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Doctors' journal involved in controversy

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OTTAWA, Dec 19, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- The Canadian Medical Association Journal's editor has become embroiled in a dispute with a CMA executive involving censorship.

Editor in Chief John Hoey earlier this month asked two reporters to write a story about Plan B, a "morning after" contraceptive pill that has become available without prescription in Canada, The New York Times reported Monday.

The reporters subsequently discovered pharmacists across Canada were asking women for detailed personal information, including sexual history.

Hoey's reporters were told the information was being collected by the Canadian Pharmacists Association.

After requesting an interview with pharmacists' association officials, Hoey received a telephone call from Graham Morris, the Canadian Medical Association's executive in charge of publications, who said the pharmacists association had complained.

Hoey said told the Times he was instructed not to publish the story, saying Morris told him, "It's shoddy journalism and what business is it of ours to be criticizing the pharmacists."

Hoey has asked a panel, headed by Jerome Kassirer, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, to create guidelines to help define the Canadian journal's future independence.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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