Under SB 277, a physician is permitted to issue a medical exemption if she determines that immunization "is not considered safe" for the patient. I confess to perhaps naively thinking that we could defend the Board's case against Dr. Stoller by showing why he did not consider immunization safe in the 10 patients involved in the Medical Board's accusation against him. To that end, we are offering a great deal of evidence in the form of medical literature, transcripts (like the Simpsonwood transcript originally publicized by Bobby Kennedy) and also recent things like the WHO conference excerpts.
response to all this evidence, the Board is making an almost
unbelievable argument to stop any of this information into evidence:
The board is literally arguing that vaccine safety evidence and data is irrelevant to any legitimate issue in the case.
board's view is that the only issue in the case is whether the medical
exemptions issued by Ken complied with ACIP Guidelines. If they didn't, then the Board claims the case is over, because actual evidence of vaccine safety should not even be admissible since it is not relevant, even though SB 277
specifically states that a physician's decision for exemption should be
based on a determination of immunization safety for the patient. That's
really what the board is saying!
The board doesn't think there is any medical judgement to make. All a physician has to do is look at the contraindication and precaution list in the ACIP guidelines and act accordingly. But of course, that's not what SB 277 said, and around and around we go.
Our view is that the language of SB 277 and the integrative medical standard for vaccine exemptions (allowable under Bus.& Prof. Code Section 2234.1) permits the kind of exemptions written by Ken in this case, and also protects other California integrative physicians who have written broader than ACIP guideline based exemptions. If we ultimately win, all such physicians will be protected. If we don't, I would expect all these other physicians to suffer the same fate as Ken will in this case. So, this is important for the doctors and the entire community.
We will know
by Thursday afternoon whether the administrative law judge will
disregard the words of SB 277 and agree with the Board. If she does, it
will probably be a much shorter hearing that we had hoped, and with a
foregone conclusion, at least until we get to the appellate courts.
(Note, administrative law judges in medical board cases only issue a "proposal for decision" with a recommended sanction. The Board has the power to accept, reject or change the ALJ's proposal. I predict, this case will be ultimately decided by the California Appellate Courts sometime in 2021 (or 2022 if it gets to the Cali. Supreme Court), so buckle-up, and prepare for a long ride!)
The hearing begins on Monday, March 16th.
Tuned for an Update by Friday on whether the judge agrees with the
Board and finds that vaccine safety is irrelevant to writing medical
exemptions under SB 277. I have no prediction on what she will do,
because I am not sure we're not not living in the Twilight Zone.
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