N.C. Considering a Surgery Bill That Kentucky Regrets Passing
This article was written by Woodford S. Van Meter for The Charlotte Observer.
As a professor of ophthalmology and a teacher of eye surgeons, I implore North Carolina not to make the mistake my Kentucky made six years ago, blindly rushing into law a bill that let non-surgeons operate on people’s eyes – a move legislators later regretted, and which Kentucky’s citizens opposed four-to-one.
The N.C. General Assembly is considering two misguided proposals, House Bill 36 and Senate Bill 342, that would let optometrists – who are not medical doctors and have little or no surgical training – perform hundreds of kinds of eye surgery with scalpels and lasers. Such a move would threaten patient safety across North Carolina while raising the cost of health care for everyone.
HB 36 and SB 342 remove the current law’s requirement of a medical license to perform eye surgery and would prevent the North Carolina Medical Board from determining the standards of medical education and surgical training. These bills cast aside vital safety protections for patients across North Carolina.
Publication: The Charlotte Observer
Date Published: April 17, 2017
HB36 is a dangerous bill before the North Carolina General Assembly. If passed, HB36 will enable Optometrists, who did not attend medical school, the ability to perform eye surgery within our state.