Should MDs Undergo Mandatory Drug, Alcohol Tests?
the MPR take:
A ballot measure in California, if passed, would require doctors to submit to random drug and alcohol tests. The measure, known as Proposition 46, is supported by politicians like Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative Nancy Pelosi but opposed by unions, the California Pharmacists Association, and the California Medical Association, among others. Under the proposal, results of random drug and alcohol tests would be reported to the California Medical Board and hospitals would be required to report doctors suspected of abusing drugs or alcohol. Supporters state that doctors should undergo the same testing as other public-safety jobs, but opponents argue that this could cost local and state government anywhere from tens of millions to several hundred million dollars per year. Proposition 46 would also increase the maximum award for pain and suffering in medical negligence suits to $1.1 million (up from $250,000) and require doctors to review state prescription databases before prescribing controlled substances to patients in order to prevent patient prescription drug abuse.
LOS ANGELES — At a time when random drug testing is part of the job for pilots, train operators, police officers and firefighters — to name a few — one high-profile line of work has managed to remain exempt: doctors. The proposal, which drew approval in early focus groups, was inserted as a ...
READ FULL ARTICLE From The New York Times