Walls: Noorchashm’s “Campaign of Distortions”

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This article is part of The Cancer Letter's How Medical Devices Do Harm series.

Walls: Noorchashm’s “Campaign of Distortions”

The text of Ron Walls’s Nov. 10 response to Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick’s (R-Pa.) letter follows. Walls is executive vice president and chief operating officer at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

Dear Congressman Fitzpatrick:

I am in receipt of your letter dated November 5.

I appreciate your interest in this matter, but want to be very clear that the security measures taken during Dr. Noorchashm’s visit were the direct result of the fear and anxiety expressed by faculty and staff on learning that Dr. Noorchashm would be returning to the hospital.

Since December 2013, Dr. Noorchashm has sent thousands of emails to faculty and staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, many of which contained language that recipients found disturbing and threatening.

It is my responsibility to provide a safe and secure work environment for our 18,000 employees. A number of our employees expressed concern about the presence of Dr. Noorchashm within the hospital, given his previous and on-going correspondence and behavior.

It was not feasible to provide personal protection to all for the duration of his visit, so I put discreet security measures in place that would both ensure the protection of and alleviate the anxiety of our faculty and staff while allowing Dr. Noorchashm to be with his wife during her stay.

I undertook these precautions with full knowledge that he would use them to distort the truth and once again publically criticize the hospital. Responding to the safety and security needs of our faculty, staff, our patients and their families is far more important to me than the impact of Dr. Noorchashm’s campaign of distortions.

I also want to assure you that neither I, nor any representative of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have or would ever retaliate against or try to silence Dr. Noorchashm for expressing his opinions. He has every right to do so. However, when his speech instills fear in our faculty and staff—people who dedicate their lives to caring for our patients and their families—thus impacting their ability to provide that care, then I will do what I must to ensure their safety.


Ron M. Walls, MD

Executive Vice President

Chief Operating Officer

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