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Senate Bill 114
A Bad Dose of Medicine for Alabama Patients

Senate Bill 114:

SB 114 is a blank check for optometrists - who are not medical doctors or trained surgeons- to practice medicine and perform surgery without a medical degree! 

  • SB 114 allows optometrists—who are not medical doctors or trained surgeons—open ended authority to perform many different types of surgeries on and around the eye.
  • Ophthalmologists on the other hand complete four years of medical school, and four years of a hospital surgical training program before they can independently see, treat, and when indicated, perform surgery on patients.
  • Removes the authority of the Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners to solely determine the necessary requirements for those performing eye surgery in Alabama.  
  • SB 114 extends this authority to the state’s Board of Optometry, a board composed of seven optometrists, BUT NO MEDICAL DOCTORS/NO SURGEONS.  
  • In other words, a Board comprised of all non-medical doctors will now determine the education and training requirements for optometrists to perform eye surgery
  • This would result in two completely separate and unequal standards of required training to perform eye surgery.   
  • SB 114 would also allow optometrists to perform 100s types of various surgeries on and around your eyes.

SB 114 authorizes optometrists to perform surgeries using multiple surgical instruments including:

  • Scalpels to cut out lesions, cysts, and tumors.
  • Lasers to perform glaucoma and after-cataract surgery. Lasers are surgical instruments that cut as deeply and sharply as any scalpel.

SB 114 would also allow optometrists to take a needle and inject potent pharmaceutical agents into the tissues surrounding the eye.

  • The injections proposed in the optometry bill are not as benign and routine as its sponsors may suggest.  
  • Anytime a needle is placed near the eye, there are serious risks to patients that require adequate clinical experience and judgment. 
  • A surgical error of just a few millimeters can result in a punctured eyeball and catastrophic vision loss.

Only four states in the entire nation have watered down their standards of patient safety to the extent that SB 114 would do in Alabama.  Eye surgery involves more than performing a technical procedure. Knowledge gained through years of medical education and surgical training is required to not only to perform the surgery but just as importantly, decide which patients require surgery and which ones do not.  It involves patient education and the ability to identify and manage immediate surgical complications when they arise.  

SB 114 eliminates the safety and quality assurances that patients demand and expect from properly trained eye surgeons.  

Protect Alabama’s High Standards of Patent Safety

Contact your Alabama State Legislator NOW and ask them to

Vote “NO” on SB 114

Find your legislator and more information at safesurgerycoalition.org/alabama


What is an Ophthalmologist?

Ophthalmologists, also known as Eye MD's, are medical doctors (MD) or doctors of osteopathy (DO). Ophthalmologists specialize in the medical and surgical treatment of the eyes and visual system and in the prevention of eye disease and injury.


Training:
    • Ophthalmologists complete four or more years of undergraduate collegiate study
    • Four years of medical school
    • One year of internship (general medical training)
    • Three or more years of specialized training in all eye diseases, including medical and surgical
    • Many perform even further specialized training in specific eye diseases like glaucoma, retina, pediatrics, or oculoplastics
Ophthalmologists are the only doctors who can deliver the full spectrum of total eye care including vision services like contact lenses and glasses checks, eye health examinations, diabetes eye examinations, cataract examinations and cataract surgery, glaucoma eye care, and all types of medical eye care, surgical eye care, as well as diagnosis and treatment for ocular manifestations of systemic diseases.

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