The American Medical Association investigates JAMA, should Catherine DeAngelis resign?

The water engulfing JAMA’s editor-in-chief Catherine DeAngelis is getting hotter.

A recap is here, but the Jonathan Leo flap, and subsequent response, is not going away as JAMA hoped it would.

The WSJ reports that AMA, which normally does not interfere in the editorial decisions of the journal, has asked its Journal Oversight Committee to look into the matter.

Over at Respectful Insulance, academic surgeon-blogger Orac has a pretty harsh critique on the proceedings. He writes that, “thuggish behavior such as that demonstrated by Catherine DeAngelis. coupled with her hypocrisy in bragging about how well JAMA polices its COI [conflict of interest] policy while leaning on an investigator who expressed legitimate concern about it is unacceptable. Worse, this appears to be a pattern of abusive behavior that risks completely undermining all the good she’s done in terms of pushing for more openness in reporting COIs.”

As I wrote before, an apology from both JAMA and Dr. DeAngelis would have stemmed the tide, and that, “like how hospitals have dealt with medical errors, they could have used this event to improve their conflict of interest policies, and make their reviews more transparent.”

Instead, their response was wholly inadequate, and only reinforced the misguided notion that JAMA was immune to criticism, and worse, sought to preempt any future dissent.

Is it too late for an apology? Maybe, but the longer this drags on, the stronger the calls will be for Dr. DeAngelis to resign.

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