Dr Scott Green faces investigation after participating in a virtual trial while in the operating room.
In a video of the trial posted to YouTube, Green can be seen in scrubs and a face mask – and occasionally tilting his head to care for the patient.
After the video went viral, a medical and licensing agency in California said it would investigate.
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A California surgeon who participated in his virtual trial while performing surgery is under investigation.
Video from the event shows Dr Scott Green wearing scrubs and a face mask in the operating room. There are machines beeping in the background during Green’s traffic test on Zoom, which was broadcast live and posted on YouTube.
“Are you available for a trial?” a courtroom clerk asked Green. “Looks like you’re in an operating room right now.”
“I am, sir,” Green replied. “Yes, I’m in an operating room right now. I’m available for a trial. Go ahead.”
Green was then informed that the trial would be televised live and posted on YouTube as the proceedings are open to the public.
After Green admitted that he understood that the video would be posted online and that he was sworn in, he waited for the judge to jump on the Zoom. At this point, he kept his head down, appearing to operate on his patient.
“Unless I am mistaken, I see an accused who is in the middle of an operating room appearing to be actively engaged in providing services to a patient,” said Gary Link, Commissioner of the Superior Court of Sacramento, by joining the call.
“Is that correct, Mr. Green?” He asked. “Or should I say Dr. Green?”
“Yes sir,” Green replied.
Link said he “didn’t feel comfortable for a patient’s well-being if you were in the process of operating which I would test.”
Green then said he had another surgeon in the room with him and would sometimes rely on that doctor during the trial.
Link continued to insist against the circumstances.
“Not at all,” he said.
“I will suggest a different date when you are not actively involved or participating and looking after a patient’s needs,” added the judge.
After video of the event went viral, a medical and licensing agency in California said in a statement it would investigate the circumstances.
“The California Medical Council expects physicians to follow the standard of care when treating their patients,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “The Council is aware of this incident and will examine it, as it does with any complaints it receives.”
The judge postponed Green’s trial until March 4.
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