The Indiana State Medical Association (ISMA) last month requested a federal court hearing to disclose the identity of “Dr. John Doe” to state regulators, a surgeon who faces allegations that included testing positive for alcohol abuse and cocaine use.
The physician advocacy organization took that unusual step because it considered Doe “not currently safe to practice medicine.” His legal team is pushing to keep the surgeon anonymous.
Doe’s attorneys this week filed a 16-page response. It is heavily redacted to protect the doctor’s identity, and lays out its case to keep the surgeon’s name secret.
The document contends “there is no existing threat”.
“Does is not actively practicing medicine. There is no threat to anyone, first and foremost because Doe does not abuse any substances. In fact, the only threatened in this scenario is Doe’s reputation.”
The filing confirms what ISMA had previously disclosed, that Dr. Doe entered the organization’s physician assistance program and was evaluated twice.
ISMA contends the evaluations found evidence of alcohol abuse and cocaine use. Doe’s attorneys contend the evaluations were “flawed, inaccurate and unreliable”.
Doe, according to the court document, objected to ISMA’s demand that he “submit to an extended residential treatment program, in a city hundreds of miles away from his residence, followed by monitoring for five years.”
The attorneys for Doe continue, “This is not a case where a doctor has been accused of performing surgery under the influence or of committing more serious crimes, such as driving under the influence.”
Federal law prohibits the disclosure of anyone who’s been drug tested or gone through drug treatment. ISMA says that is why it is seeking a federal court order to disclose Doe’s identity to the state Attorney General’s office and the Indiana State Licensing Agency, who would then investigate the doctor.
You can read the full response from Dr. John Doe’s attorneys by downloading the document below: