The California Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee approved bill AB 2098, which would punish doctors for disagreeing with the state’s chosen authority and spreading COVID “misinformation.”
According to the author of the bill, Democrat Assemblyman Evan Low, the controversial bill “helps ensure we tackle misinformation and disinformation” spread by doctors about COVID.
We obtained a copy of the bill for you here.
The bill was drafted after doctors sharing their opinions about Covid on social media was seen to be undermining public messaging.
The bill argues that misinformation by medical practitioners is negligent:
“‘Misinformation’ means false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus to an extent where its dissemination constitutes gross negligence by the licensee.”
An analysis of the bill by the committee concluded that it:
“Makes disseminating misinformation, as defined, or disinformation related to COVID-19, including false or misleading information regarding the nature and risks of the virus, its prevention and treatment; and the development, safety, and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, by a physician and surgeon unprofessional conduct.”
During the hearing of the bill by the committee earlier this week, it was heavily opposed, particularly on First Amendment grounds and the idea that doctors should be allowed to go against “scientific consensus,” as that’s how major discoveries of the past have come to be.
More evidence is emerging of Google manipulating algorithms powering its mammoth and highly influential search service to give certain results (much) more visibility than others.
And now, reports say, Google is not even trying to hide that this is the case, as America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLDS) has been informed its reach on the internet is being artificially limited.
This organization says it is dedicated to improving doctor-patient relationships that are jeopardized by what it calls politicized science and biased information. The AFLDS would also like to provide patients with access to “independent, evidence-based information” that will inform people’s decisions regarding their healthcare choices.
Well, meeting that goal might prove to be quite difficult since Google Search, on which a huge majority of US-based users rely for their internet queries, says it is deliberately deranking information coming from the AFLDS.
Disagreement with the “contemporary scientific consensus” on COVID-19 issues could be deemed “unprofessional conduct” for California doctors.
Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low’s AB 2098 “may” be the subject of a March 17 hearing in the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions, where it was referred last week, according to the legislative history.
The bill, which was cowritten by five other California Assembly and Senate members, goes beyond regulating how California doctors can treat their own patients. It opens their statements about COVID — public or private — to review by the Medical Board of California and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, with possible sanctions to follow.
“Existing law requires the applicable board to take action against any licensed physician and surgeon who is charged with unprofessional conduct,” according to the legislative counsel’s summary, and the bill would “designate the dissemination or promotion of misinformation or disinformation” about COVID as “unprofessional conduct,” without specifying what’s prohibited.
Significant numbers of medical professionals say they do not want their own children to be vaccinated for Covid-19, despite government recommendations.
According to a poll conducted by Medscape, 39% of doctors with young children ages 5-11 say they do not want their children vaccinated for Covid-19, or are not sure about it. [30% would not vaccinate; 9% are unsure]
There was a similar result among pharmacists. Forty percent (40%) said they do not want their own young children vaccinated or are unsure. [31% would not vaccinate; 9% are unsure]
The “vaccine hesitancy” among parents who are nurses is even higher in the poll: 58% said they do not want their own kids to get the Covid-19 vaccine (45%) or are unsure (13%).
Some medical professionals have publicly expressed concern about Covid-19 vaccination because of uncertainty surrounding the medical treatment. Much information about the vaccines is a guessing game since the vaccines have not been on the market for very long and did not go through the normal testing and development processes.
Scientists say some side effects from vaccines and other medicine can take years to manifest, and are only detectable after a large number of people take them. That means the full risk-benefit profile of the Covid-19 vaccines cannot be known for some time.