Throw the Bums Out


IT SEEMS the letter-writing doctors were correct.

Based on their faith in the power of the medical fraternity, the four doctors composing recommendations for convicted gang-rapist Arif Hussain believed they were incurring no real risk of punishment for their actions on behalf of a friend.

The Crimson today recommends a slap on the wrist for the doctors who went to Hussain's aid, and there is virtually no chance that the men will ever face a greater sanction. But it will take more than censure to convince the four doctors and their colleagues that the fraternity of medicine is not inviolate and that the general public will intercede when "medical ethics" fail.

There is no place in medicine for doctors who possess so little respect and sensitivity for the human body that they could recommend entrusting a man like Hussain with the care of women and men in need of medical attention. And there is no room in academics for men who could satisfy their conception of the truth, not by lying outright, but by omitting from their recommendations a vital part of Hussain's background.

The letter-writing doctors may not have committed a crime in the eyes of the law, but that is largely because the medical profession has traditionally convinced the public of its ability to police itself.

In the Hussain case, the myth of the medical fraternity's overriding concern for the patients' health and for a self-imposed standard of moral purity has been shattered.

There is no longer any reason to treat the letter-writing doctors any less severely than a policeman implicated in organized crime or a politician tainted by corruption. The letter-writing doctors--along with their friend Hussain--should be expelled permanently from the medical and academic communities.