A Hollywood physician has lost his medical license after recommending that a father give his 4-year-old son marijuana cookies to control temper tantrums, according to California’s medical board, but prescribing marijuana to a child was not in itself what got the man in trouble.
Dr. William Eidelman, a natural medicine physician, improperly diagnosed the boy with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder before recommending marijuana as the treatment, the medical board said in a decision announced last month.
Eidelman’s license was revoked as of Jan. 4, but he maintains that it is active and he continues to practice, the Los Ange;es Times reported.
The penalties against Eidelman stem from his treatment of a young boy who was misbehaving in school and brought to the doctor’s office by his father in September 2012, according to the medical board report.
Much of Eidelman’s practice centers on writing letters for patients to obtain medical marijuana, which he said he began doing in 1997, shortly after the state first legalized the drug for medical use.
After a 30-minute visit with the boy and his father, the doctor wrote in his chart that the child had a “probable combination of ADD/ADHD and bipolar disorder” and should “try cannabis in small amounts in cookies,” according to the medical board’s decision.
The doctor had previously recommended cannabis for the father’s ADHD and bipolar disorder, according to the board report.
The board found Eidelman “grossly negligent” for determining the boy’s diagnosis without consulting a psychiatrist, collecting information from the boy’s teachers, or asking his father about the child’s moods and sleep patterns.
“Tantrums alone do not support either diagnosis,” the board’s decision said. “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 board did not find fault with Eidelman for recommending marijuana to a child. The decision states that there is not enough scientific evidence to disprove that cannabis could have benefits for children.
“It has not been established, by clear and convincing evidence, that the recommendation of medical marijuana to (the boy), with his father’s consent, violated the standard of care,” the decision reads.
However, the board still views the recommendation for cannabis as improper because the boy did not actually have the conditions that Eidelman diagnosed him with and for which he prescribed the cannabis.
The decision also took into account that Eidelman had been previously punished for prescribing marijuana to several undercover investigators in 2000 and 2001.
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