There is no other profession in the world quite like being a doctor. You face life-altering decisions every single day. You literally hold the lives of your patients in your hands. That's not an easy position to be in day in and day out.
Given just what's at stake, it's not surprising that state medical boards are hyper-vigilant and can sometimes be severe in assigning penalties for professional misconduct. They have a duty to protect the public.
Yet, the very complexities inherent in the practice of medicine mean your decisions aren't always going to fit with what other physicians might do. When that happens, you can find yourself facing charges of misconduct. However, state medical boards have clear procedures in place that allow you to prove you acted with the best intentions and in line with your medical ethics as you understand them, even if others might disagree.
The Complex Issues Around Fertility
In 2011, health care officials in the state of Arizona asked the state medical board to bar Dr. Jay Neimiro—a nationally recognized fertility specialist—from performing procedures it felt could put women and children at risk, especially if used to excess. Among other practices, Dr. Nemiro sometimes implanted up to five embryos into a patient, well above the recommended two or three. The Board undertook a full investigation and held a hearing into the matter before ultimately deciding not to take any disciplinary action against Dr. Nemiro.
As Dr. Nemiro pointed out in his own testimony, the issues surrounding fertility, just like other kinds of medical specialties, can force physicians to make complex, difficult decisions. Faced with couples who had been unable to conceive using more traditional fertility approaches, Nemiro sometimes resorted to using alternative methods. In at least one case, those methods led to quintuplets. Such deliveries can involve complications that put both the mother and the fetuses in danger. Nemiro testified that the risks of multiple births were low, something he was in a unique position to know. More important, though, was his contention that he was essentially obligated to perform the procedure. He argued that a “diagnosis of infertility is as psychologically devastating as (a) cancer” diagnosis.
The case raises the point that medicine is not an exact science, and reasonable people—even within the medical profession—can disagree about what to do in a given situation. Such disagreements can lead to investigations and force you to defend your medical knowledge, your experience, and your license.
What do you do if you are faced with a situation like this one, one where whatever decision you make could be called into question?
State laws outline how to defend yourself. They also give you the right to representation by an attorney. That means someone from the Lento Law Firm can stand beside you from the moment you're charged until you've exhausted your last appeal. You have the right to defend your decisions. We can help.
The Lento Law Firm Can Protect Your License
The Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm knows just how hard you work and how seriously you take your ethical responsibilities. If your license is under threat for any reason, we're on your side. We know the law, and we're experienced in representing clients before state medical boards. To find out what we can do for you, contact the Lento Law Firm Team today at 888.535.3686 or use our automated response form.