Arkansas high court asked to reconsider surgery referendum

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Much of the debate has focused on whether optometrists have the necessary training.

ARKANSAS (AP) — An optometrist group is asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to reconsider its Dec. 12 ruling directing Secretary of State John Thurston to count all the signatures submitted in favor of holding a referendum on a new law expanding the procedures optometrists can perform.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the new law would let optometrists perform additional procedures that currently only ophthalmologists can.

Much of the debate has focused on whether optometrists have the necessary training. The referendum’s backers believe eye surgery should only be conducted by medical doctors.

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