The union-led protests against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s plans to close the states budget deficit reached a new low as both Fox and CNN reported that doctors were writing sick notes for protesters who weren’t sick. While this behavior by the doctors is clearly unethical CNN wasn’t quite so sure.
CNN’s Casey Wian reported (emphasis added):
“Doctors are writing notes for some of those teachers so they won’t be fined, penalized by staying away from school, they’re helping out the teachers. There’s some concern that some of those doctors may be putting themselves in jeopardy because they are writing notes for teachers who obviously aren’t sick.”
They’re helping out alright. Helping the teachers to defraud the state by saying that they are sick when they are protesting at the state capitol. Any doctor doing this should have his or her license revoked, any teacher participating in this fraud should be fired.
CNN apparently wasn’t too concerned since anchor Martin Savage thought the whole thing was “very interesting” and that was it. So much for their so called unbiased reporting.
Fox also ran this interview with a Republican blogger who spoke to one of the doctors in Madison.
Update: In response to the doctors writing the sick notes, Dr. Jane Orient executive director of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) said:
“Writing a phony sickness excuse is fraud.”
“Physicians who sign their name to a false statement are compromising their professional integrity,” said Orient, although the Wisconsin union supporters seem to believe that the end justifies the means. The penalties can be very severe; for Medicare or Medicaid fraud, they include delicensure, draconian fines, and lengthy prison terms.