Houston Judge Says DOs Can't File Commitment Papers

TMA and a host of other physician organizations are fighting a judge's ruling that would prohibit doctors of osteopathy (DOs) from filing certificates of medical examinations needed for mental health commitments.

On Sept. 2, Judge Rory Olsen of Harris County Probate Court #3 issued a directive that his court would not accept mental health commitment papers signed by DOs.

Responding to a request from a leading Houston psychiatrist who is also a DO, TMA's legal staff initially contacted Judge Olsen via telephone. TMA, the Harris County Medical Society, the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association, the Federation of Texas Psychiatry, and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) then wrote a joint letter to Judge Olsen explaining the legal equivalence in Texas of allopathic and osteopathic physicians.

"Eliminating DOs' authority in the most populous county in Texas could have disastrous consequences for the health and safety of persons who physicians have determined need protective psychiatric care," they wrote.

Lawyers for AOA and the Texas Medical Board also sent Judge Olsen detailed legal briefs on the issue. All of the organizations involved continue to work toward a quick resolution of the problem before it precipitates a mental health crisis in Houston or spreads to other parts of the state.

Action, Oct. 3, 2016 

Last Updated On

October 14, 2016

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