Having to deal with a medical license defense is clearly a big deal for a physician. Especially when there is a risk that they can lose their ability to practice medicine. Consequently, physicians will want to understand the standards of proof required of the state to succeed at an administrative hearing. Let's look at what you can expect.
A medical board of review sits at the center of this process. Ultimately, it is their judgment that determines whether a defendant gets to keep their license or not.
Every state uses one of two potential standards of proof. First, there is the preponderance of the evidence. Second, there is clear and convincing evidence.
The Preponderance of the Evidence
The first standard, the preponderance of the evidence, is the one used in civil cases, such as personal injury claims. In law, it means that the balance of the evidence tilts a bit against the defendant. It means that when 51% of the evidence weighs against the defendant that they will lose. Conversely, if 49% of the evidence weighs against them, they win.
Clear and Convincing Evidence
The second possible standard is considered the stronger of the two. Clear and convincing evidence may be thought of as sitting between the civil standard of 51% likelihood and the criminal standard of beyond a shadow of a doubt. This is the standard that family courts use when deciding whether to take a parent's kid from them, for example. It's a higher standard because what's at stake is important.
Professional Standard of Care
The standard of care for a defendant's branch of medicine will also play a role in whether the state proves its case. Medical professionals in the defendant's field will likely attest to what counts as acceptable care under the circumstances that brought about the license review.
A Medical Board's Judgment
It's worth noting that a medical review board will largely render its decision based on professional expertise. While a medical license defense attorney may insist that the state hasn't met its burden of proof, the medical review board has wide discretion to render whatever decision it deems appropriate. Likewise, they don't have to explain much in terms of whether the standard of proof was met or not.
If you attempt to appeal the case to a court, you can expect the judge to be exceedingly reluctant to overrule the review board. The court appreciates that medical professionals understand license revocation issues better than a judge would.
To learn more, contact a medical license defense attorney in Los Angeles, Ca like Spiga & Associates.