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The consequences of California’s new law criminalizing doctors are just beginning to take shape. But rest assured, they will be vast — and have a greater impact on the practice of medicine than many realize.

Writing in RealClearMarkets, Dr. Kory lays out five ways the law will change the medical profession and health care more broadly. Here are some highlights:

First, while Newsom stressed his purported concern about the law’s “chilling effect,” there is no guarantee lawmakers will not extend the concept to other controversial health topics. Consensus is not static. It is always evolving in disease models as doctors seek to improve outcomes by deep reading of literature and trialing new therapies and approaches…

Second, the law stifles innovation and prevents life-saving treatment from seeing the light of day because doctors are wary of retribution. The pharmaceutical industry receives the lion’s share of credit for discovering new treatments, but the unsung heroes are the enterprising doctors often funded by government grants burning the midnight oil in a lab to spot trends and achieve breakthroughs…

Third, the law will further extend its long tentacles into the field of medical education where the existing conformity will be even more reinforced, and curiosity will take a back seat. Instead of employing independent critical thinking, doctors will wait for the directives of “experts.” By following orders, rather than challenging orthodoxy with experiments and trials, young doctors will never become experts, nor will they discover new and better ways of treating patients that improve on existing standards of care…

Fourth, the law smothers the free speech principles foundational to our country. Cancel culture is already running amok, and now the largest state in the union has the power to censor doctors. It drags the medical profession further into the sewer of the political arena. The Covid pandemic has exacerbated polarization in political conversations…

Finally, California’s law may be the first-of-its-kind in America, but it won’t be the last. The domino effect is already playing out across other fields. Last month, California announced a ban on gas-powered cars by 2035. This week, New York followed suit, meaning one-fifth of Americans will soon be driving an electric car. A similar trend is playing out on the international stage. In Canada, authorities in British Columbia are discussing ways of stifling misinformation. Ditto in Australia, where a bill before the Queensland Parliament would force doctors to follow government policy, regardless of their own judgment or countervailing evidence…

Dr. Kory also notes that whoever sits on California’s state medical board will now have vast power over the marketplace for health care, which will only invite more opportunities for corruption. Given industry’s stranglehold on government, academia, and medical schools during the pandemic, it’s easy to see how pharmaceutical companies and insurers (among many others) will extend their influence-peddling to shape the board’s actions.

All of this is bad news for patients who depend on honest, ethical doctors to make independent decisions about what’s best for their health, and to advance scientific research and medical innovation.

You can read Dr. Kory’s full article here.

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