Newsom Signs Law Allowing Medical Board To Punish Doctors For ‘Misinformation’

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new bill into state law that provides medical boards to discipline medical practitioners they believe to have spread COVID-19 “misinformation.”

Newsom said in a press statement that the new law makes the “dissemination of misinformation or disinformation related to COVID-19” by doctors “unprofessional conduct.” He said the new rule applies to discussions within a physician-client relationship that are “directly related to COVID-19 treatment.”

The law says that misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines has “weakened public confidence and placed lives at serious risk.” The state legislature also found that licensed California doctors are “some of the most dangerous propagators of inaccurate information.”

The law says that the Federation of State Medical Boards has warned that physicians guilty of spreading “misinformation” should “risk losing their medical license.” It adds that every doctor has a duty to provide patients with “accurate, science-based information.”

The rules of the Medical Board of California provide that the minimum level of discipline for unprofessional conduct is five years of licensure probation. The maximum penalty is the revocation of a medical license.

The new law describes “misinformation” as “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.”

Stanford University School of Medicine professor of Health Policy Dr. Jay Bhattacharya was one of many California physicians who strongly opposed the new law. He wrote in April that the proposed law would mean that doctors who dare to “deviate from an authorized set of beliefs would do so at risk to their medical license.”

He added that the standard set out in the law is “intentionally vague” and will require doctors to carefully examine what politicians are saying about science so they do not run the risk of going against “the government line.”

Bhattacharya said the law is nothing less than a “chilling interference” by politicians with the actual scientific practice of medicine. He added that the law as written contains a multitude of actual medical misinformation.

Republican state legislator Kevin Kiley said that Newsom “took a sledgehammer to the First Amendment” when he signed the bill that amounts to medical censorship. He expressed his confidence that the courts will quickly act to strike the law down as unconstitutional.