But proving that judgment is not impaired by compensation from industry is virtually impossible.
The veterinary profession has endured two blistering attacks from media in the past week. The Indianapolis Star and Reuters have both accused veterinarians of being overly cozy with pharmaceutical manufacturers and imply that their judgment is impaired as a result. What do we make of this, and how should veterinary medicine respond?
When an entire profession’s motives are attacked as self-serving or purely profit-driven, it’s virtually impossible to disprove the negative. It’s truly a “guilty until proven innocent” game. If your premise is that a consulting or speaking payment to a veterinarian under any circumstance guarantees that that veterinarian’s independent judgment is co-opted, then how do you prove the contrary—namely, that all of the years of study, sacrifice and practice actually demand independent judgment?