California to punish doctors for providing differing views on COVID-19 vaccine

October 5, 2022

Gov. Gavin Newsom

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

California Gov. Gavin Newsom last week signed into law a bill that will allow the state medical board to suspend or revoke the licenses of doctors who give patients information that contradicts the state’s official stance on the COVID-19 vaccine.

The law already faces a court challenge. A pair of licensed physicians sued the state on Tuesday, arguing the law chills the speech of doctors whose views are not in line with the official consensus.

Authored by Assemblyman Evan Lowe (D-San Jose), AB 2098 deems the dissemination of misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19 by doctors as unprofessional conduct. The rule pertains to information including the risks, prevention and treatment of COVID-19, as well as vaccines. Existing law allows the Medical Board of California to take action against a licensed physician or surgeon who is charged with unprofessional conduct.

Newsom signed the bill into law on Friday. The new regulations are scheduled to take effect in January.

“The safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines have been confirmed through evaluation by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the vaccines continue to undergo intensive safety monitoring by the CDC,” AB 2098 states. The spread of misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines has weakened public confidence and placed lives at serious risk. Major news outlets have reported that some of the most dangerous propagators of inaccurate information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines are licensed health care professionals.”

Mark McDonald, a Los Angeles psychiatrist and Jeff Barke, a primary care physician in Newport Beach, sued the state of California over AB 2098 allegedly violating their First Amendment rights. The suit names Medical Board officials, as well as California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

Both McDonald and Barke opposed mask mandates and have raised concerns about COVID-19 vaccines, particularly when given to children. McDonald and Barke have also supported alternative treatments for COVID-19, including ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.

“AB 2098 declares that it will be deemed ‘unprofessional conduct’ for doctors to advise their patients of any view that deviates from the official positions of the state regarding COVID-19,” the lawsuit states. “It directs the Medical Board of California to punish any doctor who ‘disseminates’ ‘misinformation,’ defined as anything that is not consistent with what the board deems to be the official consensus. This imposition of official government-approved orthodoxy cannot survive First Amendment scrutiny and is at odds with the scientific method itself.”


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WhatsUpDoc

Doctors who are competent, do not engage in malicious intent, nor intentionally mislead for profit [i.e. selling Supplements out of their office, or selling mask excuses by mail order] have nothing to fear. This is merely to protect the consumer from deliberate malignant doctors who are out to scam people, of which there are quite a few in CA alone. Do any of them make money if you go to the Pharmacy for a vaccine? No. Do some of them keep making money off of you, visit after unnecessary visit, in order to get a special Placebo? Yes.


Knowingly giving a Placebo, let alone something that harms or is misleading [e.g. lying], or malicious, is against the morals, ethics, and the standards of care of all decent doctors.


If one reads the bill with care, they define the concepts and it has nothing to do with what the “government” wants, it is what other competent doctors want, and what consumers want.


Most want a doctor who practices truthfully and does not profit from maliciously misleading you, and wastes vast sums of your money, on things that they know not only do not work, but could harm you. It would apply the existing standard used in all other medical practice.


Every year, several thousand doctors are reported to medical boards nationally for serious issues that range from trading opiates for sex with patients, to financial fraud, to even murder. Competent doctors do not want to work with doctors who harm patients, and commit illegal or unethical acts.


Consumers and patients surely do not want to condone malpractice or worse.


Generally, those who oppose these basic consumer protections have something highly profitable to sell. At one time, it was unheard of for MDs to see virtual Snake Oil out of offices, but it has become all too common. There are numerous MDs in SLO County who not only had been on probation with the medical board before due to things like having sex with patients, but a growing number who think of profitable side hustles to rob some patients blind basically. It is because they are some sort of modern-day “Galileo”? No, it is typically a scam.


In any case, here is the text directly from the bill: “…


(2) “Disinformation” means misinformation that the licensee deliberately disseminated with malicious intent or an intent to mislead.

(3) “Disseminate” means the conveyance of information from the licensee to a patient under the licensee’s care in the form of treatment or advice.

(4) “Misinformation” means false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus contrary to the standard of care…”.


I hope that this informs you. It would be wise to disregard what the lawyers for those two doctors have to say since they are likely making money off of it. While Homeopathy is also Pseudoscience, it is not standard of care, nor scientific, but Homeopaths [& Naturopaths] are not held to the same standard as medical doctors.


For example, if one went for Neuro/Ortho surgery, one would want a medical grade screw/rods to fix a severely painful broken spine, and not have the surgeon substitute a non-standard non-evidence based non-medical set of deck screws & rods from a local Big Box Hardware store…and then pocket the huge price difference. If the equivalent of Hardware deck screws are OK with you, then maybe paying hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for what amounts to “sugar pills” may also be OK with some.


Doctors are not screened upon entering training for ethics, morals, cult-like beliefs, nor even mental illness….as time progresses, and the stresses of the field get harder, some do not do well, or may gravitate toward more & more questionable acts.


Doctors are all too human…some are great, some are mediocre, and some are subpar [or way below]. One of the only protections that you have as a consumer are the Medical Boards. It would also be wise to check every new doctor, you may see, on the Medical Board website. It is really shocking when you find out a bit too late that your doctor was/is on probation for fraud, selling drugs, or is a sex predator. There are many dozens who fit this profile in CA alone and are still in practice….some are even in SLO county & I have meet a few. Good luck & take care.


indabarrel

Welcome to Gavin’s dictatorship…….Maybe I can get another check in the mail?


kettle

Don’t worry no one is preventing you from freebasing ivermectin or whatever tik tok bs is going around.


Calls it a dictatorship, but wants Free money.


kettle

After reading the new study of almost 600,000 deaths in Ohio and Florida. That shows that registered Republicans had far higher excess-death rates than registered Democrats during the pandemic, with almost all of the gap coming after vaccines were available.


I have changed my mind, let the “doctors” hand out all the homeopathy, horse paste and snake oil they want.


Messkit

I would like to see this new Covid death study, that was able to differentiate between specific political parties, in specific states, for specific dates.


kettle

“McDonald and Barke have also supported alternative treatments for COVID-19, including ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.”


Lol


FoxtrotYankee

Hydroxychloroquine and Natural Selection. Name a more iconic duo.


shelworth

“You will toe the party line or you will lose your livelihood”…


JThomas

Is the Government saying the Doctors don’t know what they’re doing? Da.


kayaknut

This is just another step, first they went after those that speak up at school board meetings, then other government meetings now they go after doctors who don’t tow the government line, unless Newsom is replaced this will continue.


IDBOUND

WOW just WOW ….even in Russia that has nationwide healthcare with GOV doctors , Does not impose sanctions such as the order that Newsom signed …..Those wanting statewide or nationwide healthcare …are they sure they want that now ?? So a doctor tells you what a politician orders doctor to state during an medical evaluation ….George Orwell 1984 ?


kettle

“So a doctor tells you what a politician orders doctor to state during an medical evaluation”


My doctor tells me accepted medicine, where do you go?


Russa, lol


FoxtrotYankee

Medical Board of California issues medical licenses. If a doctor intentionally misleads their patients — that’s malpractice. Revoking the license is common sense.


info

I can’t help not agree but what happens when the medical board is wrong? Countless number of recommended procedures and treatment have found to be harmful and now banned. Countless number of medications were found to be harmful and now banned.

I dont think it’s reasonable to claim malpractice if they dont walk the current boards position unless the board can prove negligence in their alternatives. It’s stupid to me to make all doctors be robots following the drum of big pharma.


commonsenseguy

Well stated.


FoxtrotYankee

Per the bill:


It shall constitute unprofessional conduct for a physician and surgeon to disseminate misinformation or disinformation


And definitions:


(2) “Disinformation” means misinformation that the licensee deliberately disseminated with malicious intent or an intent to mislead.


(3) “Disseminate” means the conveyance of information from the licensee to a patient under the licensee’s care in the form of treatment or advice.


(4) “Misinformation” means false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus contrary to the standard of care.


Licensed physicians aren’t going to be penalized for “differing views” (per the article headline) or for “failing to walk the current boards position.”


The penalty is for deliberately misleading people with malicious intent or for violating the standard of care (negligence). And the penalty is only in play if they do this to a patient in their own care.


Personally I wouldn’t want to visit a doctor who is free to practice negligence or intentionally mislead their patients.


In any event, doctors are still free to go and spread disinformation via social media to people outside of their care with no repercussion. So natural selection will continue to win out.


Messkit

Isn’t this the very same vaccine, that Newsom and the left fought tooth and nail against in 2020? Claiming, since it was Trump who initiated the research, that they wouldn’t take it? That there was no way a vaccine would ever be available for years? That Doctors know more about medicine than Trump?


Huh. Odd….


kettle

No.


Also:

“That Doctors know more about medicine than Trump?”


Yes.