Los Angeles; August 1, 2023: Today, Dr. Azadeh Khatibi, Dr. Marilyn Singleton, and the nonprofit Do No Harm filed a lawsuit challenging California’s mandatory implicit bias training for physicians.

In 2019, California lawmakers passed a new mandate, AB 241, requiring all continuing medical education (CME) courses involving direct patient care to include implicit bias training — regardless of who teaches the course or what is taught. The efficacy of these trainings is not supported by evidence and instead promotes distrust and resentment in medical care.

“Physicians should base medical care on each patient’s individual situation and condition,” said Caleb Trotter, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “Implicit bias training does the opposite, telling doctors they should be concerned about a patient’s immutable characteristics like race, gender, and sexual orientation, regardless of the characteristics’ relevance to the patient’s treatment.”

All California physicians must log 50 CME hours every two years; however, by mandating controversial implicit bias training, California forces physician educators to espouse views favored by the government in violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech.

The case is Azadeh Khatibi, et al. v. Kristina Lawson, et. al, filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

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Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit law firm that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 17 wins of 19 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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