A judge has denied the request of a New Hampshire doctor, who is in her mid-80s and doesn’t use computers, to reinstate her medical license.
Judge John Kissinger in Merrimack County Superior Court dismissed a case brought by Anna Konopka, M.D., a New London doctor who had filed legal action to regain her license to practice, which she surrendered partly due to her inability to use a computer, according to New Hampshire Public Radio.
The judge ruled that Konopka failed to show she was forced to give up her medical license as she alleged, according to the report.
Konopka, who has practiced for 55 years, had to stop seeing patients in October and said the state Board of Medicine pressured her to surrender her license. The licensing board challenged her record-keeping, prescribing practices and medical decision-making. She said that challenge came in part because she doesn’t use computers and therefore couldn’t comply with the use of the state’s prescription drug monitoring program.
Konopka requested an injunction from the court so she could reopen her practice. At a hearing earlier this month, she argued she agreed to the medical board’s terms under duress and that her patients are now struggling to find new doctors.
Konopka has motioned for the judge to reconsider his decision, according to the Associated Press, and 30 of her patients have written to Kissinger hoping to convince him to change his ruling.
“As long as I am fighting, I have some hope,” Konopka told the news organization.
Her case has sparked debate about the controversial question of older doctors continuing to practice beyond typical retirement age and how to ensure patient safety. Doctors themselves are split on the issue. Some say it’s a safety imperative to screen older physicians for cognitive and physical decline, while some consider it ageism.