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Doctor Raises Concerns Nassar-Response Bills Overregulate Profession


Some doctors in Michigan are concerned about unintended consequences to their profession if state lawmakers pass some sexual assault bills they’re considering.  A state House committee heard testimony on a package of bills Tuesday.

State lawmakers have a pile of bills aimed at curbing sexual assault.  But some in the medical profession are concerned the legislation might go too far.  The bills were drafted after former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar was convicted of sexually assaulting patients for years.

One bill would change requirements for record keeping for certain types of exams.  And make it a felony if doctors don’t document.

Doctor Rose Ramirezis a family physician near Grand Rapids.  She said she spoke to other doctors and they believe their profession is already overregulated.  “I want to just make sure that we don’t react emotionally and overregulate unnecessarily,” she said.

Ramirez said, overall, she believes in the intent of the legislation but she’s worried about unintended consequences.  

“Well, a lot of times we do have that kneejerk reaction,” responded Representative Klint Kesto (R-Commerce Township).  He’s the chair of the House Law and Justice committee.  “But as the chair of the committee, I can assure you we’re going to be responsible and our vision, and our foresight is going to be, how do we create a better environment.”

Kesto said he’s open to changes to the bills, and the committee will likely hear testimony for several weeks before voting.  Ramirez believes more doctors will testify on the bills in the upcoming weeks.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

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