Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Medicine
Regulations Governing the Practice of Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Podiatry, and Chiropractic [18 VAC 85 ‑ 20]
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4/12/22  1:40 pm
Commenter: Prof. Michael Moates, MA, QBA, LBA, LMHP

Things to Consider - Agree in Part and Disagree in Part

The request is asking the Board/State to implement a rule that would take away a doctors right to impose its requirements on its patients. Further, it would require the doctor to put themselves at risk. The state cannot possibly know every circumstance where wearing a mask may come up and to put this rule into place would be detrimental because it is over broad and not specific. 

I also believe that this rules petition would be contrary to Virginia law. Under  18VAC85-20-29. Practitioner responsibility, it states:

A practitioner shall not:

  1. Knowingly allow subordinates to jeopardize patient safety or provide patient care outside of the subordinate's scope of practice or area of responsibility. Practitioners shall delegate patient care only to subordinates who are properly trained and supervised

But by forcing doctors to allow people refusing to wear a mask in to their practice, the would be knowingly requiring their subordinates to allow this practice. That would not only endanger the doctor, the other employees, but also the other patients. 

I do believe doctors should have the freedom to treat patients who engage in the willing treatment of their provider. I do believe there are exceptions to this rule. For example, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, accommodations must be made for a person who can't wear a mask due to health disabilities such as needing oxygen, having asthma, COPD, or other respiratory problems.

There should be a complaint process for doctors who are not compliant with the ADA but outside of that, doctors should have the freedom to decide what is best for their patients so long as they do not discriminate based on anything protected under the Civil Rights Act.

I do agree with the petitioner that a patient should have the right to refuse any vaccine. I also agree that a doctor should not be able to refuse care based on this practice. If this were the case, every time a new vaccine came out a doctor could terminate the doctor-patient relationship and that would cause havoc. 

Prof. Michael Moates, MA, QBA, LBA, LMHP

CommentID: 121364