Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The Pot-Smoking Neurosurgeon

University of California, San Diego neurosurgeon, Dr. Gunjan Goel has been accused by the Medical Board of California of using marijuana while practicing medicine.

She allegedly used marijuana 'daily, while at work, and on call', according to court documents.

Goel admitted to consuming marijuana sometimes on her days off  when investigators asked the doctor for a hair sample. She also admitted that she doesn’t have a medical marijuana card.

The Medical Board of California accused Goel of “repeatedly” possessing a controlled substance and engaging in unprofessional conduct.

The thought of a doctor smoking marijuana may sound scandalous, but many are of the opinion that she can do whatever she wants in her personal time as long as she does not smoke on the job.

However, because the long-term use of marijuana causes cognitive impairment, which affects a doctor's performance, the question is: Should a doctor smoke marijuana?

According to Dr Kevin, "Ultimately, as always, our profession’s oath is to do no harm.  Physicians must not put their patients at risk by impairing themselves unnecessarily, especially surgeons who must make complex decisions under extraordinary stress."

He added, "In light of the increasing prevalence and acceptance of marijuana use in the population, it may be time to define an acceptable level of use by physicians that is considered safe for patients.  Perhaps that level of use is never, or perhaps that level is a one that results blood level of zero whenever one is in the hospital.  But regardless, without clear guidance that goes beyond an incredibly vague “not impair the ability of the licensee to practice medicine safely,” it is difficult at this time to judge the acknowledged actions of Dr. Goel or physicians like her."

I concur! Without any acceptable guide on how much marijuana a doctor or health worker can use without causing harm, we cannot judge anyone. However, the lack of a prescription spells trouble for her.

The pot scandal has already severely damaged her reputation and it'd be even worse if she should lose her licence.

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