California General Assembly Passes Law To Punish Doctors For Free Speech

If governor Gavin Newsome signs this, how quick till they California government is sued for violating the California Constitution, to start with? (paywalled NY Times piece here)

California Approves Bill to Punish Doctors Who Spread False Information

Trying to strike a balance between free speech and public health, California’s Legislature on Monday approved a bill that would allow regulators to punish doctors for spreading false information about COVID-19 vaccinations and treatments.

The legislation, if signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, would make the state the first to try to legislate a remedy to a problem that the American Medical Association, among other medical groups and experts, says has worsened the impact of the pandemic, resulting in thousands of unnecessary hospitalizations and deaths.

The law would designate spreading false or misleading medical information to patients as “unprofessional conduct,” subject to punishment by the agency that licenses doctors, the Medical Board of California. That could include suspending or revoking a doctor’s license to practice medicine in the state.

Although the legislation has raised concerns over freedom of speech, the bill’s sponsors said the extensive harm caused by false information required holding incompetent or ill-intentioned doctors accountable.

“In order for a patient to give informed consent, they have to be well informed,” said state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, and co-author of the bill. A pediatrician himself and a prominent proponent of stronger vaccination requirements, he said the law was intended to address “the most egregious cases” of deliberately misleading patients.

In other words, they’re mad that doctors could tell the truth on things like COVID vaccines and mandates, along with destroying kids with transgender procedures and medications. But, not, there is not balance. Article I, Section 2(a) says

(a) Every person may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of this right. A law may not restrain or abridge liberty of speech or press.

That’s pretty damned specific, wouldn’t you say? But, you know, the authoritarians in the Democratic Party do not care, and do not want anyone speaking out with Wrongthink.

Although other nations have criminalized the spread of vaccine misinformation — and have higher vaccination rates — the response by states and the U.S. government has largely been limited to combating misconceptions with accurate information, said Michelle Mello, a professor of law and health policy at Stanford University.

She noted that even laws that cited a “compelling interest,” such as public health and safety, to police disinformation ran the risk of having a chilling effect, a First Amendment standard for many courts.

“Initiatives like this will be challenged in court and will be hard to sustain,” she said in an interview. “That doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea.”

Restricting free speech is never a good idea. As The Blaze points out

The bill targets direct conversations between doctors and their patients. It does not address comments made online or on television. It also would not require the suspension or revocation of a doctor’s license, but it gives that option to the medical board, which already holds licensing powers over doctors and may take disciplinary action against those accused of other sorts of “unprofessional conduct.”

So, it blows through doctor-patient confidentiality, as well.

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12 Responses to “California General Assembly Passes Law To Punish Doctors For Free Speech”

  1. Professor Hale says:

    And yet they do nothing about homeopathy, acupuncture and the multi-billion dollar supplement industry. Not even getting started on Scientology.

    • L.G.Brandon!, L.G.Brandon! says:

      Living in Florida and having rich parents I have the occasion to meet lots of nouveau-riche morons. Lately I’ve met at least a dozen who keep their yachts at Dad’s marina and who have all made huge amounts of millions in the “supplement industry”. They hawk everything from Witch Hazel to beet dust to shark shit and make tons doing it. Oddly, they are all, 100% democommies. Go figure.

      • Elwood P. Dowd says:


        It was Republican Orrin Hatch who championed the $56 BILLION, dishonest supplement industry.

        As a conservative, why do you object to Americans making money selling crap? Isn’t that capitalism? Do you want to regulate industry even more? Isn’t that socialism?

      • Professor Hale says:

        The thing about supplements is that fraud is already illegal everywhere. no additional government regulation required. Just put some of those consumer protection agencies and prosecutors to work doing the jobs they already get paid to do.

        • L'Roy White says:

          Maybe that would be a good job for them 87,000 new armed IRS guys.

          • The Liberal but not libertarian Elwood P. Dowd says:

            Supplements have a lot of regulatory leeway thanks to Iowa Senators and a Congress on the take. Perhaps the cons would agree to stricter regulations.

            “Supports immune health!” “Improves memory!” etc etc

            Let’s say you take a daily capsule of a jellyfish protein to make you smarter (after all, nothing is smarter than a jellyfish). You pay about $60 a month for the capsules. The company calls you with a survey asking if it made you smarter. “Yes!”, you say. Of course you do. There’s their proof! Voila! Prevagen!

            Anyway, since they make medical claims perhaps they should be regulated by the FDA. But cons want to defund the FDA.

            L’Roy lies about the IRS. They plan to add 87,000 employees over the next 10 years and few would be armed agents. Of course, for some reason cons revere the wealthy regardless of how they obtain their riches.

  2. alanstorm says:

    California Approves Bill to Punish Doctors Who Spread False Information

    False information according to the government.

    But remember, kids, CONSERVATIVES are the Fascists.


    Sorry, guys, if you believe that it’s government’s job – at any level – to determine what is “true”, YOU are the fascist enabler.

    I would think that even Jeffty would get this one.

  3. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    Next, the gubmint will start telling teachers what THEY can say!! No doubt that’s OK with Alty.

    Medical docs are amongst the most conservative groups in America and as such are susceptible to believing the same dangerous lies of all conservatives. Any doc who has received a vaccine but advises patients to reject the same vaccine is incompetent. Conservative doctors are killing conservative patients, but…

    That said, we should let professional organizations and lawsuits sort out the quacks from the legitimate MDs, not the gubmint.

  4. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    What President Biden said about tRumpism:

    “What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy.”

    “It’s not just Trump. It’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something: It’s like semi-fascism.”

    IF you feel DonJon won the election that he lost in landslide, you’re likely a semi-fascist.

    IF you feel DonJon’s taking of American’s documents and lying about it is OK, you’re likely a semi-fascist.

    IF you feel DonJon’s attack on the US Capitol on Jan 6 was just peaceful protest and not part of a failed insurrection, you’re likely a semi-fascist.

    It’s time to truthfully identify what the tRumpists are trying to do.

    from Merriam-Webster…

    fascism: a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

    tRumpism is a white nationalist movement promoting an autocratic gubmint with a strongman leader with the forcible suppression of the opposition. Close enough, hence semi-fascist.

  5. david7134 says:

    AH, look at jeff trying to get attention.

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