While the comments action has been lively elsewhere on this site, I noticed a comment that Jim Collins made on Ted’s post “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t files: Putnam Hospital” which I thought deserved its own freestanding entry:
The medical profession isn’t the only place where this happens. I used to be an aircraft mechanic for one of the major airlines, several years ago. Twice a month, after finishing our shift, we would go to a breakfast meeting. This meeting was attended by all of the mechanics from all of the airlines at that airport who worked the same shift. Several people from the airport and the FAA also attended. The purpose of this meeting was to share information on maintenance and airport safety issues. The FAA rep always took notes, compiled them from all of the shifts and a couple days later a copy was in your mailbox. I know of several problems and possible accidents that were prevented because of the information shared at these meetings. These meetings were suddenly stopped after company management found out that trial lawyers could obtain the minutes of them, from the FAA, through the Freedom of Information Act and use them against the airline in court.