An Imperfect Independence Denies A Doctor Basic Rights

By: Bharani Padmanabhan – July, 2019

This month, as the nation celebrates Independence from England, as my friend Kevin Leach correctly insists, we must also consider the sectors of the country where the founding principles are still observed only in the breach.

I have written here earlier about progressive Massachusetts’ medical board coercing, on behalf of major employers, physicians to confess, in the classic progressive practice called “Criticism & Self-criticism,” and forcing physicians to live without any income until they do so. Crony capitalism of course also has a long history in progressive regimes right from the start. My friend’s mother was held hostage by progressives in the Hungarian Secret Police’s basement prison for months until her husband signed over his supermarket chain to the people’s commissar.

Which brings us to Dr. Sheikh in California’s Central Valley, who was on course to completing her residency in family medicine and looking forward to entering a primary care practice. It so happens that Dr. Sheikh’s husband had angered a Big Tech company by insisting on American laws being followed. The next thing that happened, seemingly all on its own, was a staff member at the public County hospital where she was a resident, suddenly sent her confidential personnel records over to the California Medical Board without her signed consent or any query initiated by the Board itself.

Dr. Sheikh’s mentors in the training program had filed sworn affidavits attesting to her meeting California’s 24-month training requirement and that she was entitled to being granted a medical license.

Rather than follow the law, however, a Board employee contrived to claim that Dr. Sheikh had not completed 24 months of residency training. This naturally was contrary to the facts, but when a doctor has been targeted by the swamp, that never matters. The denial of her license was apparently signed by a member of the Board who then denied to Dr. Sheikh that she had been anywhere near Sacramento on that date. And Board staff repeatedly denied her request for a public hearing on the denial.

It has been ten years since Dr. Sheikh has been denied a public hearing at the Board, at state court, at federal district court and in the 9th Circuit court of appeals. A magistrate issued a subpoena to the Board to produce the evidence upon which the license was denied. The California Attorney General refused to comply and had the magistrate thrown off the case.

A second magistrate assigned to the case held a hearing and then again issued a subpoena for the documents. The second magistrate was also thrown off the case and a third magistrate issued an order agreeing with the Attorney General and the Board that they may deny a license and keep the documents secret. This third magistrate had officially not been assigned the case at all.

Dr. Sheikh did not receive equal protection in Federal courts either. California’s Attorney General simply refused to turn over the documents and the judges all said Oh, OK!

Yes, gentle reader, this happened in the United States of America, some 230 years after Independence from England.
When you ask all the tenured law professors with guaranteed salaries and other luminaries, who routinely comment on the legal system, how such a thing could come to pass, they suddenly fall silent, lest they be forced to admit the truth that if some powerful entity, be it a politician, a district attorney or a corporation, targets someone, there is no system in place to ensure that the fundamentals of American fairness, the very principles that Washington and others risked their own lives for, will be respected even in the slightest.

Violet Amirault discovered that to her dismay here in Massachusetts, Attorney John O’Hara discovered that to his dismay in Brooklyn NY, and Dr. Sheikh has discovered that to her dismay in California.

And because all the tenured law professors with guaranteed salaries are loath to change this for the better, no improvement may be expected.

Happy Independence Day! ◊