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Lawsuit Challenges Chilling of Physicians’ Free Speech

·2 min read

TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Medical specialty boards are attempting to silence physicians who offer nonapproved COVID-19 treatment, or who counsel about adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines, by threatening to revoke their hard-earned board certification, writes attorney Andrew Schlafly in the fall issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

A lawsuit filed by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons Educational Foundation asks the federal district court in the Southern District of Texas to issue a declaratory judgment that physicians’ First Amendment rights are violated when specialty boards engage in concerted activity with the Biden Administration to suppress opinions they disagree with.

“Though ostensibly nonprofit and non-partisan, [the boards] are outspokenly allied with the Biden Administration on fundamental issues of lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, and some of them even on additional issues including abortion and surgical and pharmacological transgender interventions,” Schlafly writes.

“Physicians, like everyone else in the U.S., have a constitutional right and also a duty to speak out on matters of public concern,” he states.

The lawsuit also argues that each of the specialty boards has a certification monopoly and that, in violation of antitrust law, they have abused their examination-based monopoly in order to interfere with physicians’ freedom of speech.

“Although specialty boards are not governmental entities, many hospitals and insurance networks require certification by specialty boards, and thus their revocation of board certification can have a devastating effect on the practice of medicine by a physician, in some cases being tantamount to revoking his license to practice medicine,” Schlafly notes.

“Severe harm is already occurring due to the threats made against good physicians who speak out, and legal action to prevent against such retaliation is warranted immediately.”

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.

Contact: Jane M. Orient, M.D., (520) 323-3110, janeorientmd@gmail.com, or Andrew Schlafly, ASchlafly@aol.com