The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has been criticized by Lancet, one of the world's leading journals in the field of medicine regarding dismissal of the editor (Dr. John Hoey) and deputy editor (Anne Marie Todkill) of Canadian Medical Association Journal. The Lancet editors, in the latest issue of the journal have remarked the issue as 'deeply troubling'.
'Medical journals have a long history of investigative journalism through which they perform an important watchdog function by challenging the forces that undermine the values of medicine. What seems to be an attempt by the CMA to deprive editors of the capacity to bring to account those responsible for the perverse consequences of badly implemented policy or wrongheaded principles is deeply troubling,' the editorial reads.
The journal's publisher had asked the editors to withhold an article related to the experiences of women in trying to get hold of the morning-after pill, last week. This could have prompted for the spark of editorial interference. An attenuated version of the controversial article was however, published by the CMAJ.
The editors were dismissed on the 20th of February. The dismissal is perceived as an attempt to introduce new leadership to the CMAJ. Others believe that interference in editorial autonomy could have been responsible for the firing. Moreover, it is even regarded as an attempt to deprive the pursuit of investigative journalism, by the CMAJ.
A complaint was filed, in response to which the CMA argued that the publication was not based on true scientific evidence. In light of the above situation, may it is time for medical professionals to come to a universal agreement regarding issues related to editorial rights or rather autonomy.