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Medical Board of California subpoenas doctors over San Diego Unified medical exemptions

Posted at 6:25 PM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-26 21:26:06-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Parents with students in the San Diego Unified School District are concerned after finding out the state medical board subpoenaed doctors who wrote their students medical exemptions for vaccinations.

The district’s physician, Dr. Howard Taras, tells 10News, “We have many more medical exemptions over the past two years than we’ve ever had before.”

Taras worked with the district for 30 years and says the increase in medical exemptions concerned him, so he brought it to the Committee on Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“I gave them loose data, like how many kids in the school district had medical exemptions that any doctor would see as a very worthwhile reason and how many were coming from doctors that were not very sound reasons in common medical practice," Taras said.

The committee then took that list to the Medical Board of California.

Now, parents in the district are upset knowing their child was included in a list sent to the state.

“I’m absolutely appalled at the irresponsibility to have compiled this list in the first place. This is nothing that should have ever been getting out," a mother who did not want to be identified told 10News.

10News learned the medical board is now investigating and has already subpoenaed 32 doctors who wrote medical exemptions for students in the district.

A parent shared the letter that was sent home with their student with 10News. The letter states the information being subpoenaed includes:

1. The unredacted copy of medical vaccination exemption letters
2. The name and date of birth of all children with medical vaccination exemption
3. The name(s) of the parent and/or legal guardian
4. The contact information of the parent and/or legal guardian

“This is a violation of FERPA this is 100 percent unethical and I would say illegal based upon what’s taken place," a parent said.

The district’s litigation specialist explains all parents have the right to seek protective action to prevent the disclosure of records.

“If some of the actions that I and the medical board have taken lead to fewer medical exemptions, I really truly believe we will save people from fatality," said Taras.

A representative with the state medical board responded to our request for more information saying, “The Board does not provide information on its complaints and investigations as both are confidential by law.”