‘Microaggressions’ could cost doctors their medical licenses in Oregon, according to new proposed rule

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The Oregon Medical Board has introduced a new ethics rule that threatens to revoke the medical licenses of doctors who commit “microaggressions” in the workplace.

Under the proposed law first introduced in April, doctors will be required to report “unprofessional or dishonorable conduct” by themselves or a licensed colleague within 10 business days. If they do not comply with the mandatory rule, they will face disciplinary action, which could include the loss of their medical license, according to the proposal.

Under the rule, the term “unprofessional conduct” would be expanded to include “discrimination in the practice of medicine, podiatry, and acupuncture” through “unfair treatment characterized by implicit and explicit bias, including microaggressions, or indirect or subtle behaviors that reflect negative attitudes or beliefs about a non-majority group.”

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If doctors do not comply with the mandatory rule, they could face disciplinary action, including the revocation of their medical license, according to the proposal. (Hannah McKay – Pool/Getty Images)

Discrimination, as defined in the proposal, refers to “differences in the quality of healthcare delivered that is not due to access-related factors or clinical needs, preferences, and appropriateness or intervention.”

The standard outlined by the board refers to any “indirect or subtle behaviors that reflect negative attitudes or beliefs about a non-majority group.”

“The proposed rule may favorably impact racial equity by making discrimination a ground for discipline for OMB licenses,” the proposal states.

Fox News contributor and law professor Jonathan Turley slammed the move in a lengthy post on his blog Tuesday, outlining his free speech concerns about using “one of the most ambiguous categories of prescribed speech” to discipline practitioners in the medical field.

Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley of George Washington University testifies before the House Judiciary Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill, December 4, 2019 in Washington, D.C.

Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley of George Washington University testifies before the House Judiciary Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill, December 4, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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“The incorporation of microaggressions under the new ethics rules is precisely what some of us have been warning about for years. As is often the case, activists begin by insisting that language monitoring is purely instructional and optional before codifying those rules in mandatory terms,” Turley wrote.

Turley said he has been critical of the “microaggression” rules on college campuses in the past, arguing that they are “hopelessly vague” and highly controversial.

“That ambiguity creates a threat to free speech through a chilling effect on speakers who are unsure of what will be considered microaggressive,” he warned.

“Terms ranging from ‘melting pot’ to phrases like ‘pulling oneself up by your own bootstraps’ have been declared racist. Some of those have been identified by Columbia professor Derald Wing Sue, cited by Oregon’s state government as a ‘microaggressions expert.’”

“The free speech concern is how such microaggressive terms can be used to curtail or punish speech, including supporting complaints for formal investigations.”

Turley reminded readers that the Hippocratic Oath is based on the pledge that doctors will “first do no harm,” adding that if implemented, the rule will effectively turn doctors into “social-warrior snitches.

“Unfortunately, that pledge does not appear to apply to free speech in Oregon,” he argued. “Rather than merely publish opinions on phrases or practices that can be seen as microaggressive, the Oregon Medical Board is about to impose an ambiguous speech regulation that is likely viewed by some doctors as turning them into social-warrior snitches.”

The Oregon Medical Board is set to consider permanently adopting the rule during a July 11 meeting, the Free Beacon reported.

Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a former University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine associate dean, told the outlet that he fears Oregon’s attempt to penalize microaggressions so severely will have a “chilling” effect on medicine and could prevent doctors from providing optimal care.

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“Physicians need to be able to speak frankly and honestly with their patients,” he told the Free Beacon. “If they believe that they can be sanctioned because they deliver bad news or make a comment that the patient misinterprets, this will lead to a chilling effect on speech and ultimately lead to deterioration in the patient-physician relationship.”

The Oregon Medical Board did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

This post was originally published on Fox News

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