Protecting reproductive health care means protecting doctors

Harm to patients and our nation’s public health caused by last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization It continues to grow and worsen. It is the use of legislators, state officials, and other third parties to influence the patient-physician relationship, hinder access to evidence-based reproductive health services, and promote care based on political ideologies rather than science. because they are trying to criminalize

An example of this interference is the incident that became a political flashpoint after the incident. Dobbs Last summer’s ruling continues to unfold. The case involved Indianapolis-based obstetrician-gynecologist Caitlin Barnard, M.S., who was accused last year of providing an abortion procedure to a 10-year-old Ohio girl who became pregnant as a result of rape. In the summer, he was targeted by Indiana Attorney General Todd Lokita. An Ohio law prohibiting abortion was in force at the time, so the girl was referred by an Ohio doctor to Dr. Barnard in Indiana. A ban in Ohio has since been put on hold.

Rokita suggested on television that Bernard had made up the whole thing and that the 10-year-old Ohio rape victim did not exist. When the facts later turned out otherwise, Dr. Bernard alleged that he had leaked sensitive patient information and had failed to comply with state reporting laws. Rokita subsequently filed an administrative complaint against Dr. Bernard with the Indiana Board of Medical Licensing, but records show Dr. Bernard failed to comply with reporting obligations set by both the Indiana Department of Health and the Indiana Department of Children’s Services. It is shown that

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More recently, a judge ruled that Rokita had irreparably damaged Dr. Barnard’s reputation and professional standing by publicly discussing the firm’s investigation into Dr. Barnard’s conduct. A Marion County, Indiana judge said such action violated Indiana state law given Rokita’s legal obligation to maintain confidentiality in the ongoing investigation.

Yesterday, Dr. Peter A. Schwartz, chair of the AMA Ethics and Judicial Affairs Council, testified on behalf of Dr. Bernard at a day-long State Licensing Board hearing. He asserted that Dr. Barnard did not share any unique identifiers or protected health information about patients, and said she had fulfilled all her ethical obligations “very well.”

Dr. Schwartz further said that given Dr. Bernard’s special expertise, he has an “obligation to speak out” on abortion and reproductive health issues at this critical time. The State Licensing Board found that Dr. Barnard complied with all reporting requirements but unfortunately violated patient privacy laws despite lacking evidence that he shared specific information. made a verdict.

Our AMA will respond

The AMA Policy emphasizes the importance of broad and equitable access to all aspects of reproductive health services, including abortion and contraception. The policy adopted by the AMA House of Representatives (HOD) does not impose criminal and civil penalties, or retaliation against patients, patient advocates, physicians, or other health care workers for providing, assisting with patient referrals, or providing these services. I object.

HOD, representing a broad and diverse group of physicians from all states and specialties, also confirmed the guidance found in the AMA. Code of medical ethics Physicians should have the discretion to act according to their best professional judgment when the provision of law prohibits urgently needed medical care. In the context of abortion, this guidance clarifies that physicians are expressly authorized to perform abortions in line with sound medical practice.

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This position is a long-established position that opposes government or other third-party intervention in the patient-physician relationship because it conflicts with the physician’s primary fiduciary duty to protect the health and well-being of the patient. It is based on the policy of the AMA that has been

HOD also argues that physicians are right when they move between their ethical obligation to put the health and well-being of their patients above all other considerations and recklessly newly adopted legal requirements. Directed the AMA to develop new strategies and resources to help find direction and make the right decisions. Criminalize evidence-based care. This support also includes legal assistance if required.

Our ethical obligation is to help patients choose the treatment that is best for them through shared decision-making that is informed by evidence and informed by patient autonomy. Anything less puts patients at risk and undermines both medical practice and the health of our nation.

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