Published: Fri, February 01, 2019
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

California doctor fighting for license after giving cannabis to boy, 4

California doctor fighting for license after giving cannabis to boy, 4

A California doctor may lose his medical license after prescribing marijuana cookies to a four-year-old boy.

William Eidelman, a physician specialising in natural medicine, was "grossly negligent" in diagnosing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder in the boy without adequate evidence, the Medical Board of California concluded last month.

The diagnosis was done without consulting a psychiatrist nor the boy's school about his behaviour; instead, it was based only on the father's history, as per report. "'Being agitated" and "having trouble sitting still' hint at ADHD, but could simply hint at a preschooler not happy to have driven many miles to a doctor's appointment".

The doctor had previously prescribed cannabis for the boy's father who also had bipolar disorder and ADHD.

Initially, L.T. served the boy a morning cookie with "small amounts of the cannabis", but then he tried to increase the dosage by adding an additional amount in T.T.'s lunch.

Once the father got the pot cookies, he gave them to his son in the mornings, which helped improve the child's behavior early in the day; but "in the afternoon, however, the behavior returned", the decision said. He was placed on medical probation in 2004 when the board found that he had issued marijuana recommendations to undercover police officers without a legitimate medical reason.

'Tantrums alone, and primarily exhibited in one environment (school), do not support either diagnosis, ' the board said.

'Labeling a child with a significant mental condition can be harmful... if those labels are incorrect, pernicious results may follow, ' the board wrote.

The medical board has listed Eidelman's license as revoked. He said cannabis had had a "positive effect" on both his kids.

Eidelman's licence was revoked as of January 4 but he maintains it's active and he continues to practise.

His lawyer Tracy Green said they've appealed the board's decision, and that a San Francisco County Superior Court judge ordered the revocation be halted until a hearing in March. Practicing without a license can be punished with up to a year of jail under California law.

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