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The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
The Tennessee Medical Board of Examiners has adopted a statement made by the Federation of State Medical Boards which reads:
“Physicians who generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license. Due to their specialized knowledge and training, licensed physicians possess a high degree of public trust and therefore have a powerful platform in society, whether they recognize it or not. They also have an ethical and professional responsibility to practice medicine in the best interests of their patients and must share information that is factual, scientifically grounded and consensus-driven for the betterment of public health. Spreading inaccurate COVID-19 vaccine information contradicts that responsibility, threatens to further erode public trust in the medical profession and puts all patients at risk.”
As reported by Times Free Press, Francine Baca-Chavez, deputy general counsel for the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, asked the board for guidance during their September meeting on how to handle three different categories of complaints related to COVID-19 vaccines which included when physicians share their personal opinions about COVID-19 vaccines with patients that are either anti-vaccine or vaccine hesitant.
Dr. Stephen Loyd, vice president of the board, had this to say, “If you’re spreading… willful misinformation, for me, it’s going to be really hard to do anything other than put you on probation and take your license for a year.”
Towards the end of the meeting (at the 6 hour 41 minute mark) one of the members of the board can be heard sharing the following statement about physicians, “the days of your personal opinion being conveyed to your patient should be over…. If you want to have a personal opinion, that should be shared with your spouse.”
On a WBIR Channel 10 Facebook post about the decision reached by the board, many were outraged that Tennessee doctors will no longer be able to speak freely.
Kristi Cooper said, “So, on-the-job research and personal experience are no longer relevant? Apparently, the SOLE qualification to be considered an “informed medical professional” is that you… agree to be a robot.”
Kris Sarah Fields said, “I guess physicians are no longer allowed to practice the art of medicine. They can only regurgitate what comes from 3 letter government agencies.”
Scott Fitzgerald said, “Science, especially this kind is never 100% correct, doctors should be allowed to look at data, look at patients and determine what is and is not working a case by case basis and develop their own professional opinions based on their first hand experience and treatment of patients along with a review of all available medical research data.”
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Members of the public, which includes patients or their family members, and other health professionals can file complaints against practitioners whose behavior goes against what the board finds acceptable.
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and contributor to The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at email@example.com.