Following is the text of Dr. Peter G. Bourne's resignation letter:
Dear Mr. President:
I regret that I must tender you my resignation. You are aware of the difficulty which I face regarding a prescription written in good faith to a troubled person. I believe that you have known me long enough to know that even though I make mistakes, they are of the heart and not of the mind. However, there is really no way for me to combat the charges publicly made against me and the rumors which run rampantly thoughout this community.
Last evening following your granting of my requested leave of absence, and this morning, I watched and read the press and television reports of my problem. In the last 18 hours, I have seen law enforcement officers release to the world the name of my patient, other articles containing the grossest innuendo and obviously emanating from law enforcement sources, a prosecuting attorney discuss my case on national television, references not merely to the wisdom of my medical judgment, and articles about the abuse of methaqualone with no mention of the 1.3 million physician prescriptions for the medication last year. Now the attacks move from my medical conduct to my personal conduct.
Underlying all of these developments are constant and unrelenting attacks upon me by those who seek to hurt you through my disparagement. I now clearly recognize that I am an instrument through which others attempt to bring disfavor to you.
Of all the people in the world to whom I intend no disfavor, you, Mrs. Carter, and your family and staff rank at the top of the list.
However, due to the use of me to injure you, I am sorry that I no longer feel that I can be a productive part of your administration.
I presume that somehow the traditional system of justice will work toward my vindication. Finally, my friend, I know that you know that it is ever more difficult for people of good will to enter public service. I have never intended to do anyone harm. I became a physician and a psychiatrist to help those who need help most, to alleviate suffering, and to help this country meet the needs of the poor here and elsewhere in the world.
I fear for the future of the nation far more than I do for the future of