Newsom signs AB 2098 penalizing doctors for COVID misinformation

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a controversial law that would allow medical boards to discipline doctors believed to be spreading “misinformation” about COVID-19 to patients. The new legislation could penalize California doctors and surgeons who don’t follow the line by having their medical licenses revoked.

Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2098 into law on Friday.

“Assembly Bill 2098 provides that the dissemination of misinformation or disinformation related to COVID-19 by physicians and surgeons to a patient under their direct care constitutes unprofessional conduct,” Newsom said in a expression.

Newsom stated that AB 2098 applies only to “conversations directly related to COVID-19 treatment within a direct doctor-patient relationship.”

That text The bill states, “The spread of misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines has undermined public confidence and seriously endangered the lives of licensed healthcare professionals.”

The bill relates to the Federation of State Medical Boards – which represents state medical and osteopathic regulatory bodies across the country.

“The Federation of State Medical Boards has released a statement warning that physicians who engage in the spread of misinformation or disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines risk losing their medical license and that physicians are obligated are committed to providing accurate, science-based information to their patients,” the California bill threatens.

“Current law provides for the licensing and regulation of physicians and surgeons by the Medical Board of California and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California,” the bill reads.

AB 2098 states: “This law would qualify the dissemination of misinformation or disinformation related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus or ‘COVID-19’ as unprofessional conduct.”

According to that California Medical Associationthe minimum penalty for unprofessional behavior is five years probation, the maximum penalty is withdrawal of the license to practice medicine.

AB 2098 reads: “It is unprofessional behavior for a physician and surgeon to disseminate misinformation or disinformation related to COVID-19, including false or misleading information about the nature and risks of the virus, its prevention and treatment, and evolution.” and safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.”

There was much opposition to Assembly Bill 2098.

A vocal critic of AB 2098 is Dr. Jay Bhattacharya – an epidemiologist and professor of health policy at Stanford University School of Medicine.

In April, Bhattacharya a piece Exposing the dangers of AB 2098 when it was first introduced.

“Under California Assembly Bill 2098, physicians who deviate from an authorized set of beliefs would jeopardize their medical license,” Bhattacharya wrote. “The bill, authored by Rep. Evan Low, a Silicon Valley Democrat, and currently making its way through the California legislature, is motivated by the idea that practicing physicians could peddle ‘misinformation’ about the risks of COVID, its treatment and the Covid vaccine.”

“The language of the bill itself is intentionally vague about what constitutes ‘misinformation,’ which makes it even more damaging,” he continued. “Doctors who fear losing their livelihoods must closely adhere to the government line on COVID science and policy, even if that line does not follow the scientific evidence.”

Bhattacharya warned, “It is abundantly clear that this bill represents a terrifying intrusion into the practice of medicine. The bill itself is riddled with misinformation and a demonstration of what a disaster it would be if legislatures dictated the practice of medicine.”

Kevin Kiley – a Republican member of the California State Assembly – wrote on Twitter: “On Friday, Newsom brought a sledgehammer to the First Amendment with the signing of the medical censorship bill. The courts will strike down AB 2098 shortly.”

Epidemiologist Tracy Beth Høeg, MD, Ph.D., written down“Wow. Well, Newsom signed AB 2098, the Physician Misinformation Act. And the text of the former law, now law, already ironically contains misinformation, but CDC’s website says it’s only 5x.”

Medical journalist Liz Highleyman addedI don’t trust the government, the medical board, or big tech to rule on misinformation when the scientific consensus is constantly changing. I’m afraid #AB2098 negative consequences, including frivolous and revenge lawsuits.” Newsom signs AB 2098 penalizing doctors for COVID misinformation

Laura Coffey

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