Dental lobby backs dentist who killed little boy

It has become a familiar routine for the Sears family: Gather the medical experts, trek to Sacramento, and tell another panel of lawmakers how their 6-year-old son died from the anesthesia a dentist in Albany gave him to pull a tooth. Then watch as legislators water down the solution that many pediatricians say would prevent other California children from dying the same way.

Each time, the family accepted incremental changes as they kept working toward their goal: a law to require that two highly trained medical professionals, instead of one, tend to children under age 7 who receive anesthesia in a dentist’s office.

But after two years of advocacy, research and heart-wrenching public testimony, their appeal suffered a major defeat last week when a state Senate panel refused to vote for the family-backed bill. Saying that moving ahead with a diluted version would do “incredible harm” to their effort to advance children’s safety, the assemblyman carrying the legislation opted instead to shelve the bill.

The decision effectively kills the bill for at least a year and marks a win for Sacramento’s influential dental lobby.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle


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