Santa Monica, CA – Dr. Stephen Loyd, a recovering substance abuser who is at the White House today for National Recovery Month, stars in a new television ad supporting Proposition 46 that consumer advocates released today. Consumer advocates were also joined by a Los Angeles woman who spoke out after losing her fiancée because of a preventable error in surgery and later discovering that the doctor had a history of crack cocaine abuse. Proposition 46 would identify doctors with substance abuse problems through random drug and alcohol testing to protect patients and save lives.
Watch the ad here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl376uJylZs
Today’s White House Recovery Month event will be webcast and panelists will answer Twitter questions through the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Twitter account, @Botticelli44, from 11am to 1pm Pacific.
“A little over ten years ago, I went to bed every night not sure if I wanted to live or die, because I was addicted to opiate narcotics. At my worst I was taking about 100 pills a day and was working and seeing patients the entire time. My dad was the one who saved my life after seeking help from my colleagues who either didn't see, or didn't want to see, the trouble I was in,” said Dr. Stephen Loyd, an internal medicine physician and associate professor of medicine at East Tennessee State University. “Thanks to my dad's intervention, I went into recovery and my life and my career have never been on a better path. We need to do more to identify doctors who are addicted. That's why I'm working with the White House to raise awareness about physician substance abuse, and why I support Proposition 46 to randomly drug test doctors and identify abuse before doctors harm their patients or themselves."
Lloyd Monserratt, a rising young politician, died needlessly at age 36. During gastric bypass surgery his colon was perforated and infection raged through his body. Another surgery to fix this error would have saved him. But no one at the hospital noticed or acted, instead just increasing his pain medication until his internal organs failed. His fiancée later found the surgeon had a record of arrests, including for crack cocaine possession.
“Lloyd Monserratt died at the age of 36 because his doctor made mistakes that should have been prevented. Unknown to Lloyd, his doctor had a long arrest record including felony possession of crack cocaine. Lloyd did not have the right to know of his doctor’s drug problem, and it cost him his life,” said Michele Monserratt-Ramos. “Proposition 46 will provide the checks and balances that comes with random drug testing of doctors. With random drug testing of doctors, a doctor that tests positive will not be allowed to operate pending further investigation. The life Proposition 46 saves could be yours.”
The California Medical Board estimates that nearly one in five doctors will have a substance abuse problem during their careers and up to 2% of doctors will have a substance abuse problem at any given time. USA Today reported recently on a government survey that found 103,000 medical professionals have a prescription drug abuse problem every year. The number rises above 500,000 when alcohol abuse is included.
Proposition 46, also known as the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act, will:
• Enact the first law in the nation to require random drug and alcohol tests of physicians in hospitals, modeled after the Federal Aviation Administration testing program that has successfully reduced substance abuse by pilots;
• Require the Board to suspend a doctor and investigate a confirmed positive drug or alcohol test and take disciplinary action if the doctor was impaired while on duty;
• Mandate that prescribers check California’s existing statewide prescription drug database known as CURES when prescribing to first-time patients, in order to curb doctor-shopping and end the prescription drug epidemic;
• Promote justice for patients and legal deterrence to wrongdoing by adjusting California’s cap on compensation for victims of medical negligence to account for 39 years of inflation – the unadjusted cap prevents many victims from holding doctors who harm them accountable.
Learn more about Proposition 46 and the campaign for patient safety at: http://www.yeson46.org
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Paid for by Yes on Prop. 46, Your Neighbors for Patient Safety, a Coalition of Consumer Attorneys and Patient Safety Advocates – major funding by Consumer Attorneys of California Issues and Initiative Defense Political Action Committees and Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc.