Bill would protect Doc Pol, reality stars

Michigan Capital Building

Michigan Capital Building

A bill intended to protect health care professionals from complaints filed against them based on reality TV is working its way through committee in the Michigan House.

The measure would protect health care professionals against allegations of misconduct if the complaint is based on something seen on reality TV.

The bill is sponsored by Representative Kevin Cotter (R- Mt Pleasant). He says it came as a result of a complaint filed against Isabella County Veterinarian and star of the Nat Geo Wild show “The Incredible Doctor Pol”

“I was made aware of a problem or a situation that a constituent was facing and in this case it was Dr.Jan Pol and spent a little bit of time with him out at his clinic and he was sharing with me the situation that had come about as a result of a complaint being filed against him,” Cotter said

Cotter and Pol testified before the House committee on Health Policy, and now Cotter says the language and scope of the bill will be debated and revised. “Should someone be able to file a complaint based on what they view on a video clip that’s posted on Facebook? Should there be some requirement of firsthand knowledge beyond reality television or social media?”

Cotter says he’s still not sure whether the bill would cover all health care professionals or if web-based videos, things like YouTube and Facebook, would be included along with reality TV.

Cotter said the bill is the first of its kind that he knows of in the U.S. but he acknowledges that that is not surprising due to the newness of reality TV.