I have head that as many as 200 families have received a letter from the San Diego School District informing them that their childrens’ vaccine exemption information has been subpoenaed by the Medical Board. I have also heard that the multiple physicians who have written these exemptions (and they are not just located in San Diego County) have been flooded with calls from these families.
Here is what is going on and what you can do about it
My guess is that San Diego schools have filed dozens or hundreds of complaints with the Board about alleged inappropriate medical exemptions written for seemingly healthy students who are claimed to be medically or vaccine fragile, or who experienced some prior vaccine injury that does not qualify for a permanent vaccine exemption. The complaint was against the doctor who wrote the exemption, and probably did not include the student’s name.
Without the name, the board can’t ask a physician for a specific patient record. Or if it has the student’s name, the Board wants to review the exemption first before it seeks the medical records from the physician, due to evidentiary requirements in a court hearing showing “good cause” if the doctor refuses to comply with the records’ subpoena.
Either way, the Board needs the actual medical exemption to proceed. The vehicle to obtain that document/school file is a Board investigational subpoena for the records of the student. To comply with federal and/or state privacy law, and to protect itself, the school district has notified the parents about the subpoena and informed them that the school intents to comply.
The letter informs the parents that if they have a problem with that, they should contact the board investigator who issued or is in charge of the subpoena process.
Notifying the Board investigator is certainly something families should do. if they do not want their children’s school records released to the Board. It might be a good idea to also notify the school, i.e., the person who wrote the letter to the family, and say they object to the school’s providing the records.
In Norcal when this has happened with the 5 doctors under board investigation, because of the objection of the parents, the Board was forced to go to court on a motion to compel compliance with an investigational subpoena and have the school appear. Because the schools are usually the party complaining to the Board, they do not oppose the request. They just want a court order compelling them to do it, which is legal protection against potential claims by parents for the unauthorized release of school records.
Obviously, this is the initial part of the SB 714 process of putting all vaccine exemption writing doctors under board order/sanction, so that grandfathered exemptions can be eventually revoked.
And so it begins.
Rick Jaffe, Esq.