Convened when a suspected error has led to serious injury or death of a patient, these committees include the doctor who was attending to the patient, others with first-hand knowledge of events and senior hospital staff. They meet behind closed doors to review and discuss what happened, who is to blame and, we hope, how future mistakes might be prevented. Information from these peer review sessions, often called "morbidity and mortality" conferences, is protected from disclosure by law in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The stated rationale behind these medical peer review privilege statutes is "to provide a safe forum in which medical professionals can review the quality of care and work to reduce medical errors," according to the Journal of Legal Medicine. From my perspective as an advocate for patients' rights for over 30 years, I would argue that the unstated rationale is to sweep errors under the rug, or at least avoid aiding patients and their families in their quest to be compensated for the harm they suffered.