Controversial California Dr. Accused of Opioid Negligence

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A doctor in California is at the center of two significant allegations. For the anti-vaccination community, Dr. Tara Zandvliet is said to have provided about 250 exemption letters a year, usually without any medical examinations or even a preexisting condition. The exemption letter would then allow students to go unvaccinated. For people with opioid addiction, all it took was cash to get the medication they needed, alleges the State Medical Board.

Dr. Zandvliet’s Previous Scandal

Dr. Zandvliet is no stranger to scandal or charges of improper conduct in California.

In September of 2020, she was put on probation by the medical board. The probation was supposed to last for three years. She was also no longer allowed to write exemptions for vaccinations of children. The Medical Board said she had written vaccine exemptions in a grossly negligent way.

An investigation into her vaccination exemptions began when health authorities realized that she had written nearly a third of all vaccination exemptions in San Diego. The Voice of San Diego found that Zandvliet created many exemptions for “reasons well outside the scope of accepted medical science.” For example, she often wrote exemptions for people with a “family history of autoimmune diseases.” Charging in cash, she may have made up to half a million dollars with this venture.

Because what she did was technically legal, she kept her medical license, and lawmakers ultimately tightened the rules around vaccination exemptions. The medical board, however, suspended her license.

New California Charges Regarding Opioids

The California State Medical Board now says that Zandvliet also over-prescribed addictive painkillers to at least four of her patients. One of the patients took up to ten times the daily dose of opioids, and the prescriptions the patient was taking were all prescribed by Zandvliat. These prescriptions took place for over six years.

This patient was prescribed oxycodone, oxycontin, and other opioids, many drugs equal to the 1,000 “morphine milligrams equivalent,” which is over ninety times more than the recommended limit.

Other patients also described how Dr. Zandvliet prescribed painkillers loosely and did not recommend alternative therapies. Instead, she seemed willing to let the patient choose to get more pills. She is charged with “gross negligence, incompetence, repeated negligent acts, and unprofessional conduct.”