To the editor:
The Deceptive Doctor Act, House Bill 2530, was passed by the Kansas House of Representatives last week. Rather than being held to the same standard as a plumber, electrician or tow-truck driver, under the Deceptive Doctor Act a doctor who intentionally deceives a patient about medical care and treatment cannot be held responsible under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act.
Attorney General Paul Morrison opposes this bill because it would prevent his office from investigating health care treatment deceptions committed by anyone in the health care industry.
In light of this, I am shocked to learn that all our Lawrence representatives voted for this bill.
Supporters of HB 2530 say it is a "limited exception" and point out that deceptive billing, business practices, or advertising by health care providers would still be regulated by the Consumer Protection Act. That is good, but that does not change the fact that physicians can still lie about their procedures, performance, and services and be protected from having to take responsibility for their deception.
This is a rare issue. The vast majority of physicians and health care providers will never need to worry about this law. They don't lie to their patients. But for those who do, for those who intentionally deceive their patients, should they not be held to the same standard as the rest of us?
The Kansas Senate should stop the Deceptive Doctor Act from becoming law.
Todd Hiatt, Lawrence