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Rodriguez v. Abruzzo

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20149
Nos. 3:12-cv-1458, (M.D. Pa., 06/30/2014) (Caputo, J.)

A district court held that a doctor lacks standing to challenge a Pennsylvania law that prohibits doctors from disclosing the mixture of chemical fluids used during hydraulic fracturing when treating patients for chemical exposure. Doctors have a professional and ethical obligation to communicate critical data and information obtained in the course of treating patients to other medical doctors, researchers, and the general public to advance scientific knowledge. The doctor, therefore, alleged that the "medical gag rule" is an impermissible content-based restriction of speech that is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad in violation of his right to free speech under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. But the alleged injury in this case is too conjectural to satisfy the injury in fact requirement of Article III standing, and he failed to show that his injury would likely be redressed by a favorable decision. The court, therefore, dismissed the case.