In my new Spotlight report on occupational licensing, “Guild By Association,” I examine among other things the primary justification of the boards; namely, that they are necessary for public safety. I discussed how the boards can also work to the detriment of public safety:

The higher costs to obtain a license could keep out new entrants with new, safer innovations. So could a board hewing to a strictly enforced standardization of practices. There is also the risk of a mismatch between licensing standards, training requirements, and the actual needs of the work, giving consumers an impression of competence that may not be warranted. Another risk is that of a club mentality developing among licensees and boards (especially those comprising fellow licensed practitioners), whereby they end up protecting rather than punishing wrongdoers.

It seems the NC Medical Board has such a club mentality. It has closed its investigation into dangerous testing on human subjects at UNC. Click here (or watch here) for more information:

The testing involved having subjects inhale diesel emissions containing fine particles called PM2.5 that the EPA has labeled as deadly. UNC, in their communications with subjects, gave no hint of the EPA’s claimed dangers from inhaling these fumes. … The story notes that, “the EPA parked a diesel truck next to a UNC building and pumped the diesel exhaust into a glass chamber, where patients unknowingly inhaled the lethal fumes for up to two hours.”

In response to the medical board’s lack of stated rationale for dismissing the charge, Milloy identified and listed “at least seven members of the 12-member board have identifiable and potential conflicts of interest. Four are alumni of UNC (2 School of medicine, 2 School of Law); two are faculty members at the UNC School of Medicine; and one is a State political appointee.”

If the medical board actually protects the safety of North Carolinians, would it be too much for them to give at least the appearance of concern over 18-year-olds unknowingly spending hours being made to breathe diesel fumes that the testing organization has already declared to be deadly?