As Gavin Newsom, the California governor, continues proposing and passing new laws that affect Californians on all levels of their lives, one of those groups affected is now fighting back.
The law in question is one that is referred to as the “medical misinformation law,” and it applies to physicians. Under it, the state medical board is allowed to discipline doctors who disseminate information about COVID-19 that differs from what is referred to as the “contemporary scientific consensus.” In other words, if a doctor prefers another treatment method than the one recommended by the CDC or other medical groups, he or she is considered to be breaking the law and can be disciplined – and it likely would affect those doctors’ ability to continue to practice medicine. This could involve disagreeing as to the use of masks or the efficacy of vaccines.
The law was passed by the California Legislature and was signed by Democrat Gov. Newsom. It is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1.
It’s doubtful that when Newsom signed the legislation he thought that physicians would fight back – but they are. Five doctors are suing the administration in district court, in an effort to block its implementation. The group claims that the law violates their First Amendment rights and their constitutional right to due process.
The physicians argue that the law prevents a physician from freely communicating with a patient as to a proper course of treatment. They also argue that “contemporary scientific consensus” is “undefined in the law and undefinable as a matter of logic.”
The law applies to the Medical Board of California and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California. Members of these boards are appointed by the governor and legislators, and seven of the 15 members may not even be licensed physicians.
That raises the issue of politically appointed members with no medical qualifications making medical judgments against decisions by licensed physicians.
A plaintiff in the suit is Dr. Tracy Hoeg, who has been the senior author of nine epidemiological analyses. As quoted in a National Review interview, she said she is “afraid of saying something to my patients that I know is consistent with the current scientific literature but may not yet be accepted by the California Medical Board.” She said physicians must “feel free to speak truthfully with their patients if they wish to gain and maintain their trust.”
In addition to the physician feeling comfortable in their treatment of patients, the patients themselves must have confidence in the skill and ability of their doctor to make the proper decisions as to treatment.
The doctors in the case are being represented by the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a nonpartisan civil rights firm. Jenin Younes, counsel for the firm, said that the law is “the result of an increasingly censorious mentality that has gripped many lawmakers in this country.”
Younes added, “That this shocking bill passed through the state legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Newsom demonstrates that far too many Americans do not understand the First Amendment.”
This is an issue all Californians should keep an eye on to see how it plays out in court, especially because it relates to other laws that have been and are being passed that restrict the rights of citizens.
Just because the legislature and the governor say it is a law we need doesn’t mean that’s the case. Citizens have the right to dispute it. Use the courts. That’s what they’re for!
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.