Thu, Jan 7, 2010
A Beebe Medical Center official has declined to comment to the Cape Gazette about information released to other news organizations regarding complaints lodged against alleged pedophile Dr. Earl Bradley.
A Wednesday, Jan. 6 statement from Wallace Hudson, Beebe’s vice president of corporate affairs, said the hospital would not discuss Bradley, despite a Cape Gazette request which preceded another media outlet’s publication of similar information provided by Hudson.
“Beebe Medical Center has been asked by the Attorney General’s Office for Beebe’s records involving Dr. Earl Bradley. The hospital is in the process of fulfilling that request as part of its full cooperation with law enforcement.
“Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, Beebe Medical Center will decline to make any comments about the investigation,” Hudson wrote.
The hospital’s refusal to respond to Cape Gazette requests for information stemmed from Hudson’s release of information about Bradley’s alleged actions of nearly five years ago.
“In April 2005, the state sought information on Dr. Earl Bradley related to a criminal investigation. The state wanted all records of complaints filed against Dr. Bradley and any disciplinary records,” Hudson wrote. “The request was given to our attorney, who had concerns that strict compliance with the request would put Beebe Medical Center in direct violation of the state’s peer review statutes, which prohibit the release of such information. In short, there was a concern that compliance with the request would be illegal under state statute.
"As a result of this concern, at least one discussion was held with the Attorney General’s Office in an attempt to word the request so that it would allow the hospital to provide the information without violating the state law. Our notes indicate there were no further discussions until October 2005 when a Milford police detective informed Beebe Medical Center that an investigation had been conducted and closed with no further action anticipated,” Hudson concluded.
Under the peer review statute, records and proceedings of committees and organizations whose function is the review of medical records, medical care and physicians’ work – especially the quality of care – are confidential.
The statute states that such records and proceedings are not public records and also are not available for court subpoena.