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Comment on this story: A crisis of conscience, with lives on the line

They were brave, they were frightened, they were desperate.

The five respected physicians had seen and heard enough, and they were now bound and determined to stop Dr. Yvon Baribeau, a heart surgeon whom they saw as having a long history of deadly errors in the operating room. Three of them had already gone up the chain of command at Catholic Medical Center, with urgent appeals, but had been largely rebuffed by hospital leadership. The other two feared the hospital had lost its moral compass and allied themselves with the effort.

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Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at deirdre.fernandes@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @fernandesglobe. Liz Kowalczyk can be reached at lizbeth.kowalczyk@globe.com. Rebecca Ostriker can be reached at rebecca.ostriker@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeOstriker. Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at jonathan.saltzman@globe.com. Patricia Wen can be reached at patricia.wen@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @GlobePatty.