Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In re Williams case brief

In re Williams case brief summary
573 N.E.2d 638 (1991)

Appellant medical board sought certiorari review of an order of the Court of Appeals for Franklin County (Ohio) affirming the common pleas court's order reversing the medical board's suspension of appellee physician's license for practices relating to the distribution of prescription medication.


The medical board brought a charge against the physician alleging that his practice of prescribing certain Schedule II drugs, on a long-term basis, as part of a weight loss program fell below the acceptable standard of medical practice. At the hearing, expert witnesses testified that the physician's practice, though considered the minority view on weight loss, was not unacceptable.


  • The court ruled that the common pleas court properly determined that there was insufficient evidence to support the medical board's determination. 
  • While acknowledging that expert testimony was not always needed to establish substandard medical care, the court ruled that the medical board was not at liberty to convert its disagreement with the experts' testimony into affirmative evidence of unacceptable medical practice. 
  • In so ruling, the court noted that, at the time of the charge, the physician's practice was not prohibited by statute. 
  • The fact that it was later prohibited by Ohio Admin. Code § 4731-11-03(B) would only become applicable if the physician continued to prescribe such medications for long-term care in the future.

The court affirmed the appellate court's order affirming the common pleas court's order reversing the medical board's determination against the physician.

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