Though the measure hasn’t been scheduled for a hearing, if House Bill 2448 were to become law, it would be bad for Oregonians. It should be defeated.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, would give some chiropractors the right to have their disciplinary records swept under a rug. The state Board of Chiropractic Examiners would have to remove those records from its website, from electronic publications and from print publications accessible to the public. They presumably would remain available on request, but no longer could a person simply check the board’s website to see if a chiropractor had run afoul of the norms of his profession.
There are conditions, to be sure. A request for removal could not be made before the sanction had been over for at least 10 years and then only if there were no physical or financial harm to a patient. The chiropractor would have to have reported the problems leading to discipline to the state board before someone else did and have met with all the requirements of the sanction. Nor could he or she have had disciplinary problems with any other licensing board since the sanction was imposed.
But people seeking care from a chiropractor, like those seeking services from a physician, have only a few ways to judge the quality of the provider they’re considering. The ability to meet and abide by the requirements of the profession is one of those ways. When the state makes those records difficult to gain access to, as House Bill 2448 would do, it deprives the public of easy access to information about medical professionals in the state.
Rather than make chiropractic disciplinary records more difficult to find, Greenlick and his fellow lawmakers should embrace the status quo and do nothing to make it harder to learn about a chiropractor’s disciplinary past.