Physicians for Informed Consent Sues Medical Board of California, Argues Board is Violating the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
Federal Court hearing will determine if Medical Board of California can continue what PIC calls "prosecuting scientific dissent as so-called 'misinformation'"
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., August 16, 2022 (Newswire.com) - Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC), an educational nonprofit organization focused on science and statistics, has filed a First Amendment free speech lawsuit (No. 2:22-cv-01203-JAM-KJN) and a motion for a preliminary injunction against the Medical Board of California in order to protect the free speech of all physicians in California.
The Physicians for Informed Consent lawsuit argues that the Medical Board has weaponized the phrase "misinformation" to unconstitutionally target dissenting physicians, including by "attempting to intimidate by investigation, censor and sanction physicians who publicly disagree with the government's ever-evolving, erratic, and contradictory public health Covid-19 edicts."
Mr. Rick Jaffe, the litigator for this Physicians for Informed Consent lawsuit, structured the legal arguments to emphasize that 75 years of judicial precedent have established that licensing agencies cannot sanction, prosecute or even investigate physicians for speaking out in public about a matter of public concern, regardless of the content, the expressed view point, and even if those views are contrary to the opinions of the "medical establishment."
As an example of the Medical Board's alleged targeting of scientific dissent, the First Amended Complaint refers to the following statement in the Medical Board's February 10-11 Meeting minutes:
"Ms. Lawson stated it is the duty of the board to protect the public from misinformation and disinformation by physicians, noting the increase in the dissemination of healthcare related misinformation and disinformation on social media platforms, in the media, and online, putting patient lives at risk in causing unnecessary strain on the healthcare system."
This Physicians for Informed Consent lawsuit also examines California Assembly Bill 2098 (AB 2098), which aims to censor so-called "misinformation" spoken by physicians to their patients, to the extent that the bill is irreparably vague. As PIC General Counsel Greg Glaser explained in his declaration filed in court on Aug. 9, 2022:
"From my perspective, the Board's standard for misinformation is so hopelessly vague, it is impossible for me to advise my client PIC whether the Board will arbitrarily prosecute PIC for content on the attachment ('COVID-19 VACCINE MANDATES: 20 Scientific Facts That Challenge the Assumptions') even though such PIC content is factual and meticulously cited."
The scheduled hearing on PIC's motion for preliminary injunction is Sept. 27, 2022. The judge assigned to the case is the Honorable John A. Mendez. PIC has requested Judge Mendez issue a preliminary injunction that "the Board be ordered to stop all its investigations of physicians for protected free speech, including but not limited to the public expression of views about the pandemic, the mandates, vaccines, treatments or any other content relating to the pandemic."
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Source: Physicians for Informed Consent