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Bob Sears

Bob Sears gets third probation for fake medical exemption

This article, about Dr. Bob Sears’ third probation, was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively about vaccination’s social and legal policies in law journals. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable diseases. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

On August 30, 2022, the Medical Board of California adopted as its decision a settlement agreement with Dr. Robert Sears (Dr. Bob Sears) under which he would be under probation until June 2023 and required to undergo a couple of medical courses. The grounds, as set out in the accusation attached to the settlement, were writing a fake medical exemption for a girl of 13. 

This seems like a very, very light penalty for someone for whom this is the third case in a row of giving a baseless medical exemption. I am not sure if the Board was concerned that it may not be able to fully prove the allegation or is especially solicitous to Dr. Bob Sears (and why), or whether something else was going on. 

Read More »Bob Sears gets third probation for fake medical exemption
California medical board

California medical board attacked by anti-vaccine activists

Civility in American politics has gone the way of the dodo bird, which has led to attacks and intimidation of the Medical Board of California by anti-vaccine crackpots. Because these anti-vaxxers lack any scientific integrity or evidence, they resort to mob tactics in trying to get their way.

This is happening across America, especially with school boards. The cowardly right-wing, emboldened with conspiracy theories and their prominent hatred of science, no longer rely upon the ballot box to get their way, they now try to scare hard-working people, like at state medical boards, to push their nonsense agenda.

Although I’m going to focus on what happened with the Medical Board of California, it’s not going to be unique to the Golden State. As these violent activists learn about what’s being done in California, I’m sure they’ll move on to other states. But for now, I’ll focus on the great state of California.

Read More »California medical board attacked by anti-vaccine activists
Kenneth P Stoller

Dr. Kenneth P Stoller requests stay of punishment for fake vaccine exemptions – judge says no

This article about Dr. Kenneth P Stoller and his attempt to block the revocation of his California license was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

On March 17, 2021, a California superior court judge rejected a request from Dr. Kenneth P Stoller to stay the Medical Board of California’s decision to revoke his license for writing fake medical exemptions (the judge issued a corrected decision on March 19, but the essence was the same).

Read More »Dr. Kenneth P Stoller requests stay of punishment for fake vaccine exemptions – judge says no
ken stoller

Dr. Ken Stoller medical license revoked – baseless vaccine exemptions

This article about Dr. Ken Stoller was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

On February 16, 2021, the Medical Board of California revoked the medical license of Dr. Ken Stoller because of his writing baseless medical exemptions from school vaccine requirements to ten children (and charging their parents hundreds of dollars for the privilege). The Board found multiple repeated acts that justified revoking the license permanently. Dr. Stoller’s lawyer announced that he intends to appeal the decision.

It is fair to describe Dr. Ken Stoller as anti-vaccine and to describe the exemptions in questions as baseless. The decision is justified and should be upheld. 

Read More »Dr. Ken Stoller medical license revoked – baseless vaccine exemptions
anti-vaccine press conference

Anti-vaccine press conference about California’s SB276 – checking facts

On September 5, 2019, Attorney Leigh Dundas, representing an organization called Advocates for Physician Rights, held an anti-vaccine press conference attended by very little press, and organized by anti-vaccine activists. 

Ms. Dundas called for a Department of Justice investigation into what she described as a “multi-year campaign to override laws aimed to safeguard the privacy of minor children,” and made accusations of a cover-up. Note that the Department of Justice receives many and constant calls for actions, so just calling them to investigate means little without actually pointing to serious wrongdoing that justifies it. Ms. Dundas did not point to such wrongdoing.

The anti-vaccine press conference addressed efforts in the early days after the enactment of SB277 to address an emerging issue – fake medical exemptions. But in spite of the efforts to present this as a new discovery or a nefarious plot, it isn’t.

In fact, SB277 opponents knew of the efforts in early 2016 and responded in an aggressive fashion, targeting Dr. Charity Dean, who took the lead in them, with many personal attacks and inclusion in one of their lawsuits. There is also no real evidence of anything nefarious. There is, however, abundant evidence that fake medical exemptions were an issue in 2016 and onwards, and SB276 is directed at a real problem.Read More »Anti-vaccine press conference about California’s SB276 – checking facts

Ron Kennedy

Dr. Ron Kennedy loses appeal to California medical board for vaccine exemptions

This article about Dr. Ron Kennedy is by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law. 

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease.

On 14 June 2019, a California Court of Appeals issued a decision (pdf) that means, in essence, that Dr. Ron Kennedy (see Note 1) has to provide the Medical Board of California with medical records of three patients for whom he wrote vaccine medical exemptions. This is part of an ongoing saga around Dr. Kennedy’s exemption writing.

Ron Kennedy is a licensed MD who owns a clinic called the Anti-Aging Clinic in Santa Rosa, CA,  which offers, apparently, anti-aging treatments. The Yelp reviews for the clinic suggest he has a long history of filling medical marijuana prescriptions. 

I am going to review Dr. Ron Kennedy’s background and the case in this article.

Read More »Dr. Ron Kennedy loses appeal to California medical board for vaccine exemptions