California medical authorities have said they will investigate a plastic surgeon who appeared on a video conference for a traffic violation trial while operating.
The Sacramento Bee reported that Scott Green appeared for his trial in Sacramento Superior Court Thursday, held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, from an operating room.
He was dressed in surgical gowns with a patient undergoing an out-of-sight procedure; beeps from medical machinery can be heard in the background.
“Hello, Mr. Green? Hello. Are you available for the test? “asked a courtroom secretary when an officer summoned to appear at the trial raised his eyebrows.” Does it look like you’re in an operating room right now? “
“I am, sir,” Green replied. “Yes, I am in an operating room right now. Yes, I am available for testing. Go right ahead.”
The clerk reminded Green that the proceedings were being broadcast live because the law requires traffic trials to be open to the public, and Green said he understood. He seemed to keep working with his head down as he waited for the court commissioner, Gary Link, to enter the chamber.
When Link appeared and saw the doctor on screen, the judge hesitated to proceed with the trial out of concern for the well-being of the patient.
“I have another surgeon right here doing the surgery with me, so I can stay here and allow them to do the surgery as well,” Green said.
The judge said he did not think it was appropriate to hold a trial under the circumstances. He told Green that he would prefer to set a new date for the trial “when he is not involved or actively participating and attending to the needs of a patient.”
“Sometimes the surgery doesn’t always turn out like …” he said, before the judge cut him off.
Link said, “It happens. We want to keep people healthy, we want to keep them alive. That is important.”
The California Medical Board said it would investigate the incident and said it “expects physicians to follow the standard of care when treating their patients.”
A call seeking comment from Green has not been returned.