Case 256001

C.E., n°256001, 12 January 2005
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This case concerned violations of the physicians’ professional Code of Conduct and a disregard for the general nomenclature of professional acts in medicine by Mr. Gilbert X. Mr. X was sanctioned by the Social Security Section of the National Council of the College of Physicians to a four months prohibition of the right to dispense health care to those insured under social security.

In respect to the Code of Conduct, the National Council had found violations of articles 8 and 32. Article 8 concerned a doctor’s duties for prescriptions, as well as investigations and therapeutics. Mr. X was found to have evaluated ultrasounds lacking medical justification, as well as having prescribed dosages that were not medically indicated. Article 32 concerned the provision of health care based on scientifically acquired data. Mr. X failed to respect this article by refraining from prescribing the systematic screening for ovarian cancer to his female patients aged between 25 to 65 years old, and the renewal of this screening every three years. In respect to the general nomenclature of professional acts, Mr. X’s disregard of those norms constituted a misconduct justifying a disciplinary sanction. Furthermore, the National Council found that the Amnesty Law of 6 August 2002 does not apply to Mr. X’s case.

Mr. X petitioned the Council of State to annul the National Council’s decision, as well as reject the complaints of the Bouches-du-Rhône Health Insurance Primary Fund.

The Court held that Mr. X did not benefit from sufficient grounds to require this annulment. It held that the National Council acted without committing errors in legal characterization. The Court thus rejected Mr. X’s request.

qu'après avoir estimé, par une appréciation souveraine, qu'à de nombreuses reprises M. X avait coté des actes d'échographie dépourvus de justification médicale et prescrit des dosages sans indication médicale fondée, la section des assurances sociales du conseil national de l'ordre des médecins a pu juger, sans commettre d'erreur de qualification juridique, que ces comportements constituaient un manquement aux dispositions de l'article 8 du code de déontologie

“that after having estimated, by a sovereign appraisal, that on numerous occasions Mr. X had evaluated ultrasounds lacking a medical justification and prescribed dosages which were not medically indicated, the Social Insurance Section of the National Council of the College of Physicians has found, without committing an error in legal characterization, that those behaviours constituted a violation of the provisions of article 8 of the Code of Conduct”

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que la section des assurances sociales du conseil national de l'ordre des médecins a pu, sans commettre d'erreur de droit, estimer que M. X n'avait pas tenu compte pour dispenser ses soins à ses patients des données acquises de la science, telles qu'elles résultent notamment des recommandations de bonnes pratiques élaborées par l'agence nationale pour le développement de l'évaluation en médecine puis par l'agence nationale d'accréditation et d'évaluation en santé, en s'abstenant de prescrire le dépistage systématique du cancer du col utérin chez ses patientes âgées de 25 à 65 ans et le renouvellement tous les trois ans de cet examen, et qu'il avait ainsi méconnu les dispositions des articles 8 et 32 du code de déontologie

“that the Social Insurance Section of the National Council of the College of Physicians, without committing an error in legal characterization, has estimated that Mr. X hadn’t considered the scientifically acquired data when dispensing health care to his patients, as resulting in particular from the good practices recommendations elaborated by the national agency for the development of evaluation in medicine, and by the national agency for health accreditation and evaluation, by refraining from prescribing the systematic screening for cervical cancer to his female patients aged 25 to 65 years old and the renewal of this test every three years, and that he thus violated the provisions of articles 8 and 32 of the Code of Conduct”

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