From the American Medical Association’s Principle’s of Medical Ethics.
A physician shall uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional interactions, and strive to report physicians deficient in character or competence, or engaging in fraud or deception, to appropriate entities.
I think that bears repeating. A physician shall…be honest in all professional interactions. Furthermore, should a physician become aware that one of his colleagues is “engaging in fraud or deception,” it’s incumbent upon him to report that activity to the proper authorities.
Now it’s true that only about a third of all practicing physicians in the United States are members of the AMA and it may well be that the doctors handing out fraudulent work excuses in Wisconsin are not; however, the AMA “…encourages all practicing physicians in the US to consider our ethics policy as a useful source for guidance.”
Wisconsin physicians have a choice to make about what’s important; the trust of the public or protecting union workers who have illegally walked off their jobs. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer doctors who adhere to the highest standards of professional ethics rather than doctors who feel that the end justifies the means.
Update 1: UW Health will launch an investigation to “identify which UW Health physicians were involved and whether their behavior constituted violations of medical ethics or University of Wisconsin and UW Health policies and work rules.”