Friday, March 30, 2012

California Purges Records of 'Mental Illness' in Dentists

The State of California has:

SECTION 1695-1699

1695. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Board of Dental Examiners of California seek ways and means to identify and rehabilitate licentiates whose competency may be impaired due to abuse of dangerous drugs or alcohol, so that licentiates so afflicted may be treated and returned to the practice of dentistry in a manner which will not endanger the public health and safety. It is also the intent of the Legislature that the Board of Dental Examiners of California shall implement this legislation in part by establishing a diversion program as a voluntary alternative approach to traditional disciplinary actions.

[Ed: Once again, the use of dangerous drugs or alcohol are Psychiatric DSM 'Mental Illnesses' which require a Lifetime of therapeutic 'Mental Health' Make Work, Vote Buying, Psychological Counseling. Skip down to Sec 1698, for SHALL PURGE AND DESTROY ALL RECORDS.]

1695.1. As used in this article:

(a) "Board" means the Board of Dental Examiners of California.

(b) "Committee" means a diversion evaluation committee created by this article.

(c) "Program manager" means the staff manager of the diversion program, as designated by the executive officer of the board. The program manager shall have background experience in dealing with substance abuse issues.

1695.2. One or more diversion evaluation committees is hereby created in the state to be established by the board. The board shall establish criteria for the selection of the committee. No board member shall serve on any committee.

1695.3. Each member of a committee shall receive per diem and expenses as provided in Section 103.

1695.4. The board shall administer the provisions of this article.

1695.5. (a) The board shall establish criteria for the acceptance, denial, or termination of licentiates in a diversion program. Unless ordered by the board as a condition of licentiate disciplinary probation, only those licentiates who have voluntarily requested diversion treatment and supervision by a committee shall participate in a diversion program.

(b) A licentiate who is not the subject of a current investigation may self-refer to the diversion program on a confidential basis, except as provided in subdivision (f).

(c) A licentiate under current investigation by the board may also request entry into the diversion program by contacting the board's Diversion Program Manager. The Diversion Program Manager may refer the licentiate requesting participation in the program to a diversion evaluation committee for evaluation of eligibility. Prior to authorizing a licentiate to enter into the diversion program, the Diversion Program Manager may require the licentiate, while under current investigation for any violations of the Dental Practice Act or other violations, to execute a statement of understanding that states that the licentiate understands that his or her violations of the Dental Practice Act or other statutes that would otherwise be the basis for discipline, may still be investigated and the subject of disciplinary action.

(d) If the reasons for a current investigation of a licentiate are based primarily on the self-administration of any controlled substance or dangerous drugs or alcohol under Section 1681 of the Business and Professions Code, or the illegal possession, prescription, or nonviolent procurement of any controlled substance or dangerous drugs for self-administration that does not involve actual, direct harm to the public, the board shall close the investigation without further action if the licentiate is accepted

into the board's diversion program and successfully completes the requirements of the program. If the licentiate withdraws or is terminated from the program by a diversion evaluation committee, and the termination is approved by the program manager, the investigation shall be reopened and disciplinary action imposed, if warranted, as determined by the board.

(e) Neither acceptance nor participation in the diversion program shall preclude the board from investigating or continuing to investigate, or taking disciplinary action or continuing to take disciplinary action against, any licentiate for any unprofessional conduct committed before, during, or after participation in the diversion program.

(f) All licentiates shall sign an agreement of understanding that the withdrawal or termination from the diversion program at a time when a diversion evaluation committee determines the licentiate presents a threat to the public's health and safety shall result in the utilization by the board of diversion treatment records in disciplinary or criminal proceedings.

(g) Any licentiate terminated from the diversion program for failure to comply with program requirements is subject to disciplinary action by the board for acts committed before, during, and after participation in the diversion program. A licentiate who has been under investigation by the board and has been terminated from the diversion program by a diversion evaluation committee shall be reported by the diversion evaluation committee to the board.

1695.6. A committee created under this article operates under the direction of the program manager. The program manager has the primary responsibility to review and evaluate recommendations of the committee. Each committee shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

(a) To evaluate those licentiates who request to participate in the diversion program according to the guidelines prescribed by the board and to make recommendations. In making the recommendations, a committee shall consider the recommendations of any licentiates designated by the board to serve as consultants on the admission of

the licentiate to the diversion program.

(b) To review and designate those treatment facilities to which licentiates in a diversion program may be referred.

(c) To receive and review information concerning a licentiate participating in the program.

(d) To consider in the case of each licentiate participating in a program whether he or she may with safety continue or resume the practice of dentistry.

(e) To perform such other related duties, under the direction of the board or program manager, as the board may by regulation require.

1696. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, relating to public meetings, a committee may convene in closed session to consider reports pertaining to any licentiate requesting or participating in a diversion program. A committee shall only convene in closed session to the extent that it is necessary to protect the privacy of such a licentiate.

1697. Each licentiate who requests participation in a diversion program shall agree to cooperate with the treatment program designed by the committee and approved by the program manager and to bear all costs related to the program, unless the cost is waived by the board. Any failure to comply with the provisions of a treatment program may

result in termination of the licentiate's participation in a program.

1698. (a) After the committee and the program manager in their discretion have determined that a licentiate has been rehabilitated and the diversion program is completed, the committee shall purge and destroy all records pertaining to the licentiate's participation in a diversion program.

(b) Except as authorized by subdivision (f) of Section 1695.5, all board and committee records and records of proceedings pertaining to the treatment of a licentiate in a program shall be kept confidential and are not subject to discovery or subpoena.

1699. The board shall provide for the representation of any person making reports to a committee or the board under this article in any action for defamation for reports or information given to the committee or the board regarding a licentiate's participation in the diversion program.

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