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Illinois medical license defense attorneyThere are benefits to volunteering your medical expertise or services, whether it be at a free or mobile clinic, a medical relief group, an international disaster area, or with a local school or sports team. Unfortunately, there are also risks involved, including the potential of legal or medical licensing issues. Because of this, it is important that physicians understand the risks, and how to best protect themselves.

Good Samaritan Laws

Many healthcare professionals believe they are legally required to assist in an emergency under the Good Samaritan Law, but this law is not as much of a requirement as it is a mode of protection. While, yes, certain situations may bind you by law to help, you are not always obligated to assist a stranger in peril. But if you do choose to help, you have at least some protection under this law. However, there are some limitations that you must be aware of:

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Illinois DEA defense lawyerHealthcare providers who work with controlled substances are at an almost constant risk for allegations of drug diversion, unlawful prescribing, or the illegal distribution of a controlled substance. To make matters even worse, these same healthcare professionals often undergo routine audits with the DEA, only to wind up in the middle of an investigation. Thankfully, it is possible to protect your medical license, even if you are in the midst of chaos.

DEA Audits and Inspections

The DEA regularly investigates and audits healthcare providers to ensure they are maintaining compliance with the Controlled Substances Act. This occurs about once every three years but may be more frequent for certain practices. Most often, investigations are done at random. However, specific practices – namely pain management clinics and providers – may be targeted because the agency considers them a “high risk.” A tip or complaint from a pharmacist or patient and discrepancies in prescribing patterns could also lead to an investigation or audit.

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Illinois medical license defense lawyerAs a physician, you are held to a higher standard, and you are expected to act professionally in both your professional and personal life. Of course, you are only human and are bound to make mistakes, just like everyone else. Unfortunately, if you make one that leads to criminal charges, it could place more than just your reputation at risk; it might also impact the status of your Illinois medical license.

Criminal Charges and Moral Turpitude

Moral turpitude is defined as any action that could be deemed contrary to society’s view of justice, honesty, or morality. Generally, it is the state’s medical board that decides what qualifies as moral turpitude for its physicians. Unfortunately, that can leave a lot of room for error. There are a few criminal charges that frequently result in an investigation or adverse licensing action for physicians, however. These include:

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