Medical Law And Ethics
Agree or disagree
A physician who previously had a substance abuse addiction but did not have their license revoked, or a physician who became a medical provider after battling a substance abuse addiction should be able to continue practicing so long as they are rehabilitated, vision and mind no longer impaired. Physicians should be able to make sound medical decisions and in order to that they need to be sober, think clearly, and function normally. The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) mandates physicians and medical providers to abstain from using substances, including not just drugs but also alcohol. According to research however, 10-15% of physicians do suffer from substance abuse addiction at some point in their career. It seems alcohol is the most common substance abuse addiction among physicians.
I couldn’t find the exact law or ethics regarding physician substance abuse addiction in New York state, but I was able to learn about the Medical Society of the State of New York’s Committee for Physician Health Referrals (CPH). This is a program designed to help physicians who are battling substance addiction and/or mental health issues. CPH is a referral program for such physicians and as I read through the site that these physicians could referred to the New York State Department of Health’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct if they have slurry speech, unkempt appearance, bleary eyes, bizarre behavior, mood swings, poor concentration, complaints by patients and/or medical professionals, patient neglect, etc. Once referred, physicians will be monitored, and hearings will be conducted. My understanding is substance abuse addicted physicians in New York will first receive professional assistance if they have not harmed patients or clients.
Reviewed by Michael Kaliszewski, P. D. L. U. F. 8. (2021, February 8). Substance abuse in doctors – statistics & treatment options. American Addiction Centers. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/medical-professionals/substance-abuse-among-doctors-key-statistics.
The Federation of State Medical Boards. (n.d.). policy on Physician Illness and Impairment: Towards a Model that Optimizes Patient Safety and Physician Health. https://www.fsmb.org/siteassets/advocacy/policies/policy-on-physician-impairment.pdf.