethics-based medicine against the intrusions of government, regulatory agencies, and the insurance industry and to maintain the centrality of the patient-doctor relationship.

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