To Dr. Bick:
In light of recent conversations with our managers and your February 4, 2021 memorandum, we would like to clarify our position regarding MAT. Our UAPD leadership has advised us that the state and the union are now entering the mediation process.
These discussions are necessary as we all grapple with the ethical, legal, and medical consequences of treating the incarcerated SUD patient by increasing the ease of their access to narcotics. Out of respect for this process, the undersigned CDCR physicians and surgeons are unable at this time to take over the writing of Suboxone prescriptions and, more importantly, are unable to prescribe Suboxone within a flawed program that jeopardizes patients and providers.
We, physicians and surgeons, are dedicated to the care of our patients. We have the responsibility to draw upon our knowledge and skills as physicians and to exercise our professional judgment in good faith in all decisions regarding patient care, including decisions to prescribe medications under the authority of our medical licenses. We each are aware that if asked or directed to prescribe any medication, we must nevertheless take care in each instance to determine whether we believe the prescription is consistent with caring for the health and safety of the patient, and whether it is consistent with our oath to do no harm. We will continue to discharge our responsibilities to our patients in good faith.
This said, we are committed to continuing to provide thoughtful and quality care to IPs in accordance with our licensure. In order to do so, we will participate in both mandatory and optional training. Finally, we deem it imperative that concrete reforms and improvements occur to the current ISUDT program so that it has the best chance of providing a positive outcome for IPs. We look forward to working with management to bring about these improvements and we will take the lead in advocating for our patients in this regard. We expect and welcome continued dialogue on this matter.