One of your best friends, Peter Anderson, is a doctor in Illinois.
You have known Peter since college. You remained friends while you went
to law school and he went to medical school. You see him socially at
parties and at ball games. Peter has always been able to drink more than
most and still "hold his liquor." Recently, youíve become
concerned because he seems to be drinking a little more, although not
ordinarily to the extent that you would consider him too drunk to drive.
Also, Peter has told you that he has begun to use cocaine periodically
and finds it very invigorating. Will you report Peter to the
disciplinary committee of the state medical board? Will you report him
to one of the substance abuse assistance programs set up to help
impaired doctors? Would your decision or concerns be different if, in
addition to being Peterís friend, you were a colleague at the
hospital? In either case, would you report Peter if he were not a
practicing physician, but rather did research not involving human
From Furrow, Johnson, Jost and Schwartz, Health Law -- Cases,
Materials and Problems (West Publishing, 2d ed. 1991).