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Texas Medical Board Responds to Concerns About Punishing Vaccine-Hesitant Doctors

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Standing with Texans wanting to protect medical free speech, State Sen. Bob Hall (R–Edgewood) asked the Texas Medical Board if they will punish doctors sharing concerns about COVID–19 vaccinations. He wasn’t satisfied with their answer.

Hall fired off a letter to the Texas Medical Board last month, after reading this “alarming statement” from the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB):

Physicians who generate and spread COVID–19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license.

Hall asked TMB President Sherif Zaafran to “clarify” that Texas doctors who voice concerns of COVID–19 vaccines won’t be punished, and that the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact—House Bill 1616—won’t be “misconstrued” for such purposes.

Hall’s letter was sent August 11, and Texas Scorecard reported on it September 2. Zaafran finally replied that evening, according to Hall’s office.

“There are no provisions in HB 1616 that would punish a physician for expressing their concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine,” Zaafran wrote. “The bill does include discretion and independent consideration by each member state.”

In regards to FSMB’s statement, Zaafran replied, “The FSMB’s statement was a general statement and not specific to Texas.”

“Part of protecting the public’s health, safety and welfare is TMB’s recognition that physicians must have the ability to freely discuss treatment options with their patients so that together they can make decisions that are in the best interest of the patient,” he continued. “Physicians are expected to follow the standard of care in providing, recommending, or not recommending any preventions or treatments. As always, the TMB would just remind physicians to be sure to provide the appropriate disclosures to their patients and adequately document these in the patient’s medical record.”

Zaafran did note TMB is a “complaint-driven agency.”

“If the Board were

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