Drug testing for doctors proposed

May 20, 2013

doctorProponents of mandated drug testing for California physicians plan to seek signatures this summer to qualify an initiative for the 2014 ballot. (San Jose Mercury News)

The proposal is backed by Bob Pack, a former AOL and NetZero executive whose two children were killed by a driver in Danville under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol.

Pack said physicians should be subject to the same safety regulations as bus drivers.

He’s working with consumer advocate Harvey Rosenfield, known for his work against predatory insurance practices.

A recent article in the Journal of American Medicine advocates confidential, mandatory testing, and a new state poll shows that 85 percent of California voters would support random testing for doctors.

A second objective of Pack’s plan would lift the cap on medical malpractice lawsuits.

A spokesperson for the California Medical Association called the proposal “an ill-fated publicity stunt.”



  1. Jorge Estrada says:

    What a novel idea!

    (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
    • r0y says:

      Yes, but is it a novel of Fiction or Mystery? ;-)

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. SLOTECH90 says:

    Is this a big fat NON SEQUITOR or what? Because some bozo gets blasted on benzos and booze-not an unusual combination among older folks-and causes an accident, how is drug testing the perscribing physician going to prevent that from occurring. Among older people the two most frequently perscribed meds are benzodiazepams and opioids; both of which can be addictive if misused, and/or cause a 1+1=4 reaction (heavy sedation, usually). Certainly our overpaid, underworked State solons can come up with a more logical way of controling the benzo/opioid avalanche, but of course that still leaves booze, which always has been, continues to be and always will be the most abused ingestible chemical of all and does more damage in any parameter you can name than all the rest of the legal and illegal drugs combined and quadrupled.

    (12) 16 Total Votes - 14 up - 2 down
    • r0y says:

      This is only a slightly-veiled smoke screen for a bunch of lawyers to remove the cap on malpractice suits, plain and simple. They want to be able to sue for even more money – especially now that most jury pools are quite ignorant and easy to manipulate large settlements out of.

      (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  3. TaxMeAgain says:

    I’m not real sure on the suit cap, but drug testing sounds great. I get tested constantly in my job. I submit to this to be safe, to make good decisions, and because it is a prerequisite of my employment. As far as I’m concerned, if you want any of my nation’s tax dollars, you should also be drug free. If you are on welfare and sitting around all day getting whacked, you belong in some other country.

    (8) 16 Total Votes - 12 up - 4 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      And of course mistakes are never made in the drug testing process resulting in false positives and loss of reputation or income.

      I think that testing should be limited to situations where a problem is known to exist. If you are responsible for an accident that could have happened due to being under the influence, testing may be justified. If there is other evidence that you may be using drugs in a situation where full attention is required (driving, work, child care), then testing is justified. But we don’t need to be surrendering any more rights to privacy and individual liberty on the possibility that we might cause a problem in the future.

      (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
  4. r0y says:

    “…a new state poll shows that 85 percent of California voters would support random testing for doctors…” …when not informed of the insurance scam of lifting the cap for lawsuits.

    Actually, one could probably tell them that and still get a majority of Californians to screw themselves (and everyone else) over. They do it all the time, just look how they vote!

    (13) 15 Total Votes - 14 up - 1 down
  5. Rambunctious says:

    If we need to drug test anyone; we need to drug test politicians.

    (28) 28 Total Votes - 28 up - 0 down
  6. tomsquawk says:

    “A second objective of Pack’s plan would lift the cap on medical malpractice lawsuits”. second objective?

    (12) 12 Total Votes - 12 up - 0 down
  7. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    Lift the cap on malpractice lawsuits? Folks if you think insurance is expensive now, wait till you see what happens if they lift the cap.

    (14) 18 Total Votes - 16 up - 2 down
    • flytrap says:

      Yes, and the politicians are trying to protect all of us from the doctors. What they really need to do is protect all of us from the politicians and attorneys, who are benefitting by all of this! Hold onto your hats-your premiums are going to continue to skyrocket every year like they have been doing so far!

      (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
      • r0y says:

        As if Obama care is not already projected to cost DOUBLE (at least) of what it originally was thought to.

        Why would any sane person A) increase the size of an incompetent bureaucracy; and B) put them in charge of their health and well-being?

        (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down

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