BME Adopts COVID-19 Misinformation Policy; Could Subject MDs to Discipline

October 11, 2021

NASHVILLE, TN — Effective September 21, 2021, the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners (BME) adopted a policy whereby medical doctors could risk having their medical licenses disciplined for generating or spreading “misinformation or disinformation” about COVID-19 vaccines. Discipline could include revocation or suspension of one’s medical license. The BME goes on to state that physicians “have an ethical and professional responsibility to practice medicine in the best interests of their patients and must share information that is factual, scientifically grounded and consensus-driven for the betterment of public health.”

The policy emanated from the Board of Directors of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), of which the BME is a member. The Tennessee Board of Osteopathic Examination is also a member of the FSMB but as of October 8, the Board’s website did not include the policy.

“It is important to note that the policy is narrowly written to only include the topic of COVID-19 vaccines. Related topics such as the efficacy of mask wearing and choice of COVID-19 treatments would not be included as the policy is written,” according to TMA general counsel, Yarnell Beatty.

TMA’s position on COVID-19 vaccines is that, currently the best method of preventing infection and severe COVID disease — hospital, ventilator, disability or death — is vaccination. We therefore strongly recommend vaccination for all eligible persons age 12 or older. While it is true that a vaccinated individual can still contract COVID-19, the risk of severe permanently debilitating, or deadly, disease is reduced dramatically.

Click here to review the BME’s complete COVID-19 vaccine policy.