Bill may require restrictions, random drug tests for Calif. doctors
California doctors may find new restrictions in place to prevent potential drug abuse, if a new bill passes. Supporters hope that the bill will prevent doctors from recklessly prescribing painkillers to addicts, and ensure that doctors are not under the influence themselves when practicing. The bill, called the Troy and Alana Pack Act, has already garnered 830,000 signatures, enough to put it before the general population. The bill was named for bill sponsor Bob Pack’s children after they died in a car crash at the hands of a driver who had been under the influence of narcotic painkillers. If passed, the ballot measure would require doctors to undergo random drug tests, and would require them to look each patient up in a database before prescribing drugs, in order to make sure the patient doesn’t have a history of prescription abuse. It would also raise the maximum $250,000 “pain and suffering” payout that is currently enforced for medical malpractice. “If you lose a child because of medical negligence, the law says that child’s life is worth $250,000,” said Brian Kapitack, who works for the Consumer Attorneys of California. Many doctors and hospitals oppose this bill, on the grounds that it is unnecessary. However, a Consumer Watchdog representative says that 18 percent of doctors will have a substance abuse problem at some point during their careers. California residents will have the opportunity to vote on the Troy and Alana Pack Act in the November elections.]]>
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