Louisiana Needs to Rein in Unaccountable Medical Board, States AAPS — AAPS | Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

The Louisiana legislature is considering a bill that would give physicians the same due process rights as citizens accused of a crime, instead of treating them as guilty until proven innocent, states the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). Senate Bill 286 by Sen. John Milkovich, D-Shreveport, would assure that physicians have the right […]

via Louisiana Needs to Rein in Unaccountable Medical Board, States AAPS — AAPS | Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

The Louisiana legislature is considering a bill that would give physicians the same due process rights as citizens accused of a crime, instead of treating them as guilty until proven innocent, states the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). Senate Bill 286 by Sen. John Milkovich, D-Shreveport, would assure that physicians have the right to know their accusers and have access to all the evidence and documents acquired in the investigation.

“Medical board proceedings are not like a court of law, where the accused has to be proven guilty before a jury and an unbiased judge,” states AAPS director Jane M. Orient, M.D. “It’s a form of administrative law, where an unaccountable government agency is prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner. Physicians have little opportunity to present a defense.”

“Sanctions imposed by the board can be the equivalent of a professional death sentence,” she said. “And actual deaths through suicide have occurred, as in the case of a doctor who found that his livelihood was destroyed despite reinstatement of his license.”

There is a nominal (and expensive) right to a review in court, but the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners has reportedly not lost a review in 20 years. “Courts typically rubber-stamp the decisions of ‘expert’ boards,” Dr. Orient stated. “Proposed legislation would give a physician the right to a de novo trial, in which the court would look at the evidence first-hand for itself.”

In Texas, where a physician got a rare favorable decision from an administrative law judge, she noted that the judge was forced to resign under pressure from the Texas Medical Board.

Public Citizen opposes the law because it would supposedly “hinder the conduct of LSBME investigations” and thus somehow impede its ability to “protect the public from dangerous doctors.” It especially objects to allowing physicians to request that an investigator be replaced for being “biased, hostile, or unfair.”

“Public Citizen, which styles itself as a ‘consumer advocacy group,’ rates medical boards based on the number of doctors they punish,” states Dr. Orient, “without regard to justice. Truly questionable doctors may get complaints dismissed, while good doctors are ruined, perhaps because they reported a patient safety issue and incurred the displeasure of a politically well-connected entity.”

“The public would not be made safe from criminals by imprisoning people based on anonymous complaints without proof of guilt. Doctors are citizens too, not Public Enemy Number One,” she concludes.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943.

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9 thoughts on “Louisiana Needs to Rein in Unaccountable Medical Board, States AAPS — AAPS | Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

  1. Sid Wolfe co-founded “Public Citizen” with Ralph Nader and like any good progressive continues with his preference for a strong state and contempt for the rights of the individual. It is like the 1950s never ended.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, please take note of the organization called “Public Citizen.” I forgot to point out to the Louisiana Legislature today, their fear mongering and use of BAD “science” which has in turn affected law in favor of the corrupt MB/PHP business. I do not yet know whether Public Citizen is a knowing bad actor, a pawn, a shell, or they are simply honest people fearful and uneducated. One thing is for sure is that the bad actors they prop up (made up, nominally of medical scientists) know better than to NOT call out Public Citizen’s bad science and inexcusably deceptive “stats.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The top states for discipline, with nurses at least is Lousiana, Arizona, Texas . While the worst healthcare in the nation these states top the list. SO what they are doing , isn’t working . Removing good Drs and Nurses from the profession , and putting ads on ‘the shortage ” to con unsuspecting to become one , a constant newbie , fresh meat for them

    Liked by 2 people

  3. OMG .How many times have I said “criminals have more rights ?” This is what every state needs ! WOW. good news.
    Criminals have a right to a speedy trial, but health care workers it is backed up for YEARS, with out giving up any rights (there are none!) (two of my witnesses died before it went to trial ! ) In Admin Law court hearsay is allowed . (WTH ? ) In state witnesses allowed to testify over the phone, without id checked or who is in the room with them. You can lose you license when the state has NO EVIDENCE , just someone sitting their lying and the Board , saying ‘act as if it happened” NO ! why not prove it happened !
    Criminals do not have to sign in their plea bargains they will never sue the board . Yes they wanted a consent agreement that said , agree not to sue ” NO refused . !
    Criminals are given an atty to represent them . Medical professionals are on their own while juggling a career , learning a new field of legal .

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My testimony for the Louisiana House Health & Welfare Committee Hearing on SB 286, The Physician’s Bill of Rights, April 25, 2018 is below.

    If it is still timely to do so, go to the top of the page of harmer-usa.org for information and contact numbers. The SB has already passed unanimously in the Louisiana Full Senate and is going before the House Committee today. If it is too late for you to send in testimony on this bill, there is a related bill which has already passed unanimously through the Louisiana Full HOUSE and will soon be going to Senate committee. BECAUSE these are looking so likely to pass fully, all the bad actors are “flying in” to Baton Rouge to stop them. Already they are passing out their deceptive spin to the media. It is still important to engage this. It could make a difference for physicians all across the country. We NEED to set this precedent. Assuming it passes the legislature, we will want to write the Louisiana Governor to make sure he signs it into law.

    Christian Wolff, MA
    Psychologist Associate (Oregon), Inactive
    Healthcare Alliance for Regulatory Board Reform (HARBR)
    111 W. Berry St., Suite 211 | Fort Wayne, IN 46835 | 503.381.2032
    christianwolff@harbr-usa.org

    Wednesday, April 25, 2018

    Please Pass Senate Bill 286, The Physician’s Bill of Rights

    Dear Distinguished Members of the House and House Health and Welfare Committee:

    As the Executive Co-Director of the Healthcare Alliance for Regulatory Board Reform -USA, I plead with you to pass SB286. Good physician’s lives are being ruined in such totality that there is an epidemic of physician suicides in America today. Patients are being harmed because doctors live in fear of unjust and arbitrary persecutions by the Medical Boards. Physicians fall into a state of helplessness for lack of access to REAL justice and due process afforded every other citizen in the United States including violent criminals.

    No good physician fears just scrutiny or honest peer review. All physicians fear unjust, opaque, and arbitrary review and sanction.

    Patients are harmed when their doctors must live in this fear and the whole field of medicine drops in quality. Physicians may come to over-test. They may under-treat. They may fail to speak up to their supervisors or hospitals when medically appropriate for fear of career ending reprisals. This is called “defensive medicine.” When a good doctor is suspended or has a license revoked, hundreds or thousands of patients may be suddenly be deprived of the good care their doctors have provided.

    HARBR’s positions on this matter are many, but I will highlight just a few.

    1. State Medical Boards (SMB), the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), & Physician Health Programs (PHP) are morally flawed entities and should be investigated. When their representatives speak of “confidentiality,” they are really talking about secrecy, and they have secrets aplenty.

    2. Due process is due process is due process. The deprivation of due process to any person or class of persons is literally criminal in that it violates the Law of the Land which is the Supreme Law of the Land, which is the Constitution of the United States. There is no state statute which may override it and it guarantees true and unadulterated due process for all citizens and class of citizens. In fact as presently stands most Medical Boards in the United States are operating illegally. Yes, I am aware that this seems like a big statement but it is, nevertheless, a fact.

    3. If the Louisiana legislature does not clean up the house of the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, they will be culpable for leaving every single LSBME board member, staff person, and legal counsel vulnerable to civil or criminal suit as per the SCOTUS decision in Federal Trade Commission v. North Carolina State Board of Medical Examiners.

    4. Lastly, as no good physician fears just scrutiny or honest peer review, no regulatory board should fear it either. Just processes (equal protection, due process, separation of powers), are superior ways for healthcare regulatory boards to protect the public, assure the public, and identify problem doctors whose behaviors need proportional address. Any entity chartered to regulate the healthcare professions should not be asking to have “rights” sustained by which they cheat or side-step justice. When entities even ask this of a government, that askance should be met with government’s swift and stern rebuke.

    This is more about justice for all than it is about physicians.

    Please pass SB286, The Physician’s Bill Rights.

    Thank you.

    Respectfully,
    Christian Wolff
    HARBR-USA

    Like

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