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Doctor makes virtual court appearance in the middle of patient’s SURGERY: Reports

A California doctor is under fire after he showed up virtually for court in the middle of a surgery, a move the court commissioner refused to allow, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Now state medical regulators say they will investigate the incident.

On Thursday, Dr. Scott Green, a Sacramento-area plastic surgeon, appeared by video for a traffic court trial, which was being held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Green was wearing surgical scrubs and appeared to be in an operating room with equipment that repeatedly made beeping noises.

“Hello, Mr. Green? Hi. Are you available for trial?” a court clerk asked Green, according to a recorded video of the proceedings. “It kind of looks like you’re in an operating room right now?”

“I am, sir,” Green said. “Yes, I’m in an operating room right now. Yes, I’m available for trial. Go right ahead.”

However, Court Commissioner Gary Link said he did not feel it would be appropriate to go forward with the trial given the potential risks to the patient.

“So unless I’m mistaken, I’m seeing a defendant that’s in the middle of an operating room appearing to be actively engaged in providing services to a patient. Is that correct, Mr. Green? Or should I say Dr. Green?” Link said.

Green responded that the court commissioner was correct, but that another surgeon was operating on the patient.

“I have another surgeon right here who’s doing the surgery with me, so I can stand here and allow them to do the surgery also,” Green told Link.

Link said he was not comfortable with that and would prefer to find a new date for the trial “when you’re not actively involved or participating and attending to the needs of a patient.”

Green apologized and began telling Link “surgery doesn’t always go as . . .,” but Link interrupted him and said the most important thing is to ensure the patient’s safety.

“It happens. We want to keep people healthy, we want to keep them alive. That’s important,” Link told Green.

NBC News contacted Green about the incident. When asked about the newspaper’s report and the court hearing, Green told NBC: “That’s not accurate and I have nothing to say. Thank you.”

The Medical Board of California told the newspaper in a statement that it would launch an investigation and “expects physicians to follow the standard of care when treating their patients.”

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[Feature Photo: Pixabay]