Murphy v. Board of Medical Examiners

In Murphy v. Board of Medical Examiners, 190 Ariz. 441, 949 P.2d 530 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1997), the court considered whether the Board of Medical Examiners of the State of Arizona had jurisdiction to discipline "a licensed physician whose position as medical director for a managed health care company requires him to render decisions that potentially affect patients' medical care." Murphy, 949 P.2d at 535. The court noted that Dr. Murphy was not engaged in the "traditional practice of medicine." 949 P.2d at 536. Nevertheless, the court found that Dr. Murphy substituted his medical judgment for that of the treating physicians in determining that the proposed surgical procedure was "not medically necessary." Id. In holding that the Board of Medical Examiners may discipline the license of a medical director, the court concluded, "There is no other way to characterize Dr. Murphy's decision: it was a 'medical' decision." Id.