Arizona physician says county violated his freedom of speech

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 12, 2006

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A former ob-gyn residency director in Arizona has amended his lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court against officials overseeing the Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix. He's now saying that county officials violated his freedom of speech when they fired him.

J. Christopher Carey, MD, said he was fired "for publicly supporting abortion training for residents" and was discriminated against because of his moral and religious beliefs in favor of abortion rights. According to the lawsuit, the hospital fired Dr. Carey because he included his wife's real estate business card in mailings to residents.

A spokesman for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors said the county would not comment because of the ongoing litigation.

Dr. Carey, however, was willing to speak.

"Over the course of 18 months, county officials engaged in a relentless crusade to prevent residents at the medical center from getting abortion training, with no regard for fairness or accreditation requirements," he said in a statement. "Every time I spoke out, they retaliated, launching bogus investigations, spreading false statements to ruin my reputation and ultimately, firing me."

A spokesman for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, which makes sure residencies maintain set standards, such as abortion training for ob-gyn residents, said the organization was investigating the allegations and had not reached a decision yet. The ACGME gave the program full accreditation for four years in October 2003.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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