Gasline Newsletter September 2009

Volume 11, No. 5

California Opt-Out Update

The last CSA update to the members on this issue was the week after the Board of Directors Meeting on September 12, 2009. At that time, the CSA Board authorized the use of funds to pursue litigation on this matter. Since then, in addition to the letter from Senator Dave Cogdill and Assemblyman Michael Villines to the Governor expressing their concerns about the opt-out, a letter was sent by Senator Tony Strickland, 19th District, outlining similar concerns. This came about through the combined efforts of personal relationships that members in CSA District 10 have with the Senator and the work of our lobbyists, the Barnabys. Although, as you will see below, these efforts have not resulted in the Governor changing course, they provide an instructive example as to what may be accomplished on a political level by personal involvement in the process.

Late last week, the CSA received the long awaited letter from one of the Governor’s attorneys, responding to our deep concerns about the legality of the opt-out and the manner in which it was done. Not surprisingly, it defended the Governor’s position on this matter. The CSA vehemently disagrees with the Governor’s lawyer’s interpretation of California Business and Professions Code regarding this matter. Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing next steps with the CMA and CSA attorneys. In the interim, demands for documents under the Public Records Act have already been served on the Governor’s office, the Board of Registered Nursing, the Medical Board of California, the Board of Chiropractic Examiners, and the State Health and Human Services Agency.

The CSA sent a formal request to the ASA for financial assistance in pursuing this lawsuit. I am happy to report that the ASA has granted us the full amount requested, which will considerably ease the burden on our resources for this litigation. However, the game is in the early stages here and every dollar helps. I urge those of you who have not yet done so to contribute to the CSA Legal Defense Fund and GASPAC to assist in this battle. The Donations page is located under the Members Area on the CSA Web Site.

CSA Fall Hawaiian Seminar

Don’t miss the CSA’s Fall Hawaiian Seminar, October 26-30, 2009, on the Garden Isle of Kauai. CSA is offering a world-class scientific program in one of the most gorgeous locations on earth. Bring the family and earn CME in the morning, and play in paradise in the afternoon. Topics will include:

What We Can Learn From Closed Claims in Obstetric Anesthesia
Echocardiography for the Non-Cardiac Anesthesiologist
Sugammadex: Do We Need It: Will We Get It?
Depth of Anesthesia and Awareness
Prevention and Management of Pediatric Cardiac Arrest
New Options to Optimize Labor and Cesarean Delivery Analgesia
How to Avoid a Lawsuit
Book your sleeping room as soon as possible on the Hyatt’s online CSA registration site at

Register Now! December 5 – Ultrasound Regional Anesthesia Workshop
A Hands-On Ultrasound for Regional Anesthesia Workshop (no more than seven per station), offered by the California Society of Anesthesiologists, will take place at the Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel on December 5, 2009. To provide the best educational experience, CSA has limited the number of participants. Workshops fill quickly! If you plan to attend, register soon to ensure you’ll get in. The cost for CSA members is $595. For details and registration, go to:

CSA Residents ... are you interested in being a model for our ultrasound workshop? For a generous stipend, free lecture, easy 4.5-hour commitment and first-hand demonstration on the equipment and procedure, contact Terrie Rowe:

Legislative Update

The most recent legislative news from William E. Barnaby Sr. and William E. Barnaby III, CSA Legislative Counsel, is posted in the members only area of the CSA Web Site ( under Legislative/Regulatory Issues. This is one of the categories under Professional and Practice Issues.

Western Anesthesia Residents Conference

The 2010 Western Anesthesia Residents Conference (WARC) will be held at the Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA, on Friday, April 30, through Sunday, May 2, 2010. It will be hosted by the Department of Anesthesiology, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. You may register online at the WARC Web Site: WARC is open to all medical student, residents, and post doctoral fellows in the field of anesthesiology. For questions about abstract submission, e-mail

Linda B. Hertzberg, M.D.

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