By: Bharani Padmanabhan – Feb. 2019
That our government cannot simply take a person’s liberty or property without due process is a bedrock principle of the United States as found in the 5th Amendment to the Constitution.
That “governmental purpose to control or prevent activities constitutionally subject to state regulation may not be achieved by means which sweep unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade the area of protected freedoms” was the Supreme Court’s explicit declaration in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965).
The Massachusetts Medical Society (MassMed) does not agree.
Progressives have historically been contemptuous of learned professionals. They rejoiced when professors were turned into taxi drivers or bricklayers and blocked innumerable physicians’ children from attending any kind of university. Having lived seven years in progressive East Europe, I personally know many victims.
The Constitution’s Framers insisted that once a person was granted a license to do something, that license becomes that person’s vital interest and may not be taken away without due process.
The government was allowed to design reasonable hurdles in the path of the person obtaining that license, to protect the public interest, such as requiring persons to pass the bar exam before obtaining a law license. Once a license was issued, however, full constitutional protections come into force because that license now is the means to that person’s livelihood. Such is the Massachusetts Controlled Substance Registration (MCSR) certificate. It is issued by the government to physicians who hold a medical license. It is impossible to work as a physician without it.
Following bedrock American principles, once that certificate is issued, the government is ordered by the Act (Ch. 94C § 7(f)) to provide full due process to physicians before taking it away.
In 2014, Massachusetts progressives brought learned physicians to heel, once and for all, through a new rule that massively changed regulations that implement the state’s Controlled Substance Act. It was conceived by the progressive state Health Secretary Marylou Sudders; Ms. Sudders is not a physician. The entire exercise was to control physicians by controlling their ability to earn a living practicing their profession.
Before 2014 the state recognized the need for due process. The new rule (105 CMR 700.120) states: A registration is void if the registrant’s underlying professional licensure on which the registration is based is suspended or revoked. Through this new concept of voidness, the progressive Sudders declared that she did not need to provide full due process before taking a physician’s Controlled Substance certificate away, which goes against both the Act (Ch. 94C § 7(f)) and the American constitution. She did not care and neither did MassMed.
The fact is inescapable that MassMed doesn’t exist to protect working physicians and their bedrock due process rights; it exists solely to be loyal to the state and advocate for the population collectively. MassMed’s refusal to oppose the voidness rule reminds me of the practice of investigating parents in progressive East Germany who blocked their school-going son from becoming a Stasi informant. After all, if the parents were loyal to the state, why would they disapprove of their son spying for the state?
Of course MassMed approved, and the state brought that rule in. The chance of the Massachusetts Medical Society protecting physicians’ bedrock American rights from the government, is zero.
Bharani Padmanabhan MD PhD is a neurologist who specialized in multiple sclerosis in the Boston area till July 2017 when the medical board stole his license because he reported Medicaid fraud to the feds. firstname.lastname@example.org ◊