Appeals Court Rules Medical Board Can Discipline Physicians for Alcohol-Related Crimes
The Los Angeles Court of Appeal ruled yesterday that the Medical Board can suspend or revoke the licenses of physicians convicted twice of alcohol-related crimes, even if the crimes have "no direct connection to medical practice," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The court said that the crimes "show a lack of judgment, a disregard of medical knowledge about the effects of alcohol and a willingness to disregard the law" and represent "grounds for discipline," upholding a state law that allows the Medical Board to discipline physicians convicted of two alcohol-related misdemeanors. In the case, Dr. Cadvan Griffiths, a West Los Angeles plastic surgeon twice convicted in 1987 and 1992 of reckless driving involving alcohol and once convicted of driving with an elevated blood-alcohol level, challenged the law. The Medical Board had ordered that Griffiths serve three years probation, undergo treatment and provide 60 hours of medical care at no charge (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.