By: Ronda Snyder
I have written about the Medical Board of Osteopathic Licensure and the Complaint against Dr. Paul Gosselin three times before this article. Set forth below are links to our articles starting in December 2021. If you want to be brought up to speed with what has happened on this case, please click the links below.
- Define Misinformation – Define Misinformation
- Maine Boards of Medical Licensure: EXPOSED – Part I – Part I Here
- Maine Boards of Medical Licensure: EXPOSED – Part II – Part II Here
This article will review the three days of hearings for the Osteopathic Licensing Board v. Dr. Paul Gosselin which were spread out over three months because the Board only meets once per month (the articles linked above will provide more detailed information of what happened prior to the hearing). We will also review some of the tactics used by the Prosecution and Board in this case against Dr. Gosselin and his defense of these charges.
After reading this article you needn’t wonder any longer why Maine doctors (and doctors around the country) are terrified to write medical exemptions for any vaccine. I had my own pediatrician lead me to believe he would write a medical exemption for my daughter for school. Then, at the last moment, he proposed such a horrific medical “solution” that involved steroids and still giving her the vaccine despite her long history with horrible adverse reactions that I fired him and told him I no longer trusted his judgment.
Doctors, Physician’s Assistants and Nurse Practitioners are afraid of state licensing boards which leaves their patients who need help without it. I’ve had many parents tell me that since LD 798 went into effect, they’ve had personal experience with doctors caring more about protecting their licenses from medical boards than protecting their patients by writing a medical exemption.
However, the good news is that the Gosselin case was a very big loss for the State of Maine and the Attorney General’s Office and it will have widespread ramifications. Perhaps doctors will feel less afraid to advocate for and help their patients rather than defaulting to a fear of retribution mode from the state and medical licensing boards.
The Board of Osteopathic Licensure has continued to file Emergency Declarations each month to meet via Zoom rather than in person. This may have angered some at the time, but it proved to be fortuitous for the general public. More people were able to watch hearing and hear what the Board Members, the Prosecution and the Defense had to say. It also brought daylight to what typically happens at in person meetings which are difficult for the public to attend. The Zoom hearings were good for the public but turns out it was a bad look for most Board Members and prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Office. Board members are appointed by Gubernatorial Appointment.
This saga regarding Dr. Paul Gosselin began in November 2021 after the Board of Osteopathic Licensure received four (4) complaints against Dr. Gosselin for writing medical exemption letters for healthcare employees. It should be noted that none of the complaints were from patients nor any of the 12 individuals who received the letters. Rather the complaints came from other healthcare providers and it seems as though Maine General Hospital staff was involved in some of the complaints filed against Dr. Gosselin.
On November 18, 2021, the Board of Osteopathic Licensure held a meeting to discuss the complaints against Dr. Gosselin. Maine Journal News has the transcript from that meeting which is set forth in the defense’s Motion for Recusal of Board Member Peter Michaud beginning on page 18.
You can read more details and transcripts from this Board Meeting in Maine Boards of Medical Licensure: EXPOSED – Part I or review the Motion embedded below – NOTE: Peter Michaud refused to recuse himself from the hearing regarding Dr. Gosselin):
Briefly, here is what occurred, during the November 18, 2021 meeting, Peter Michaud wanted an emergency suspension of Dr. Gosselin’s license because he was a danger to the public. Assistant Attorney General Lisa Wilson repeatedly told the Board that this case did not meet the threshold for an emergency suspension.
Peter Michaud, is an attorney and registered nurse, and former General Counsel for the Maine Medical Association. He is also a “Public Member” of the Osteopathic Doctors Licensing Board. However, Michaud is not a random member of the public. He is part of the establishment. He is well connected within the state and medical community. In fact, Michaud, was instrumental in writing, supporting and working to to ensure that LD 798 was passed by the Maine Legislature in 2019. LD 798 removed religious and philosophical exemptions to required school and healthcare worker vaccine requirements. LD 798 was the start of the slippery slope we are on today with regard to vaccine mandates. Michaud pushed and pushed for an emergency suspension until AAG Wilson gave in to Michaud’s pressure.
The photos below are part of the defense’s Motion for Recusal of Peter Michaud combined with statements made by Peter Michaud at the November 2021 meeting.
The original charges by the Board against Dr. Gosselin were: fraud and deceit, incompetence and unprofessional conduct. Later, the fraud and deceit charge was dropped as well as any charge regarding misinformation which was previously discussed by the Board at the November 18, 2021 meeting.
On December 2, 2021, while working with his counsel, Dr. Gosselin entered into a consent agreement not to write further medical exemption letters and to continue the license suspension until he could “have his day in court.”
On December 23, 2021, a Notice of Hearing was issued by the Board for a hearing on February 10, 2022. The February hearing was postponed until April 14, 2022.
HEARING DAY 1 – April 14, 2022
On April 14, 2022, the Maine Attorney General’s Office via its prosecutors, Andrew Black and Katie Johnson, put on their case in chief against Dr. Gosselin. One of the most notable testimonies from the prosecution team was the testimony by Kathryn Brandt, D.O., M.S., MEDL who is a professor at University of New England. You can view a portion of Attorney Jenkins’ cross examination of Dr. Kathryn Brandt below (Note: You may have to turn up your volume to hear Dr. Brandt as she talks softly and at times mumbles a bit.)
The prosecution case by the Maine Attorney General’s Office produced no evidence that Dr. Gosselin broke any laws. In fact, the law with regard to medical exemptions states:
Interestingly, Board Member Peter Michaud, testified before a legislative committee on March 13, 2019 and stated the following regarding medical exemptions (which doesn’t match Dr. Kathryn Brandt’s expert testimony that the ONLY reason for a medical exemption is anaphylaxis):
The prosecution, through Dr. Kathryn Brandt, attempted to show that Dr. Gosselin should have followed certain steps when issuing a vaccine exemption. However, Dr. Brandt admitted under cross examination that these steps weren’t written anywhere. Additionally, standards the Board wanted Dr. Gosselin to follow in October 2021, were barely mentioned in standards approved in January 2022 regarding misinformation (nearly 3 months after Dr. Gosselin wrote the exemptions letters).
HEARING DAY 2 – May 12, 2022
On to May 12, 2022 where the Attorneys Ron Jenkins and David Bauer were able to put on a vigorous defense for Dr. Gosselin. I should note, that prior to the hearing, the defense filed several motions: A Motion to Dismiss which was predicated on a bad faith prosecution, a Motion for Voir Dire (which would allow the defense to ask questions of Board Members before the hearing – in a regular trial in court this is the process by which attorneys questions prospective jurors. The Board Members would, in essence, be the jury in this hearing) and a Motion for Discovery – all of which were DENIED by the Hearing Officer, Rebekah Smith. There was also a a Motion for Recusal of Board Member Peter Michaud (he refused to recuse himself – if you haven’t read Part I linked at the top, you may want to do so because it will add clarity to the Motion for Recusal).
With regard to the Motion for Discovery, which was denied by Hearing Officer Smith, it is a standard practice in court trials. While an adjudicatory hearing isn’t the same as a court trial, Dr. Gosselin was denied the ability to review the Maine Attorney General’s documents, etc. in his case.
During the Defense’s portion of the hearing several people who received exemption letters testified on behalf of Dr. Gosselin. A couple of witnesses for the defense testified off the public Zoom meeting for medical privacy issues but others like healthcare workers Jen Phelps and Lori Frederick testified on video. Both Phelps and Frederick testified that there was nothing Dr. Gosselin could have said to them that would have changed their minds about getting the vaccine. Additionally, Phelps testified that she did not have a primary care doctor at the time she reached out to Dr. Gosselin for a medical exemption (the prosecution was trying to prove that Dr. Gosselin should have reached out to the primary care physicians of these individuals). Both Phelps and Frederick testified they were grateful to Dr. Gosselin and that nobody was harmed as a result of their exemption letters.
Another defense witness was Christina Hobbs. She is a former pharmacy tech for CVS and testified with regard to what she knew about the information gathered and steps taken with regard to a vaccine injection where she worked. She was an interesting witness because the defense was able to show that the Attorney General’s Office was prosecuting Dr. Gosselin for a higher standard with regard to writing medical exemption letters than is required when receiving the vaccine itself.
During Hobbs’ testimony, the attorney for CVS Ken Lehman interrupted the testimony with a blustery objection to Hobbs’ use of the word “we.” Attorney Jenkins objected to Attorney Lehman’s interruption and Hearing Officer Smith stopped Attorney Lehman from further outbursts.
On cross examination of Ms. Hobbs, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Black attempted to make it seem as though she couldn’t possibly have the knowledge she testified about because she wasn’t a doctor, a nurse, a pharmacist, etc. He also tried to discredit her testimony because she didn’t know the details of the case about which she was testifying (the cross was in effective, AAG Black appeared to come off as a bully) and it revealed – at least to this writer how damaging Ms. Hobbs’ testimony was to the prosecution. The cross examination also showed the way in which the State of Maine twisted testimony regarding giving a vaccine and writing a letter. That’s exactly what the State of Maine is trying to do: again, it is trying hold Dr. Gosselin to a higher standard for a less invasive letter vs. an invasive vaccine. Also note, AAG Black asked Ms. Hobbs when she was “terminated” from CVS to which Ms. Hobbs replied “I resigned.”
HEARING DAY 3 – June 9, 2022
This is probably a good place to stop and tell you about the difficulty Dr. Gosselin had in finding a local attorney and an expert witness within the State of Maine. Attorney Jenkins said in his opening for this hearing that he doesn’t typically handle this type of case and that he usually represents people who have been the victims of terrorism. Jenkins said he felt compelled to take Gosselin’s case because of the “dearth” (which means scarcity or lack of something) of Maine attorneys who would take Gosselin’s case. Similarly, there was a dearth of doctors in Maine who were willing to be an expert witness for the defense.
The defense then put on its expert witness, Dr. Steven B. Katsis. Katsis is a surgeon who is also a member of his state’s (Oklahoma) medical licensing board, conducts surgeries and teaches medical residents and students.
During direct testimony of Dr. Katsis, Attorney Jenkins was able to elicit the following:
- Dr. Katsis testified that had he known then what he knows now about the Covid vaccine he wouldn’t have taken it.
- Dr. Katsis testified that there was a difference between public health and the doctor patient relationship. He testified: “Well I think from an overall standpoint I almost feel like the vaccine process in this case bypassed the medical community. We have public health officials involved with this, yes, but there wasn’t the typical scrutiny of things that were acceptable to evaluate things. We have the newest disease on the planet, Covid 19. We have a brand-new type of therapy which, again when I first heard about it, was very fascinating. Almost enthralled with the concept of an MRNA type of vaccine which will allow your body to imprint and do those…produce a protein that was mimicking part of a virus and generate immunity that way. That part of it is very fascinating. The reality of it is that the scrutiny of all that was really suppressed and it was not done, in my opinion, not done through competent physician discourse. It was done through social media, regular media other types of…whether it was intimidation strategies or threats of different things for people to try to even voice concerns and so that part is always a little bit of a red flag.
- Dr. Katsis testified that he agreed with the American Medical Association that there is a not a doctor patient relationship (as described by Dr. Katherine Brandt) when there is a consultation for the benefit of a third party such as a sports physical for school or an insurance exam for review and approval of an exemption letter by the healthcare facility.
- Further, Katsis disagreed that there was a doctor patient relationship between Dr. Gosselin and those for which he wrote an exemption letter. He stated he would think of it more as an administrative process where they are not seeking medical care and not seeking a medical opinion.
- Katsis testified that he did not agree with the opinion espoused by Dr. Katherine Brandt regarding the required standard of care. Katsis said that he didn’t know that a standard of care would even apply in Dr. Gosselin’s case in that he is not really providing care.
- Katsis thought it was appropriate within the guidelines of a licensed physician and appropriate within the guidelines of legislation related to a licensed physician being able to provide exemption letters.
- Katsis testified that it was appropriate for Dr. Gosselin to base his decision making on whether the individuals who received exemption letters should be vaccinated with the Covid19 vaccines on external factors rather than factors specific to them.
Dr. Katsis was cross examined by Assistant Attorney General Andrew Black. AAG Black’s cross examination basically asked questions about whether Dr. Katsis lives in Maine, has he ever visited Maine, has he ever practiced in Maine. It appeared as though AAG Black was trying to sway the Board Members aka the jury that Dr. Katsis couldn’t possibly have opinions on medicine because he wasn’t from Maine. For the astute observer, one may presume that AAG Black was trying to persuade the Board that there is some special magical practice of medicine and standards for practicing in Maine which only Maine doctors would know. Like most of AAG’s cross examination questions, what he was trying to do was obvious and did not appear effective.
Finally, Dr. Carrie Madej testified on behalf of Dr. Gosselin. You can see her direct testimony here: Madej Testimony. During cross examination by AAG Black, once again, he zeroed in on information that didn’t matter. For example, Dr. Madej once had board certification and it lapsed while she was doing missionary work out of the country. AAG Black tried to make it seem as though there was something nefarious about her no longer having board certification. Dr. Madej told AAG Black now that she is back in the United States, she would regain that certification over the summer.
SANCTIONS and DELIBERATIONS:
The Board dropped two counts against Dr. Gosselin. It also removed 7 of the 12 letters from the complaint and included only 5 letters that used the term “evaluated.” What you are going to read below is all predicated on Dr. Gosselin using the word “evaluated” in his exemption letter. The sanctions set forth below come down to a single word and their opinion that writing a medical exemption letter constituted a doctor patient relationship where certain standards needed to be followed.
Assistant Attorney General Black asked the Board to assess the following sanctions to Dr. Paul Gosselin:
- Loss of medical license for 10 months to September 18, 2021 (At the time of the final hearing, Dr. Gosselin’s license had already been suspended for seven months since November 19, 2021).
- 2 years of Probation
- No longer be allowed to write ANY medical exemption letters
- Fines in the amount of $8,000
- Requirement to take 40 hours of CME (Continuing Medical Education Credits) on the subject of Medical Record Keeping and Making Medical Decisions.
- Practice Review/Oversight by Board (meaning Dr. Gosselin would have to send in patient records monthly for every patient he saw that month and the board would randomly select a file to review his record keeping).
The Board ultimately decided:
- 1 year probation during which time Dr. Gosselin must: complete 20 hours of CME (doctors are required to take 50 CME hours a year and these 20 hours will run concurrent to the 50 hours already required and not as an additional 20 hours. The other requirement under probation is Dr. Gosselin may not write any medical exemption letters for one year. Board Members in favor of this sanction: Michaud, M., Pisini, Gaddis, Brewer, Michau, P. and Vose. Board Members against: Gillis, McIntyre and Munroe.
- $1,000 fine. Board members for this fine: Michaud, M. Pisini, Brewer, Gaddis and Michaud, P. Board members against the fine: Gillis, McIntyre, Munroe and Vose.
- Reinstate Dr. Gosselin’s medical license effective June 15, 2022 – All in favor.
If you chose to watch the Board’s Deliberations for Sanctions, you may do so here: Sanctions Deliberations. While watching, you may notice in the beginning of deliberations there is nearly a 10 second pause while Board members waited for someone to speak up. Fortunately for Dr. Gosselin that was Public Member Marty McIntyre. McIntyre seemed to have a much better grasp on this case than many of her fellow board members. Also notice both Melissa Michaud and John Gaddis state that this case could have been over in December, and it was no fault of theirs it took so long. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. If the hearing had been held in December, Dr. Gosselin wouldn’t have had time to put on a vigorous defense to which he is entitled. Also, since the Board will only meet one time per month, they did, in fact, drag this out. Additionally, none of the Board members agreed to 3 full days of trial in February when the initial Notice of Hearing set the hearing date. Finally, it was astounding that Board Members didn’t know the difference between a Warning, a Censure or a Reprimand. It didn’t appear as though the Board Members were used to a vigorous defense by a doctor and were a bit dazed and confused during deliberations.
As of this writing, Dr. Gosselin has had his medical license reinstated. Local Maine media who ran negative stories about Dr. Gosselin have not yet written about the hearing nor Dr. Gosselin’s reinstatement. If one were suspicious in nature, one may presume because this case was a big loss for the State of Maine, Assistant Attorney Generals Andrew Black and Katie Johnson and for the Board of Osteopathic Licensure.
After the decision, Dr. Gosselin spoke exclusively with Maine Journal News. Gosselin stated, “Where Maine goes so does the nation. Maine was a proving ground for medical tyranny. The final day of the hearings proved that the truth will always prevail and darkness will be revealed. My attorneys Ron and David along with Dr. Madej, Dr. Katsis and Pam Popper came through with prayer, support and vigilance. My win is a shot across the bow for Governor Mills’ medical tyranny and has set a precedence for all healthcare providers in the U.S.”
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