Antivaccine nonsense Medicine Politics Quackery

State medical boards have always been toothless

A recent report in The Washington Post last week reveals just how badly state medical boards have been failing when dealing with physicians spreading COVID-19 misinformation and using quackery to prevent and treat the disease. None of this is anything new, unfortunately. The pandemic has merely stress tested state medical boards, and most have failed because of political choices made long ago.

You really think it’s all new.
You really think about it too
The old man scoffed as he spoke to me,
I’ll tell you a thing or two.

The Clash, Something About England

[Orac note: Orac had a big grant deadline last week, explaining the lack of new material. This week, Orac is recharging his Tarial cells (i.e., is on vacation). There will likely be a new post or two, because blogging is his hobby, but no guarantees. Regular activity should resume in full next week.]

The Washington Post recently published an investigation that, unfortunately, jibes with much of what I have been writing about state medical boards for over 15 years. Reported by Lena Sun, Lauren Weber, and Hayden Godfrey and entitled Doctors who put lives at risk with covid misinformation rarely punished, the story is a great overview of the shortcomings of state medical boards that have been laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as I will discuss, the problems with the regulation of physician practice by state medical boards go back long before the pandemic, which was a stress test on state medical boards that, for the most part, they have failed miserably. My first reaction to the story was a bit cynical, too, specifically some amazement that as many physicians as were described in the story had actually faced repercussions for their spreading dangerous misinformation about COVID-19 and even practicing outright quackery claiming to treat or prevent it. That’s just me, though. (Or maybe it isn’t.)

For the story, the three Post reporters did an analysis of disciplinary records of state medical boards for all 50 states, and in this case they don’t bury the lede:

A Wisconsin doctor in 2021 prescribed ivermectin, typically used to treat parasitic infections, to two covid-19 patients who later died of the disease. He was fined less than $4,000 — and was free to continue practicing.

A Massachusetts doctor has continued practicing without restriction despite being under investigation for more than a year over allegations of “disseminating misinformation” and prescribing unapproved covid treatments, including ivermectin, to a patient who died in 2022, according to medical board records.

And in Idaho, a pathologist who falsely promoted the effectiveness of ivermectin over coronavirus vaccines on social media has not been disciplined despite complaints from fellow physicians that his “dangerous and troubling” statements and actions “significantly threatened the public health.”

Across the country, doctors who jeopardized patients’ lives by pushing medical misinformation during the pandemic and its aftermath have faced few repercussions, according to a Washington Post analysis of disciplinary records from medical boards in all 50 states.

To say that this finding was…unsurprising…to me is an understatement. I’ve been writing about attempts to discipline dangerous physicians spreading COVID-19 misinformation and using quackery to treat the disease (the two very frequently go together hand-in-hand), and for every positive development that brings a ray of hope that state medical boards are beginning to understand I seem to find a lot more signs, like the Post story I’ll discuss (which features some doctors who have shown up on this blog before), for despair.

State medical boards and the failure to discipline physicians

State medical boards have long been a topic here and at one of my favorite blogs, for example, when Dr. Kimball Atwood devoted a series of posts about the pitfalls and failings in how state medical boards had been growing more and more open to medical “pseudospecialties” or “pseudodisciplines,” as we like to call them. He began by discussing how, as a result of advocacy by groups representing naturopaths, several states had been becoming more accepting of naturopathy, to the point of considering legislation that would legalize and regulate some of its quack treatments as though they were legitimate—or even the specialty itself—in, for example, MinnesotaColoradoMassachusetts, and elsewhere. Unfortunately, the problem went beyond just the political question of deciding whether to regulate naturopathy as though it were a legitimate medical specialty, and to demonstrate this Dr. Kimball followed up with discussions of state medical boards investigating actual MD/DO licensed physicians who used actual quackery (e.g., intravenous hydrogen peroxide and chelation therapy for anything other than the existing very narrow conditions for which it is indicated), concluding with a discussion of how academic practitioners of what was then called “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM, now more frequently called “integrative medicine” or “integrative health”) had been pressuring state medical boards to accept outright quackery as being legitimate medical treatments. Jan Bellamy also used to write frequently about state medical boards and their shortcomings when they were faced with disciplining physicians, as well as about efforts by advocates for medical pseudospecialties like naturopathy to persuade state legislatures to pass laws legitimizing their quackery and even turning them into legally recognized and regulated medical specialties. She even invented an apt term, “legislative alchemy,” to describe the efforts of advocates to persuade legislators to turn the lead of quackery (e.g., naturopathy and chiropractic) into the gold of a recognized medical specialty.

I myself not infrequently wrote about the failings of state medical boards with respect to physicians practicing actual quackery. It began with the attempt by the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners to discipline Dr. Rashid Buttar for his use of chelation therapy to treat autism and cancer. During the proceedings, Dr. Buttar famously (to us, anyway) called the Board a “rabid dog.” Ultimately, however, instead of permanently revoking Dr. Buttar’s medical license, the Board gave him a slap on the wrist, telling him that he could no longer treat children or cancer patients, rather than, as I put it at the time, “having his medical license stripped from him, cut up in front of his face, and then the fragments ritually burned,” which is the penalty that I thought he so richly deserved. What ultimately happened, despite the minor restrictions placed on Dr. Buttar’s practice was quite different.

Dr. Buttar, it turned out, was a significant “pioneer” of what became an all-too-common and distressing tactic among quacks since COVID-19: Attacking state medical boards and any other medical authority trying to rein in quacks and misinformation. His was the template that COVID-19 disinformation spreading doctors followed. Most people combatting disinformation now don’t appreciate just how influential Dr. Buttar was in terms of taking the war straight to state medical boards. Indeed, he and his allies eventually persuaded the state legislature to alter North Carolina state law to make it more quack-friendly by mobilizing public support to neuter the North Carolina Medical Board and prevent it from disciplining doctors who practice quackery associated with “integrative medicine.” Specifically, the 2008 law, passed due to the advocacy of the North Carolina Integrative Medical Society and Dr. Buttar, prevents the medical board from disciplining a physician for using “non-traditional” or “experimental treatments” unless it can prove they are ineffective or more harmful that prevailing treatments. In the end, Dr. Buttar basically won his battle with the North Carolina State Medical Board after losing what was in retrospect a relatively minor battle.

Another case in particular led to my writing about the failure of state medical boards more than any other, that of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, the Polish expat physician who has been making extravagant claims for his unproven treatment for cancer, something he calls antineoplastons, since the late 1970s and, at 80 years of age, is still practicing in Houston, TX. Indeed, after the multiple hagiographies of a “brave maverick doctor” who’s “curing cancer” despite the resistance of the medical establishment, he still appears to be thriving. I’ve even seen the 2016 hagiographyBurzynski: The Cancer Cure Cover-Up, resurfacing on many of the same sites promoting COVID-19 misinformation, leading me to wonder if Burzynski has decided that antineoplastons are good for COVID-19 too. The main depressing point of my bringing up Burzynski is that, despite multiple attempts by the Texas Medical Board to discipline him for using unproven (and ineffective) treatments while charging patients huge sums of money, the last failed attempt in 2017, and attempts by the FDA to stop him, Dr. Burzynski is still in business. I also like to note when I discuss Dr. Burzynski how he pioneered many of the same misinformation techniques used today by doctors promoting COVID-19 misinformation, including cultivating relationships with sympathetic politicians and, above all, wielding believing patients as sympathetic shields against attempts to discipline him.

I also used to comment about how infrequent it was for outright antivax quacks who openly discouraged parents from vaccinating their children to face discipline prepandemic, asking what we should do about antivax physicians. Indeed, when such physicians did actually face discipline from their state medical boards, it was frequently based on other problems, such as how inadequate documentation brought down Dr. Bob Sears and use of homeopathy brought down Dr. Paul Thomas. Much of the time, it’s other offenses, not the quackery and antivax misinformation for which physicians were best known, that finally pushed state medical boards to act.

Unfortunately, a lot of upstanding physicians practicing science-based medicine are unduly disturbed by even the suggestion that state medical boards should discipline a physician for spreading misinformation about COVID-19. As much as I argue that it is not “cancel culture” but rather quality control to do so, political messaging has been successful in persuading all too many physicians to view attempts by state medical boards to discipline COVID-19 misinformation spreaders as potential threats to them.

How effective have state medical boards been? Not very

After the lede, the Post notes:

State medical boards charged with protecting the American public often failed to stop doctors who went against medical consensus and prescribed unapproved treatments for covid or misled patients about vaccines and masks, the Post investigation found.

At least 20 doctors nationally were penalized for complaints related to covid misinformation between January 2020 and June 2023, according to board documents, which The Post obtained by filing requests with state medical boards and reviewing public records. Five of those doctors lost their medical licenses — one had his revoked, while four surrendered theirs. Discipline is typically connected to patient care, not just what doctors say.

Again, I can’t help but expressing amazement that it was 20 physicians who were disciplined and five who actually lost their licenses to practice medicine. I would have guessed smaller numbers, much smaller. I will note that the Post nails the reasons why state medical boards often fail to act:

But they [state medical boards] are barely able to keep up with the more mundane task of issuing licenses, doctors say, let alone monitor social media, where many of the false claims proliferate. Critics say the system is not up to the task of overseeing the medical industry, and was particularly unable amid the explosion of misinformation that accompanied the pandemic.

“We allow the profession to police themselves. And when they fail to do that, even in the most egregious cases, what they are abetting is the erosion of trust and respect for doctors,” said Wendy Parmet, director of Northeastern University’s Center for Health Policy and Law, who has written about the harms of covid misinformation.


Doctors don’t normally face discipline for promoting treatments that go against medical consensus because state boards are loath to tread on physicians’ medical judgment and First Amendment rights, according to doctors and members of medical boards. Physicians commonly prescribe drugs for conditions other than those they were approved for, a practice known as “off-label” use that boards do not want to curtail.

“State boards can only do limited things,” said Humayun Chaudhry, president of the Federation of State Medical Boards, a nonprofit that represents the licensing agencies. “The most common refrain I hear from state licensing boards is they would like to have more resources — meaning more individuals who can investigate complaints, more attorneys, more people who can process these complaints sooner — to do their job better.”

As I’ve said many times over the years, state medical boards are often underfunded and understaffed to the point where they can barely deal with obvious cases requiring urgent intervention, such as cases of physicians impaired by alcohol or other substance abuse disorders, grifting physicians running prescription mills, or physicians engaging in outright fraud. Cases of physicians practicing quackery—or, in the case of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine after 2020, when studies had definitively shown they don’t work—as “off-label prescribing” are more difficult and resource-intensive to pursue, if only because many of these quacks have significant resources to afford top flight law firms to represent them in front of the board, indeed far more resources than the board itself often has. Then, when it comes to misinformation, there’s always the issue of the First Amendment and the reluctance to penalize a physician for what, misinformation spreaders will claim, is Constitutionally protected speech. On the other hand, speech frequently goes hand-in-hand with quackery. Misinformation-spreading physicians often base their treatment of COVID-19 patients on the misinformation, sometimes with serious grifting, as when America’s Frontline Doctors were busted for running an ivermectin telehealth prescription mill.

The point is, state medical boards, given their lack of resources, tend to go after the “low hanging fruit,” cases they can win without the expenditure of a lot of resources, cases like physicians impaired by substance abuse or physicians sexually abusing patients under the guise of medicine. As I once put it years before the pandemic:

…as Dr. Lipson pointed out, state medical boards are notoriously toothless. Think about it. How many times has the Texas Medical Board gone after Stanislaw Burzynski over the last 38 years and failed? Or what about the quack whose friendship with the town sheriff led to the identification of the nurses who complained about him and their suffering severe professional and legal consequences as a result? Or what about the neurosurgeon who can’t operate and injured many patients? Or what about the oncologist who administered chemotherapy to patients without cancer and administered medically-unnecessary chemotherapy to patients with cancer? So bad was his behavior that a nurse interviewing for a job noticed that the chemotherapy was being mixed up incorrectly and complained to the state medical board with no result. This oncologist was only brought down when the feds investigated massive Medicare fraud. Second, medical boards need a concrete complaint, and that concrete complaint usually has to be about the actual practice of medicine. The Arizona Board, for example, might list 49 definitions of unprofessional conduct, but try fitting speaking out about vaccines into any of them. In Dr. Wolfson’s case, one might tag him under #19, “any conduct or practice contrary to recognized standards of ethics of the osteopathic medical profession.” Maybe.

The bottom line is that state medical boards tend to be toothless, underfunded, and overwhelmed. That’s why the only physician behaviors very likely to result in strong action consists of running a prescription mill, diddling patients, or practicing while impaired by abuse of alcohol or illicit substances. It’s a matter of resource allocation and prioritization. State medical boards tend to react primarily to what they perceive to be the most immediately and obviously dangerous behaviors. Practicing quackery rarely makes the cut, because medical boards are loathe to make value judgments about medical practice, and proving quackery is way harder and more resource-intensive than proving a doctor is an addict practicing while impaired or that he’s diddling patients. Even horrible surgeons like Dr. Duntsch, whose epic incompetence in the operating room resulted in multiple “clean kills” and so-alarmed colleagues that they actually took the rare action of complaining about him, all too often take a long time to take down.

Adjudicating whether a given treatment (or off-label use of an FDA-approved drug) is quackery and sufficiently below the accepted standard of care or not to warrant discipline is something that they are much more reluctant to do because, again, quacks often have a lot of resources to argue, delay, and claim that their treatments aren’t quackery, as Drs. Buttar and Burzynski used to do routinely decades ago.

Another point came up in the story’s discussion of the case of Massachusetts physician Dr. John Diggs, who faced discipline for “prescribing ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine to a patient with covid symptoms who died in 2022 after being intubated”:

The board alleged that Diggs prescribed the medications despite “clear evidence for the lack of any clinical benefit of hydroxychloroquine” and the fact that “ivermectin has been proven ineffective.”

The medical board accused Diggs of providing treatment to two patients that fell “below the standard of care.” It also accused him of “disseminating misinformation” on a Worcester, Mass., radio program in December 2020 when he promoted unproven coronavirus treatments touted by the alliance. At least two physicians lodged complaints in 2021 accusing him of “physician misconduct related to egregious COVID-19 misinformation and medical care well outside of the standard of care” and alleging “significant risk of patient harm,” board records show.

In documents detailing his response to board charges, Diggs denied disseminating misinformation on the radio program but admitted to prescribing ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine and advocating for treatment of covid based on “studies from recognized medical professional organizations.” His lawyer, in the documents, accused the board of violating Diggs’s free-speech rights by “attempting to inhibit the expression of his medical opinions.”

While I realize that it is a tricky line between professional and personal speech, I have frequently argued that professionalism in medicine includes not spreading misinformation. Of course, it is far less difficult to take action against a physician practicing quackery than it is to do so against a physician simply spreading COVID-19 misinformation and not treating patients using interventions based on that misinformation, and Dr. Diggs was, in my opinion, treating patients with quackery, ineffective treatments against COVID-19, and then trying to absolve himself of responsibility by disingenuously blaming COVID-19 for their deaths, as if they were like patients who die in spite of being given effective treatment rather than patients given false hope by his promotion of ineffective treatments. This is a frequent theme among COVID-19 quacks:

Some of the doctors cited in the misinformation-related complaints have defended their actions by saying they adhered to covid-treatment guidelines recommended by organizations that promote alternative therapies — guidelines rejected by major medical societies and government agencies. They said patients died of covid — not because of misinformation or the therapies they provided.

“Organizations that promote alternative therapies”? Does that sound familiar? It should. It’s what we’ve been warning about for 15 years, fake medical societies that promote unscientific or pseudoscientific quackery, or, as Dr. Atwood once called them, pseudomedical pseudoprofessional organizations (PPOs) back in 2008. Since the pandemic, the PPO has, if anything, flourished more than any of us could ever have predicted. Just as they were wielded by quacks in 2008 against state medical boards and in favor of legalizing and regulating quack professions like naturopathy, in the age of COVID-19 these PPOs have become major forces for defending antivaccine misinformation and COVID-19 quackery against attempts to discipline doctors. Add to that the political polarization that has led those largely of a certain political persuasion to side with the COVID-19 pandemic minimizers, quacks, and antivaxxers, and state legislators are working to make the jobs of state medical boards even more difficult by placing restrictions on their ability to consider disciplining COVID-19 misinformation spreaders, decreasing their funding, and worse. One can understand how state medical boards, particularly in states with legislatures controlled by physicians of such a political bent, might be reluctant to risk incurring the wrath of the government by pursuing cases against COVID-19 quacks and misinformation spreaders, or, as the Post reports:

As of June, medical boards in at least 14 states had taken disciplinary action against one or more physicians for misinformation-related causes, The Post’s analysis shows. Nine of those states have Democratic governors, leaving more-conservative swaths of the country unprotected given that board members are usually appointed by the governor, subjecting them to political head winds.


In the last two years, MissouriNorth Dakota and Tennessee have passed laws that would protect doctors from disciplinary actions for prescribing ivermectin, according to The Post’s review of more than 80 bills, including those identified by the Federation of State Medical Boards, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the Center for Public Health Law Research at Temple University.


In addition, attorneys general in six states — IndianaKansasNebraskaOklahomaTennessee and South Carolina — have issued opinions saying doctors can prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, with four of them determining doctors cannot be disciplined for off-label prescription to treat covid.

You get the idea. Moreover, the passage of laws designed to legitimize COVID-19 quackery is nothing new either. I (and others) have been warning about the phenomenon since 2008. For example, in California there was SB 577, a bill was passed and signed into law back in 2002 designed to regulate alternative medicine practitioners. Basically, it allows the practice of medicine without a license, as long as the practitioner provides clients with a clear statement that he is not a licensed physician, a list of services provided, and a description of training. California is by no means alone, either. Jann Bellamy has pointed to bills and laws that she refers to as the quack full employment act (Colorado) and “quack protection law” (Nevada). Such are the fruits of the “health freedom” movement and the increasing acceptance of pseudoscience that prosecutors, state medical boards, and the police have a hard time prosecuting and convicting even the most egregious quacks. Add to that an insufficiently-rigorous and poorly-funded regulatory structure in most states, coupled with excessive deference to the prerogatives of physicians, and what is happening now is no surprise to those of us who have been documenting these problems for many years, particularly when you consider that most state medical boards can’t even begin to investigate a physician until and unless there is a complaint filed about that physician’s treatment of a patient or patients.

The Post story includes a litany of doctors whom state medical boards in various states have tried to hold to account for treating patients with ineffective and unapproved treatments and/or spreading COVID-19 misinformation, including names we’ve discussed here before, such as Dr. Maryl NassDr. Ryan Cole, and Dr. Steven La Tulippe, and others that we have not, such as the aforementioned Dr. Diggs, as well as Wisconsin physician Dr. Edward Hagen and Nevada physician Dr. Medina Culver, the latter of whom brings me to a puzzling point.

Why don’t victims sue COVID-19 quacks?

I’ll finish by discussing Dr. Culver, who, according to the Post story, is currently the defendant of a malpractice suit, something that is unfortunately relatively rare when it comes to victims of quacks, be they COVID-19 quacks now or cancer quacks like Stanislaw Burzynski over the last four and a half decades:

In Nevada, Jelena Hatfield and her husband, Jeremy Parker, did not believe what federal health officials said about the safety or effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines and refused to get a shot.

Instead, Hatfield said the couple sought what Trump had touted early in the pandemic as an alternative way to protect themselves: hydroxychloroquine. After Trump’s repeated promotion, the FDA issued an emergency-use authorization in March 2020 allowing the antimalarial drug to be used to treat covid. By early June of that year, however, virtually every published study reported that the medication was not effective in reducing death or illness, and the FDA revoked its authorization because of reports of serious side effects, including heart problems.

But a year later, Medina Culver, a family medicine physician in Henderson, Nev., prescribed hydroxychloroquine to Parker as a preventive treatment during a telehealth visit, Hatfield said. She said that Parker had connected with Culver through America’s Frontline Doctors, which shot to prominence in 2020 by challenging pandemic health guidance, and that the doctor never performed a physical exam of her husband.

In January 2022, Parker began having cold-like symptoms, assumed he had contracted covid and, unbeknown to his wife or Culver, took the medication that he had stashed away. The 52-year-old construction worker died within days, Hatfield said.

TIME Magazine reported on the case in May 2023, and it turns out that Jeremy Parker was the victim of a telehealth grift run by America’s Frontline Doctors :

The previous summer, Jelena discovered, Jeremy had started following AFLD online after listening to podcasts that promoted conspiracies about COVID-19. At the time, the group was producing slick videos on social media, falsely claiming that U.S. health agencies were withholding life-saving treatments, and that doctors refusing to prescribe them were like “good Germans who allow the Nazis to kill the Jews.” Jeremy, who worked as an industrial sandblaster, became convinced that hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin were the only effective treatments for the virus.

On Aug. 26, 2021, Jeremy paid $90 for a consultation through AFLD’s online telemedicine portal. He was connected to a doctor named Medina Culver, 33, an osteopathic physician and Instagram influencer based in Henderson, Nev. Culver did not see or examine Jeremy. Over the phone, she prescribed him hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment or prevention, according to a receipt reviewed by TIME. Soon after, Jeremy received a prescription for 200mg of hydroxychloroquine in the mail from Ravkoo, a Florida-based pharmacy chain partnered with AFLD. According to his widow’s lawsuit, he took those hydroxychloroquine pills the night he died.

Jeremy’s family is suing both AFLD and Culver in Nevada district court for in excess of $30,000 in damages. The lawsuit, which was filed in February on behalf of his estate and cites TIME’s 2021 investigation, alleges that his death was linked to the falsehoods spread by AFLD as well as the doctor who prescribed it. “They didn’t even examine him. They gave him something that he used as they prescribed, and it killed him,” Jelena Parker-Hatfield says. “How can they not be held accountable for something? How in America can this be a system that works, that everybody is okay with?”

This is a good question. After all, what is being described sounds an awful lot like the telehealth ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine prescription mill grift that AFLD was running in 2021, right down to the use of the Ravkoo pharmacy chain to fill the prescriptions and the $90 charge for a telehealth consultation. It was a scam uncovered through investigations by TIME Magazine and The Intercept in 2021. What is depressing, though, is that the family is only suing for $30,000, which is not very much to AFD and many other grifting COVID-19 quacks, many of whom have profited handsomely from their activities during the pandemic, as documented by TIME Magazine.

As a physician, I will confess that I generally have a relatively dim view of most malpractice suits, as there are many that are dubious. On the other hand, I’m probably more open than a lot of other doctors to such suits when there is legitimate malpractice, and to me recommending ivermectin or hydroxychloroqine by telehealth instead of vaccination to prevent COVID-19 is definitely practicing so far below the standard of care that it should qualify as malpractice; so I fully approve when victims of quacks sue for malpractice. It’s just that it so rarely seems to happen. This is an observation that is not just true now but was true long before the pandemic.

Indeed, a discussion of this very issue came up in the comments after one of my posts about Stanislaw Burzynski and Robert O. Young as poster children for failures of states to rein in quacks. In Burzynski’s case, there is a cap in Texas on judgments on punitive damages above $250,000, making such cases less attractive for attorneys to take on contingency. Bob Blaskiewicz, for instance, noted that Burzynski has settled out of court and that one of plaintiffs, being a patient with advanced cancer, unfortunately died before the case could go to trial. Moreover, most malpractice suits are lost, and in the case of malpractice suits against quacks it is likely to be difficult overcoming the likely argument by the defense that the patient made the choice not to vaccinate and instead choose “alternative” treatments like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. It is often difficult to determine what patients were and were not told about such treatments, as well.

The bottom line is that now, as in years past, state medical boards are largely toothless when it comes to regulating the practice of medicine and stopping dangerous doctors from endangering patients. The unfortunate bottom line is that the long history of efforts by the health freedom movement to eliminate any effective enforcement of the standard of care in medicine, the antivaccine movement to shield antivax doctors and legitimize their quackery, and right-to-try advocates to weaken the FDA have led to the current situation in which most quacks, be they COVID-19 misinformation pushing quacks or old school quacks (the two becoming less and less distinguishable by the year) are pretty safe from investigation or discipline by their state medical boards. This was true before the pandemic, and I like to cite the example of Dr. Farid Fata, an oncologist who administered chemotherapy to patients who did not have cancer in order to defraud Medicare and Medicaid to the tune of $35 million over several years. It wasn’t the Michigan Board of Medicine that put a stop to his intentionally misdiagnosing patients in order to justify treating them with expensive chemotherapy; it was the feds investigating Medicare and health insurance fraud.

Until there is the political will to empower state medical boards to go after quacks, again be they COVID-19 quacks or any other quack, and provide the resources to them to be able to do so without risking starving their other important activities of funding, it unfortunately appears that a patient’s best defense is a healthy skepticism, as in “let the patient beware,” which is very difficult given the differential in medical knowledge between physicians and their patients, with the most likely means of punishing such doctors being to sue them for malpractice after they have injured a patient. Even more unfortunately, that is a hard road that frequently fails, and I don’t see the political landscape changing any time soon to allow state legislatures to properly empower and fund their state medical boards. We should be putting the pressure on our representatives to do just that.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

88 replies on “State medical boards have always been toothless”

A bit of good news:

“Prosecutor David Glickler said Dr. Rolando G. Arafiles Jr., 59, pleaded guilty in a Kermit courtroom to retaliation and misuse of official information as part of a plea agreement that also includes surrendering his medical license. Arafiles, who had been charged with two counts each of felony misuse of official information and retaliation in Winkler County, did not return a call seeking comment afterward.

His plea is among the final steps in a case that outraged nursing associations nationwide and led to convictions against the West Texas sheriff and prosecutor who investigated the nurses.”

Seems to have happened late in 2011. I didn’t check to see if you’d written about this series of joyous events, though. Seeing the Sheriff and prosecutor convicted was really a highlight of my day.

Besides your other points about legislatures stopping boards, I want to remind you that Boards are not wrong to worry about courts stepping in to stop them if they respond to misinformation. A good example is California’s AB2098, a law that applies to misinformation directly given to patients, not shared online, and narrow – I don’t think it changed existing law at all – which was enjoined by two out of three courts hearing challenges to it.

Boards could do more, but for misinformation, they are not wrong to worry. You correctly mention the First Amendment concerns, but it might be useful to point out that this concern has real teeth: our courts have made it harder to regulate speech in the public health in past decades.

We, the antivaxxers, got very lucky with AB2098.

It was a perfect example why pediatricians (such as Dr. Richard Pan) should not pretend to be lawmakers and should not write/author laws.

As a result, the law was not only confusing, but actually completely senseless and the most important sentence of the law had no discernible plain meaning. This part specifically:

==> (4) “Misinformation” means false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus contrary to the standard of care.

I explained that a year ago. Plaintiff lawyers, independently, saw the same thing. The court, looking at the law, independently found the same and stopped enforcement of AB2098 due to many reasons, vagueness being chief among them.

The law, additionally, did not even specify where is the consensus. A consensus, by definition, does NOT exist when many doctors object. The law also was silent on which standard of care should apply).

Dr Richard Pan was deranged and in his confused mind, a consensus existed, but in reality there was no consensus.

Additionally, Dorit, you are misstating the intent of the law when you say that it applies only to private doctor/patient communications. Far from it:

==> It shall constitute unprofessional conduct for a physician and surgeon to disseminate misinformation or disinformation related to COVID-19, including 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.

“Disseminating” is not something that pertains to private/public communications and the law imposed restrictions on public speech (as the word “disseminating” means)

A consensus, by definition, does NOT exist when many doctors object. The law also was silent on which standard of care should apply).

Um, no. When a bunch of ideologically motivated quacks “object” to the evidence-based standard of care based on pseudoscience, contrarianism, and lies, that does not make that standard of care any less a medical consensus.

I would have said that, even in the case of non-quacks, it is irrelevant unless the doctors in question are directly involved in the studies and analysis isn’t it? It’s not every doctor that develops ‘standard of care’.

I wonder if Igor thinks that consensus involves every doctor filling in a questionnaire that starts ‘In your opinion…..’.

@ohn labarge Have you any evidence that trials were fraudulent ? If so, present it.
Follow up studies gave same efficiency than trials (for alpha variant).

What if they disagree that the evidence you rely on is meaningful, credible, conclusive or complete?

There are several such arguments. Starting with the allegation that the trials themselves were fraudulent.

…and an argument involves a step by step critique of the study and it’s format, demonstrating why those don’t produce the closest results to reality possible. NOT a couple of random whinges that the study doesn’t produce the output you want so it must be reformatted until it does.

Not that it makes a difference to anti-vaxxers, they’re so focused on the end result that they aren’t capable of objective analysis of the ways to get there.

You’d have to explain why they disagree: what was wrong with the study: was the design the wrong one? Incorrect analysis? Some other reason(s)?

Neither you nor Igor never do that — most certainly because you’re not capable of it: your understanding of the study designs, let alone the analysis, is zero. So all you have is “I don’t trust the data” and “something something something nefarious world-wide conspiracy has corrupted everyone involved everywhere around the world”. That sort of bullshit flies with your fellow disinformation spreaders, but there’s really nothing but ignorance behind your objections.

John just comes here to regurgitate the talking points he picks up in far-right publications. He understands they represent the views of his social betters…right-wing billionaires desperate to avoid taxation and regulations on business interests like fossil fuels. For John, following the money means nothing more and nothing less than giving his fealty to those billionaires, which he happily does in exchange for assurances that he’s a “rugged individual” and an “independent thinker”.

Do you have any actual evidence to support you arguments? Or is that to much to expect?

This is incorrect in several ways.
A. Disseminating in the law is defined thus: ““Disseminate” means the conveyance of information from the licensee to a patient under the licensee’s care in the form of treatment or advice.”

So yes, the law does apply only to patient relations. You were mistaken.

B. Three courts heard cases about this. One judge found that this is well within existing law on professional speech. Two did not. I think those judges were wrong, because the requirement that the information be “false”, by itself, would solve the issues – and as one of the judges going against the law admitted, “standard of care” is a regularly used metric. Consensus is more fuzzy, I agree, but “false information” would have prevented issues. And the Board already had authority to address false information: lying to patients or misleading them (even if the doctor believes the lies) is fairly described as gross negligence. The law did not really add.

C. Plaintiffs lawyers are supposed to make any argument for their clients. In this case, several of their clients can fairly be described as misinformers, but since Hoeg, for example, doesn’t appear to be treating anyone who she may be legitimately giving this information to, the court should have found that she has no standing. Her misinformation is disseminated online, and the law would not apply to her.

The way the plaintiff doctors claimed standing, by the way, was to claim the law stops them from giving misinformation or disinformation to their patients.

D. Consensus: if there is a “respectable minority” opinion, you would be right that there is no consensus – in which case the law would not apply. But in any case the medical board would be likely to act – and note, the law would require the board to act, it is not self-enforcing – it would have to show the consensus. Lack of one could be an argument for the doctors.

These doctors were not worried about areas of uncertainty. They wanted exactly to misinform about the consensus.

@ Igor:

Oh come on!
Isn’t it outrageous enough that you argue bio medical issues with experts/ well-educated commenters but now you’re discussing law with Prof Dorit?
I know that the standard alternative response is that scientists/ experts are too entrenched in their professions’ propaganda and brainwashing to see reality but SRSLY isn’t it Orac’s ( and to some degree, Dorit’s) entire schtick to research and explain alternative approaches as well as the consensus ? And to COMPARE them as to veridicality an efficacy?

Don’t ( ahem) psychologists study how people manage information and make decisions as well as how they deal with conflicting information and unrealistic beliefs? Believe me, you’re only looking at ripples on the surface of a vast ocean of research about these issues.

Isn’t it outrageous enough that you argue bio medical issues with experts/ well-educated commenters but now you’re discussing law with Prof Dorit?

It is surprising that igor demonstrate his lack of knowledge by trying to contradict Orac and Dorit on this, even though he has a history of showing his lack of knowledge on issues doesn’t stop him from giving his interpretations [even though they are always wrong].

I’m more surprised he didn’t take the tack of climate and evolution deniers who try to argue that consensus has no place in science and imply that it means people decide what they want to be true first and then shape their studies around that.

Consensus in science exists, but it always looks boring. For example, there is consensus about the laws of thermodynamics.

For instance, there was a well-founded consensus about Newton’s laws of mechanics, which eventually changed somewhat in early 1900s to incorporate “general relativity”, but in an incremental manner. Newton’s laws almost perfectly apply to our daily business.

There is also consensus that viruses exist.

All these areas have an aura of boredom.

You do not see ideologically crazed people attracted to these controversies, you do not see state senators demanding punishment for disbelievers, you do not see occasional questioning of these issues declared “dangerous antiscience aggression”, ideology-consumed newspapers do not devote endless editorials to “right-wing anti-thermodynamics conspiracy theories” etc.

The issues where controversies exist attract radicals like flies, there is always talk about banning speech, conspiracies, scientific studies withdrawn by publishers without explanation, accusations about political incorrectness, etc.

The “COVID science”, which was taken over by vaccine quacks, is a perfect example of a controversial area where consensus never existed, vaccines did not work, opponents were canceled etc.

The First Amendment was wisely added by our founding fathers to ensure that any controversial issues, like covid vaccines, get adequate discussion coverage until the truth emerges.

There is also consensus that viruses exist.

All these areas have an aura of boredom.

You do not see ideologically crazed people attracted to these controversies, you do not see state senators demanding punishment for disbelievers, you do not see occasional questioning of these issues declared “dangerous antiscience aggression”, ideology-consumed newspapers do not devote endless editorials to “right-wing anti-thermodynamics conspiracy theories” etc.

You don’t see ideologically crazed people attracted to these “controversies”? Where the hell have you been the last three years? The COVID-19 “skeptic” and antivax movement is rife with germ theory deniers, some of whom deny that viruses exist. I’ve even written about these people! In fact, the antivax movement in general has always been full of germ theory denial and appeals to Beechamp over Pasteur, and, yes, a number of people who deny that viruses exist or deny that they cause disease. Germ theory is one of those “boring areas of consensus,” and there are disturbing number of people who deny it.

Seriously, dude, where have you been? For someone who thinks himself well aware of these issues, you really are ignorant of the sorts of people you have aligned yourself with.

Hi @Orac, I cannot reply to your response directly as we ran out of thread levels. So my reply goes here.

==> Where the hell have you been the last three years? The COVID-19 “skeptic” and antivax movement is rife with germ theory deniers, some of whom deny that viruses exist.

My substack is also beset with people proclaiming that viruses do not exist. But they are private individuals and not part of any science.

I am somewhat frustrated with their denial of viruses and once even opened a debate, hoping to change at least one person’s mind. Unfortunately at most one person did change their mind.

I do not put likes on any virus-denying responses.

In any case, there is no scientific controversy about existence of viruses that I am aware of.

@Igor Chudov COVID consensus is emerging. You can read he papers. Republicans lacking votes have have not pres nted any scientific arguments. Neither have you.

@Igor Chudov Have you not noticed that germ theory denial is an essential part of the grift ? My supplement will cure all viral diseases you know.

@Dangerous Bacon says:

==> A responsible blogger, though, would make it clear that germ theory denial is ridiculous and irresponsible, and that there’s no place for it on his platform.

I am a very responsible blogger. My mission is to save humanity, not to derail it down to a dangerous path.

Being respectful of this mission, I only post things that 1) I know to be true and 2) I fact check to make sure I am not irresponsibly posting something incorrect. Can I be wrong? Sure. But I always try to double check what I am writing.

It is not my responsibility to fact-check responses to my posts.

@ Igor:
” you do not see state senators demanding punishment for disbelievers,”

What on earth are you talking about? Have you every read anything about the history of the teaching of evolution in the US? There were laws passed prohibiting the teaching of evolution. See please the Scopes Monkey Trial. People were punished for “disbelieving” in Creationism.
It is still an issue to this day!

In the scientific community there is consensus on evolution. And yet the topic brings out the screaming extremists, including serving lawmakers.

Just because people are screaming about it doesn’t mean there isn’t a widely supported scientific consensus.

@Igor Chuodov. This fact checf hing thing was hilarious.. If actually fact checks you. your claims are always proved false.

You keep saying that you only post things that you “know to be true”. Having read many of your posts, I cannot help but feel that you must be overestimating your knowledge, if you truly believe that you are presenting the best available knowledge to your readers. Not that your readers care – they want you to confirm that that belong to the ‘right’ group.

As for science being ‘boring’ – I apologize in the name of all those who have conducted and published research. Many people find scientific research to be very interesting, but I guess that your not one of them. Regardless – it’s not meant to ‘entertain’ you.

Igor, a question:
We know of your baseless conspiracy theories about covid [it was created in and got out of a lab], vaccines [they don’t work and scientists everywhere are lying about them]. You’ve stated you doubt climate change but never explained why [my guess is you don’t even know enough of the terms used in climate modeling to make up fictions about them]. So here’s my question.

Why did you type

” general relativity”

[general relativity in quotes] in your earlier post? Was that meant to imply that you don’t believe it either or was it simply to note that the name general relativity was new at the time?

Denise, AB2098 is a one-page law that anyone can read. (including yourself)

The law was hastily rewritten around past August or so and the writer (Dr Richard Pan) did a terrible job writing and editing it. It has key sentences that are outright nonsensical (item 4), refers to undefined “consensus”, talks about “dissemination” etc etc.

Had the law been competently written, it would be much harder to challenge. So thank God for that.

Last October, I pointed out these issues (bad wording of (4) and a reference to a nonexistent consensus). Independently, plaintiffs and courts agreed with arguments similar to what I put forward, while also bringing up 1st Amendment issues that I decided not to discuss due to their obviousness.

Your reverence for “experts” is entirely misplaced, as you consider badly incentivised and sometimes deluded partisan hacks to be “experts”.

Had Richard Pan not been blind and crazed with hatred towards his opponents, he would hire constitutional lawyers to write AB2098, which would make it much harder to challenge. Dr Pan fell victim to his own hubris and arrogance because he thought he could write laws.

Go to RI’s convenient search function and find exactly what Orac says about consensus – it, and who ‘experts’ are, have nothing to do with politics.

Igor: “I do not put likes on any virus-denying responses.”

How bold of you. A responsible blogger, though, would make it clear that germ theory denial is ridiculous and irresponsible, and that there’s no place for it on his platform.

But that would cost subscriptions and $.

The preliminary injunction against California’s AB 2098 by a Bush-appointed judge aside, the Federation of State Medical Board’s misinformation/disinformation policy remains in force, and physicians attempting to deceive the public for ideological and/or financial reasons are starting to reap the consequences.“Physicians%20who%20generate%20and%20spread,revocation%20of%20their%20medical%20license.

“why pediatricians (such as Dr. Richard Pan) should not pretend to be lawmakers and should not write/author laws.”

Dr Pan was elected to represent his district in the California legislature in a free and fair election. He was not “pretending” to serve as a lawmaker, he was elected to the job.

Are you saying that there was something wrong with his election?

Are you saying that some professions should be barred from serving in legislative bodies? Would that pass constitutional muster?

I am saying that Dr Richard Pan, a pediatrician, thought he was capable of authoring laws, and completely bungled AB2098 with “incoherent” phrasing (per court decision) and nonsensical structure.

I thank God that AB2098 was written by such an incompetent individual and was overturned by courts.

From the court decision:

==> However, far from clarifying the statutory prohibition,
the inclusion of the term “standard of care” only serves to
further confuse the reader. Under the language of AB 2089, to
qualify as “misinformation,” the information must be
contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus contrary to
the standard of care
.” Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 2270. Put
simply, this provision is grammatically incoherent. While
“statutes need not be written with ‘mathematical’ precision, they
must be intelligible.”

I pointedout these issues with this law in my post from Oct 13 2022, and the court echoed my points. I have no doubt that nobody important read my post, and their judgment was entirely independent from what I wrote, however I am glad that I was right, as usual.

I have no doubt that nobody important read my post,

That’s probably the first fact-based thing you’ve ever said. Why would anyone important, or that understands things, read the rantings of a serial covid and vaccine denier and liar like you?

…however I am glad that I was right, as usual.

Ok, now you’re back to being delusional.

Standard of care is mentioned. his is quite specific, and is based on available data (consensus formed by it),
You may try ivermectin some time, butxpreriment must end eventually and result must be evaluated. This is called scientific consensus

Are you a Constitutional scholar? A constitutional lawyer?
No? Then how do you know that Senator Pan “Bungled” the law in question?

Also, why do you think that Dr Pan was the only person who wrote, reviewed, edited or read the law in question?

Do you have any idea how the sausage is made? Have you ever been in the room where it happened?

Or are you, as usual, speaking from a position of total ignorance?


==> Are you a Constitutional scholar? A constitutional lawyer?
No? Then how do you know that Senator Pan “Bungled” the law in question?

God gave me eyes and a brain. I also studied critical reading. (and had a law class in college) So I can read and think.

I read the law and noticed that its most important paragraph (4) is grammatically incoherent (“consensus contrary to the standard of care”). Its incoherence rendered the entire law unconstitutionally vague.

I noted that, among other things, on Oct 13, 2022. Later, the court used a similar reasoning and issued a preliminary injunction.

You people have such reverence for “experts”, in matters where reading and thinking would be enough to have your own judgment. It’s like you consciously refuse to think.

“God gave me eyes and a brain.”

Which one? Cthulhu? Quetzalcoatl? Amaterasu? Heh, I’m thinking Coyote? Or my new personal favourite Mbombo?

I wonder what Igor would say about the 19 physicians (such as Rand Paul) currently serving in congress. Are they also pretending to be legislators?

“I fact check to make sure I am not irresponsibly posting something incorrect.”

So you informed your followers that the claims you made that a table from Xie et al. (2023) showed that the Covid vaccination provided no protection from hospitalization were nonsense from someone with no understanding of propensity score weighting or test-negative design?

This is why I emphasized in the post that physician speech (promotion of dangerous health misinformation on social media) is almost always accompanied by practice (treating patients with quackery based on the misinformation they spread and flouting public health practices with respect to COVID-19). This applies to all the docs mentioned in the post. Medical boards are on much firmer ground disciplining doctors for the quackery to which they subject patients than for their speech, although I do think that professional speech should be fair game even as I realize that the First Amendment and various laws make that not the case.

Historically, false information by doctors was not protected at all, and professional speech did enjoy less protection, though it did enjoy some protection.

Courts have made it harder to limit misleading professional speech only in the past decade. It’s a change in the law, and at least partly appears to have political reasons (see NIFLA v. Becerra).

Off-label prescribing is also one of those things that’s a lot fuzzier than just quackery – there’s plenty of cases where a drug is effective for something but the effort to get FDA approval for it for that indication is not likely to be profitable for the manufacturer (because it’s already in generic, or would only a fallback anyway, or…)

Off-label IVM/HCQ for C19 is quackery, of course. But, for instance, I take low-dose Trazodone as a sleep aid, and it is extremely measurably obvious how helpful it is – when I take my pill, I can fall asleep, and if I don’t, I can’t. But given the low cost of the drug, well, I don’t really expect the manufacturer to seek FDA approval for it for that use.

(Also, when I was first prescribed it, it was made clear to me that it was off-label and we were trying something that might not work, which is another part of ethical off-label prescription, IMO…)

@ DB:

I’ve been searching for stories about this- from the start- from legitimate outlets but they all seem to originate from alt/ alt friendly/ rightie/ woo sites. Early on, one of the usual suspects included a reference about ” money laundering” being suspected/ accused and that his CEO or CFO had a seriously ill spouse who was being cared for in their native Philippines. So who knows.
The powers-that-be out to attack ‘truth tellers’ as usual.

Mike and others take this situation as a sign of things to come:
— doctors who don’t comply with the regime’s plan will suffer
— observe brave maverick truck drivers in Canada who were de-banked!
— all banks are corrupt, steal money, will de-fault etc.
— money will be digital and cash will be illegal
— ‘You will own nothing and LIKE IT!'( misconstruing Prof Harari)
— buy gold, silver and crypto NOW! Farm land is a great investment
— major food shortages, mass starvation, nuclear and gang war

Actually, the loons I survey have been increasingly obsessed about money, food and vaccines- I’ve been trying to assess their target audience because-
— they despise cities and city dwellers
— hate universities, profs and students
— hate LGBTQ people
— hate so-called “woke” people ( dog whistle for minorities)
— they sound like Fox News with an organic, pure food diet
— they hate vaccines and SBM
RFK jr fits in better these days

Do they also love trad. wives?
That seems to be a thing, women who just want to care for their home, husband and children.

They support ‘traditional family roles’ not “careerists” and make women fear pharmaceutical birth control as dangerous to health . Abortion is either carefully avoided as a topic ( because they know most people support it) or totally condemned as demonic evil done to sell “baby” parts to vaccine makers ( Null, Adams respectively).

Adams also bitched about having the same surname as the NY mayor who is accepting asylum seekers.

How do they reconcile this bit of nonsense

— money will be digital and cash will be illegal

with the nonsense here especially the crypto bit

— buy gold, silver and crypto NOW! Farm land is a great investment

If the implication that money being digital and cash illegal are bad things, how can buying into the scam of precious metals and, even worse, crypto, be good things?

These dudes predict that there will soon be an international system of digital money that will replace all currencies. “Fiat currency” of course is evil and should go. The international system will outlaw cash, precious metals and crypto.
No one “own” anything but will have a digital account and will rent everything. If you don’t get vaccinated or follow marching orders, you won’t be able to buy anything, even food.

Adams advocates taking your money from all banks/ investments, stocking up on old silver coins and getting involved in “privacy” crypto- where your purchase history can’t be traced. He presents a web of nested conspiracies that makes little sense however some of his sponsors sell gold, silver, satellite phones etc. He sells prepping supplies for the oncoming apocalypse.

I first read him 15 years ago when he left the US for Ecuador to escape pollution, vaccines, the police state and other terrors.
Notice that he’s back.

@Aarno Syvänen:

==> Have it occurred you that the constitution says something about property rights ? Changing constitution is difficult. Wellbeing economy members are here Do you really think big corporations are Marxist ? You are seriously confused.

I am not convinced that the dreams of the “wellbeing alliance” will indeed be implemented. In the past such changes were accompanied by great violence. It is, at this point, a toss-up. As someone with a high-7-figure net worth which my family all earned and saved and invested, I take their pronouncements seriously for personal reasons. I give it a 50-50 chance that they will get their way.

However, since you brought up their website, take a look at their objectives in “what is a Wellbeing Economy”:

This is where they talk about repurposing fine arts, communal living, all-encompassing “equality”, ditching the “policical party system” and more.

Furthermore, in their “Key concepts” page, they explain “Marxian political economy”, which “focuses on the exploitation of labor by capital”. Far from being a minor mention, “Marxian political economy” is central to their plans.

I wish that I made all this up!!!

It does sound crazy, but the craziness is right there on their webpage. I am not sure if the corporations listed, or citizens living in countries who joined the “wellbeing alliance” actually understand what they joined.

This is exactly why I wrote my substack post to explain what this “wellbeing” really means, and how that relates to WEF’s “you will own nothing and be happy” prediction.

Regarding “you will own nothing and will be happy”: such a prediction from the World Economic Forum was so outlandish that most people dismissed it as mere futurist fantasy. Fact checkers, coincidentally paid by the people who comprise the WEF, also debunked “right wing conspiracies” discussing this prediction.

Case closed, right?

Not so fast!

Plans for us to own nothing or next to nothing, already exist. When that happens, you, Denise, will be citing “experts” and explaining how owning nothing is good for us!

The happiness of owning nothing will be called “wellbeing”.

The concept of “wellbeing economy”, promulgated by the WEF, is codified in the “wellbeing framework” , developed by the Club of Rome and the “Wellbeing alliance”. Seven English speaking countries already accepted such a framework and joined this alliance (Scotland, Canada, Australia etc).

Their all-encompassing program involves “Marxian economy”, abandonment of the Western style of thought called “decolonizing of the mind”, collectivist communal living and more.

Even fine arts, wellbeing thinkers explain, will be reoriewnted towards glorifying wellbeing ideals, resembling “socialist realism” of the recent past.

I recently wrote a post about it – all based on their official materials, without involving any outside conspiracy theories.

Whether this collectivist Marxian “wellbeing” will or will not be fully implemented, remains to be seen – but the plans exist and are quite public, and are adopted by several important countries.

If you cut someone up on the drive to work and spend a month looking over your shoulder in case they managed to track you down via traffic cameras, friends in the police dept and that neighbour who looked at you funny one time, you’ve got a bit of a mental problem.

However, if you hear about an airy fairy ideal and start buying guns because you think someone is going to take your best china, apparently you’re a visionary.

@ Igor:

Like the contrarians I read, you are fear mongering about possible future economic issues : do you not NOW have a credit rating/ credit cards/ electronic transfer of monies/ bank accounts ? People like Adams and Null frighten people by misreading Yuval Harari’s ideas because it makes them seem astute, well-informed and concerned about their followers’ financial health.

The more important question is how YOU yourself carp about experts and consensus. I asked you to read Orac on this which I doubt you did so I will have to produce a short form facsimile;
consensus opinion is NOT a group of anointed people sitting around a table deciding the future of all scientific/ medical endeavors, it is rather the emerging, system-wide accumulation of DATA on a particular topic currently available curated by experts in that field who are determined by their accomplishments, education and experience. Data are global.

Orac has written extensively on this and diagrammed how evidence is considered: the highest levels involve metanalyses. Emerging is the operative term.

Orac’s regulars include physicians, biologists and epidemiologists BUT there are also commenters who are soft ware experts ( or engineers and others) who understand and accurately quote research developments: you don’t need a doctorate to understand this but you need to know how to evaluate sources and read summaries.

You, on the other hand, focus upon cranks, outliers and yellow journalists out to create a stir. You mention Meryl Nass: do you know her situation and background? Which writers quote her and who works with her? Why she is famous?

I have quick and easy clues that can point to a writer’s overall feasibility:
do they believe vaccines cause autism?
do they deny hiv/ aids science?
are they germ theory denialists?
do they accept homeopathy?**
is their research/ theory taught anywhere at accredited universities?

Any of the first four questions answered affirmatively is an automatic reason for suspicion.
The last question of course should illustrate their value.

** we know how autism develops, how the hiv affects T cells, how infections occur and Avogadro’s number.

I recently wrote a post about it – all based on their official materials, without involving any outside conspiracy theories.

I’m sure you dropped the facts and made your own conspiracy. You truly are a piece of work: dishonest, uninformed, and willing to push any conspiracy that you believe will increase your subcrap readership population.

Have it occurred you that the constitution says something about property rights ? Changing constitution is difficult.
Wellbeing economy members are here
Do you really think big corporations are Marxist ? You are seriously confused.

Many years ago, our state medical board said that they did not investigate medical malpractice complaints in the media; they would only investigate complaints filed by patients with the board. I wonder if this still happens?

Some state medical boards can only investigate if there is a formal complaint filed by a patient, family, or health care professional about a specific doctor; so, yes, this is probably the situation in most states most of the time.

If state medical boards had teeth, one van only imagine who Ron DeSantis would send the Florida board off to bite.

Seriously, though. As various cases involving lawyers and judges show, “professional self- regulation” is pretty much a joke generally, not just with medical boards. The question then is what a better system would look like, granting that it would still likely be far from perfect. We have to be able to improve on the status quo at least somewhat, don’t we? (Eeek!)
Thoughts? Suggestions?

Oops. I was just trying to mark a line between two different thoughts, not imbed quotes….

And that’s another important point. State boards are, as the post also demonstrates, political creatures. You cannot assume they will follow science rather than politics. If you open that door too much, you are taking a risk of targeting people who are not misinformers.

There are ways to address that, but as a reminder, one of the cases related to doctors and the First Amendment was about a Florida law that prevented doctors from talking to patients about guns. Now that did not directly address misinformation, but that’s one way states can regulate medicine.

Once again Igor behaves in the manner common among flat earthers.

He and they are profoundly ignorant of what they speak or write. They are astoundingly arrogant and harbor notions that they know more about the topics than actual credible, credentialed experts.

The only good thing about Igor and flerfs is that they do this stuff on record, in public, so it is easy to show evidence of what fools they really are.

Investigation reveals lack of consequences for doctors spreading COVID misinformation

PBS NewsHour
Aug 8, 2023

What happens when doctors spread misinformation during a pandemic, potentially endangering peoples’ lives? A new investigation from The Washington Post looks at why doctors who pushed medical misinformation, particularly about alleged COVID remedies or treatments, faced so few repercussions for their behavior. William Brangham spoke with Lena Sun, one of the lead reporters on that investigation.

The Ohio state medical board has indefinitely suspended Sherri Tenpenny’s medical license.

This, after Tenpenny claimed that major metro areas are “liquifying dead bodies and pouring them into the water supply.”. She told state legislators that Covid vaccines magnetize people and brought up the theory that vaccines interface with 5G towers.

But the medical board didn’t suspend her license due to her being batshit crazy and peddling grotesque medical misinformation. Nope, they acted because she wasn’t cooperating with the investigation.

“Dr. Tenpenny, neither you nor any doctor licensed by this board is above the law, and you must comply with the investigation,” said Dr. Jonathan Feibel, an orthopedic surgeon and medical board member. “You have not done so, and therefore, until you do, your license will be suspended.”

Somehow, I’m not very reassured by the outcome here.

Liquifying dead bodies is called “aquamation” and it indeed is done in major municipalities and many states of the US and Canada. The liquid is poured into sewage, which after treatment is eventually released into rivers and could be used for drinking water again.

So your morning coffee possibly included molecules from dead bodies, likely Covid-vaccinated! Enjoy!

You course did not read the article:
“The company is not an active funeral home and legally can’t process humans, but it does use deceased animals to show potential buyers how the equipment works. When her lizard companion passed away a few years ago, Czerwinski knew what to do. After he died, Dougie’s body was placed in one of Bio-Response’s pet systems and turned into liquid until all that remained were the bones that sit next to Czerwinski’s computer. ”
Read before posting the link,

I doubt Igor did and if he did, he didn’t understand it. He just read some words, like ‘liquid’ an ‘sewer’ and that sounded scary enough to him, he didn’t give it a second thought. There is a lot that ends in the sewer, and the rivers, like medicines that leave the body, decomposing fish and other animals and industrial waste. Perhaps Igor just drinks spring water and uses this for his coffee.

OT, my apologies, but the Australian anthropomorphic comic Doc Rat has been running a series this week on the aforementioned doctor and his dentist wife reacting to supplement commercials on television. It’s worth a look. Best line? TV: “So ask yourself – what supports your gut?” Doc: “MY PELVIC FLOOR! NOW $#&* OFF, IDIOTS!” The website with the periods removed to avoid the spam trap is www docrat com au

Update: A not entirely toothless Maine medical board has been continuing to chew over the case of internist and antivaxer Meryl Nass. Six days of board hearings concluded at the end of July, with final arguments and deliberations apparently yet to come. Nass faces an array of charges including 13 alleged violations of patient care, involving three patients for whom she’s alleged to have prescribed ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine for Covid via telehealth “consultations” without ever seeing the patients. In one instance, it’s reported she lied to a pharmacist to get HCQ prescribed for Covid-19, saying it was to treat Lyme disease.

She says RFK Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense has been paying her legal fees.

Based on a Maine medical board filing, Nass has some…interesting theories, i.e.:

“Operation Warp Speed is the result of an agenda that “seems to be the same one that has been in play since 2001, you know, the 9/11. Which is increased surveillance, right, increased central control, and some blurring of national borders and national sovereignty, which we haven’t seen much of yet but the close collusion of many countries with the same program indicates that there is international collusion going on at high levels”…
“the people who are not getting vaccinated are tending to be the most educated, the wealthiest”; and “if you did not know that the CDC was a criminal agency by now, this ought to get you going.”

Nutty stuff, but relatively sane compared to Sherri Tenpenny.

“and some blurring of national borders and national sovereignty”

Given that this is in America, is this a plot by Canada and Mexico to pervert the American people?

I am not a fan of Sherry Tenpenny.

I am a big fan of Meryl Nass however.

She is an expert and a professional in the issues you mentioned above (biological warfare, anthrax, medicine etc). She has an amazing substack, which unfortunately I read only from time to time due to lack of free time.

Apparently you admire doctors who don’t keep adequate records, prescribe ineffective drugs without seeing the patient, make medical judgements based on political opinion and cosy up to millionaire health scammers.

Ivermectin is a safe drug, proven to be effective in several trials NOT sponsored by the likes of the second-largest Democrat sponsor and a bitcoin thief Sam Bankman-Fried (the Together trial was, SBF gave them 15 million dollars)

We used it 4 times in my family. Each time it worked great. The longest any family member was actively sick after starting Ivermectin was one day, and that was a covid vaccinated person. The covid vaccinated person’s previous covid gave him 5 month-long long covid, but the next infection treated with ivermectin gave no lasting consequences.

The longest any family member was actively sick after starting Ivermectin was one day, and that was a covid vaccinated person. The covid vaccinated person’s previous covid gave him 5 month-long long covid, but the next infection treated with ivermectin gave no lasting consequences.

Ivermectin doesn’t work against COVID-19. The pharmacokinetics, pharmacology, and clinical trial data are quite clear on this. You family member had a very mild case of COVID-19 because they were vaccinated. Ivermectin almost certainly had zero effect on the clinical course of their disease. You have just fallen prey to the most common fallacious thinking that leads people to believe that, for example, homeopathy works: Regression to the mean.

I repeat.

“Apparently you admire doctors who don’t keep adequate records, prescribe ineffective drugs without seeing the patient, make medical judgements based on political opinion and cosy up to millionaire health scammers.”

“proven to be effective in several trials NOT sponsored by the likes of the second-largest Democrat sponsor and a bitcoin thief Sam Bankman-Fried (the Together trial was, SBF gave them 15 million dollars)”

How many bullshit conspiracies did you hit in that tirade? Sadly, I suspect the fools who subscribe to your blog of lied believe shit like that.

Big democratic donor now,not even Big Pharma. One negative ivermectin trial (indeed TOGETHER) was funded by Rainwater Foundation. There are many others.

Speaking as a Canadian, I would love to think we could pervert our American neighbours with our public health care, our less extremist politics, and our general politeness.

Sadly the opposite seems to be what’s happening.

A stray observation…
Sceptics in their travels encounter a lot of drivel but occasionally they find something of merit. Dr Howard of SBM observes that some Substacks mix altie and reasonable writers which is problematic because it makes it even harder for a general audience to differentiate between the woo and sane ideas.
I’ll go further because alties/ anti-vaxxers usually include reasonable material that most people would support in their productions:
people eat unhealthy food, they don’t exercise enough, commercial products mislead customers, the government doesn’t assist worthy citizens etc. It makes them sound practical and concerned about their audience. Following them for a while, more outlandish ideas crop up: most food is contaminated, doctors are unschooled in nutrition, vaccines were not really tested adequately ..It’s the foot in the door technique. Scientology doesn’t present Space Opera starring Xenu and jet liners at first but discusses stress in everyday life, problems in communication and learning. Newbies need a period of orientation prior to indoctrination.

Why do I include this topic? Because scoffers who appear at RI as well as Substack often use the same method to get sceptics to interact with them: they have good- even smart- questions; some of their ideas may seem similar to our own. Who isn’t concerned about testing meds or vaccines? Aren’t companies making WAY too much money? Aren’t schools poorly run?
Yet they go off the rails if basics are involved: they have no notion of what testing involves or why clinical equipoise is important. It seems they don’t comprehend benefit/ risk. They toss in irrelevant issues.
When you question them about their germ theory denialism, they’ll try to cover themselves by saying that meds don’t combat infection at all: they look to nutrition instead. The feigned reasonability covers up the woo.

In other news….
RFKjr today expressed his true liberal bona fides** by announcing that if he is elected he will sign a bill to ban abortion after ” 3 months” nationally. NBC
Many states allow abortion to 24 weeks or beyond as determined by the state itself.
RFKjr supports “medical freedom” but his position will not allow people in those mostly blue states to freely make their own choice.

** /s

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