May 22, 2024

“Moral character” not relevant for Massachusetts doctors

Dispute between doctors and government board
"Moral character" should not be a criterion for fitness to practice medicine in Massachusetts, says the head of the Massachusetts Medical Society. Dr Bruce Auerbach, its president-elect, says that this government proposal, amongst others, would give the state board of medicine too much power over licensing and disciplining. The state’s Board of Registration in Medicine says that "lack of good moral character" based on behaviour within or outside of medical practice would be grounds for sanctions.

The soon-to-retire director of the Board, Nancy Achin Audesse, told the Boston Globe that this was not a new requirement. "The privilege of holding a medical license requires not only technical skills, but high levels of ethics and morals." It is also consistent with the Board’s mission, Audesse contends. "To protect healthcare quality, patients and doctors rely on us to ensure that doctors who practice here are qualified and competent." ~ Boston Globe, Apr 19