This is a move in the right direction, but my feeling is that it’s too little and too late. If the practices they oppose are so important to them, why did these groups wait over three full years to speak up?
It looks like they were cowering in the shadows until other, much more courageous, doctors were already speaking up.
Our organizations are firmly opposed to efforts in state legislatures across the United States that
- inappropriately interfere with the patient-physician relationship,
- unnecessarily regulate the evidence-based practice of medicine and, in some cases,
- even criminalize physicians who deliver safe, legal, and necessary medical care.
It’s nice that these folks are finally jumping on the resistance bandwagon, but I deplore their cowardly “wait until someone else goes first” mentality. Their first concern is clearly not the quality of patient care.
Our organizations represent more than 560,000 physicians and medical students serving on the front-lines of health care.
They certainly have not been on the front-line of patient care because they didn’t oppose these draconian pain relief restrictions until now.
We care for patients in communities across America over the course of their lives, including when they need to make critical decisions about their futures and families.
The insertion of politics between patients and their physicians undermines the foundation of trust this relationship is built on and inhibits the delivery of safe, timely, and comprehensive care.
Their silence in the face of the atrocities to which patients have been subjected has completely broken the “doctor-patient trust”. I trust my personal doctor who has continued prescribing opioids, and by association, I trust the medical group that has allowed her to continue doing so, but doctors in general? No way.
Their acquiescence to “go along” and torture their patients as directed by politicians tells us exactly where they stand in terms of patient welfare.
Outside interference endangers our patients’ health by limiting, and sometimes altogether eliminating, access to medically accurate information and to the full range of health care.
They speak as if they hadn’t colluded with such directives for three endless years… and there will be more to come. Undoing what they have done could take years.
Physicians should never face imprisonment or other penalties for providing necessary care. These laws force physicians to decide between their patients and facing criminal proceedings.
And we all know which way they decided. I’m sorry for the bind they were put in, but I’m disgusted at how little protest there has been until now.
If I were a doctor facing such directives from non-medical DEA/administration/agency “officials”, I might acquiesce just enough to stay out of jail, but I would raise a fierce and persistent ruckus with the people forcing me to commit such “medical crimes”.
When my “management” asked to perform my job in a way that “screwed” my customers (users of the computer systems I administered) I protested so strongly I was slated to be fired (but had luckily already planned my exit).
Physicians must be able to practice medicine that is informed by their years of medical education, training, experience, and the available evidence, freely and without threat of criminal punishment.
I notice there’s not one word about patient welfare in this whole document, only fear of punishment for themselves.
Our health care system faces many challenges. We call on policymakers to partner with us to advance policies that protect the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship, expand access to timely, evidence-based health care, and eliminate health disparities in our nation.
They have no standing to call on anyone for anything after their own years of collaboration and have no right to claim the high road after years of wallowing in the mud of cowardly collusion.
This declaration was “signed” by these physician groups:
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American College of Physicians
- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- American Osteopathic Association
- American Psychiatric Association