US Doctor Appears In Court Zoom Call While Performing Surgery
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The Medical Board of California said it will investigate a plastic surgeon who appeared on a Zoom call for his traffic violation trial while operating on a patient.
Dr. Scott Green appeared for his Sacramento Superior Court trial on Thursday from an operating room, The Sacramento Bee reported.
He was seen dressed surgical scrubs operating on a patient who was out of the camera's shot, while beeps from machinery can be heard in the background.
"Hello, Mr. Green? Hi. Are you available for trial?" a courtroom clerk on the call asked the surgeon. "It kind of looks like you're in an operating room right now."
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"I am, sir," Green responded. "Yes, I'm in an operating room right now. Yes, I'm available for trial. Go right ahead."
The clerk then told Green that the proceedings, which are being held virtually during the coronavirus pandemic, were being livestreamed on YouTube because traffic trials are required to be open to the public by law.
Green said he understood, then appeared to carry on working with his head down while waiting for Court Commissioner Gary Link to enter the courtroom and join the call.
When Link saw Green on the screen, the judge said he didn't wish to proceed with the trial out of concern for the patient's welfare.
"I do not feel comfortable for the welfare of a patient if you're in the process of operating that I would put on a trial notwithstanding the fact the officer is here today," Link said.
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Green replied: "I have another surgeon right here who's doing the surgery with me, so I can stand here and allow them to do the surgery also."
Link remained unconvinced, adding: "I don't think so. I don't think that's appropriate."
He told Green he would set a different trial date for "when you're not actively involved or participating and attending to the needs of a patient."
At this point, Green apologized. "Sometimes, surgery doesn't always go as...," he said, before the judge interrupted him.
"You know, it happens. We want to keep people healthy, we want to keep them alive. That's important," Link said.
"I'm concerned about the welfare of the patient based on what I'm seeing," Link said before assigning Green a new March 4 court date.
In a statement to the Bee, the Medical Board of California said it would look into the incident.
The board added that it "expects physicians to follow the standard of care when treating their patients."
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The board and Green have been contacted for additional comment.
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