Oregon Recinds Gag Rule On Dentists

Press Releases: 03.08.02

Today the Oregon Dental Board voted unanimously to rescind a rule that has been on their books since 1990. A rule that effectively gagged dentists from discussing freely the potentially harmful effects of mercury exposure eminating from mercury-amalgam dental fillings. The issue was brought to a head by the ACLU protesting to the State Attorney General that the dental board's rule was a clear violation of a dentist's right to free speech under the US and Oregon constitutions. 

The evident mood of the dental board was to get this issue off their table, and all these people with "no Hg" buttons out of their meeting room as soon as possible. What the board does next will be under close scrutiny by activists and ACLU in Oregon. 

Despite the board's desire to keep it short, nearly a dozen anti-mercury activists spoke quickly, filling a half-hour of tape for the local news cameras that had gathered to cover the meeting. By the time the public speaking was over several of the dental board members were clearly slouched into their chairs, appearing more than a little red in the face, looking down and not engaging in very much eye contact. 

Jeff Clark
3/8/2002

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