Medical staff attorney Snelson answers the Colloquium's charge, "What exactly has to change in the hospital-medical staff relationship for health care quality to be improved?" Her response emphasizes the logic of having clinicians vested with authority to establish policies concerning the clinical decision-making. The article discusses the cases defining the medical staff bylaws as contractual in nature, and the problem of hospital attorneys demanding unilateral amendments to bylaws. Bylaw clauses that would chill medical opinion and communication or denigrate clinical recommendations are discussed. Ms. Snelson advocates for the inclusion of the medical staff organization in exclusive contract and other clinical decision-making, and includes sample bylaw language enacting her recommendations.

First Page