Policies include opposing government involvement in medical practice and supporting access to abortion care.
The American Medical Association (AMA) announced the adoption of several policies aimed at ensuring access to reproductive health care and opposing government involvement in the practice of medicine following the Dobbs decision.
These policies, which were adopted by the WADA House of Delegates at their interim meeting, include opposing the criminalization of pregnancy loss resulting from medically necessary care, expanding support for access to abortion care, preservation of access to abortion training for doctors in training and clarification of ethical guidelines related to the prohibition of abortion.1
Against criminalization: Recent changes to abortion laws as a result of the Dobbs This decision has led doctors and medical practices, pharmacies and insurers to restrict medically necessary care, because they could, in addition to pregnant patients, be subject to criminal prosecution for having requested or given access to such care medically. required. WADA will oppose criminal prosecution of patients and physicians in these cases.
Expand access to care: The AMA will advocate for public health programs and the coverage of these services by private insurers in order to provide wide and equitable access to abortion care. The AMA will also advocate that lawmakers codify legal protections for physicians who provide abortion care.
Preserve access to abortion training: Nearly 45% of accredited programs for obstetrics and gynecology residents are in states that have banned abortion or are likely to do so, even though the Accreditation Council for Higher Medical Education requires access to abortion training for these residents.1 WADA will advocate for the availability of abortion education and for funding institutions that provide clinical training for reproductive health services. The AMA will also support pathways for medical students, residents, and physicians to receive abortion training in other locations in cases where such training is restricted or criminalized by their home institutions.
Clarification of ethical guidance: WADA revised its Principles of medical ethics specify that doctors are authorized to perform abortions within the framework of good medical practice. This is in line with the AMA’s opposition to government intrusion into the therapeutic alliance between patients and physicians, as such intrusion prevents physicians from exercising their professional judgment and undermines their obligation to protect the well-being of their patients. The AMA will also provide support, including legal support, to physicians and medical students as appropriate, and additional resources to help physicians navigate the ethical and legal aspects of post-Dobbs time.
” Since Dobbs decision, health care in the United States has been thrown into chaos, with life or death decisions being left to hospital lawyers, patients needing care crossing state lines and uncertainty over the future of access to reproductive health care,” said the AMA President. Jack Resneck Jr, MD, in a press release.
“The AMA strongly opposes government interference in the practice of medicine, especially for well-established and medically necessary treatments. Patients and doctors need assurances that they will not be charged with crimes for medically necessary treatment.
Resneck added that these new policies will help the AMA continue its advocacy efforts and support physicians in the provision of reproductive health care, including defending them in courts and legislatures when necessary. He said, “Reproductive care is health care. It’s so easy.”
1. WADA announces new policies on reproductive health care. American Medical Association. Press release. November 16, 2022. Accessed November 18, 2022. https://www.ama-assn.org/press-center/press-releases/ama-announces-new-adopted-policies-related-reproductive-health-care#:~ :text=Under%20the%20new%20policy%2C%20the,illegal%20in%20a%20home%20institution
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