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US medical boards oppose legislation on disciplining doctors

The number of US doctors spreading disinformation or inaccurate facts about COVID-19 and its treatment is increasing, but few have been disciplined by their state medical boards, reports MedPage Today.

The Medical Board of California, which licenses more doctors than any other state, has disciplined none to date, a board spokesperson confirmed last Thursday (9 December).

Last week, legislation that would limit a state medical board’s ability to discipline a doctor for spreading false COVID-19 information received strong opposition last week from the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

The federation said if such laws were passed, it would restrict a board’s authority to assess whether a doctor violated a standard of care or if he or she could cause patient harm.

FSMB was referring to legislation such as that recently proposed in Tennessee, where state lawmakers tried to pass a statute to restrict the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners’ ability to discipline doctors who spread inaccurate information about COVID-19 and vaccines.

Last week, the Tennessee board voted to remove language from its website that described its policy stating that doctors who spread disinformation to patients may have their licenses suspended or revoked, but they did not rescind the policy.

According to FSMB, the problem of doctors spreading disinformation is apparently worsening. A recent survey of its member medical boards revealed that 67% have seen an increase in the number of complaints about doctors spreading false information since the pandemic began.

 

MedPage Today article – FSMB 'Strongly Opposes' State Laws Barring Disinfo Docs From Discipline (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Anti-vaccine chiropractors: A rising force of misinformation

 

Supreme Court inquiry into Brazil president linking vaccination to AIDS infection

 

Vosloo video: SAMA will not support doctors facing disinformation charges

 

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