American physicians and patients need to be informing elected officials of serious problems with access to competent, ethical, affordable medical care. They cannot rely on the American Medical Association (AMA), which claims to speak for all physicians even though less than 15 percent of physicians are members, stated Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
At its annual June House of Delegates meeting, there was extensive debate that concluded with a decision to study changes in long-standing AMA opposition to physician-assisted suicide. It is believed that many more states would enact “right to die” legislation if the AMA became “neutral” on physicians’ writing lethal prescriptions, Dr. Orient noted.
AMA headlined its sweeping new anti-gun policies, including bans on many types of guns and ammunition and licensing of all firearms owners. It also featured its politically correct positions on trendy social issues.
Absent from AMA publicity and from the inaugural address of incoming president Barbara L. McAneny, M.D., was support for patients’ “right to try”—or right to use their own money to defend their own lives by obtaining medical care independent of the ObamaCare-compliant system.
This system is increasingly constrained by big hospital/ managed care monopolies with extremely narrow networks, accountable care organizations (ACOs) that pit patients’ needs against the bottom line, and regulatory demands that are linked to “burnout” in about half the nations’ physicians. Independent physicians are being driven from practice, Dr. Orient stated.
Americans need freedom to buy reasonably priced insurance, which the Trump Administration is trying to permit through association health plans and expanded short-term plans that offer relief from unaffordable ObamaCare mandates, she suggested. The AMA opposes “skimpier” plans that compete with ObamaCare.
Dr. McAneny stated that “as healers, we will always put the needs of our patients first. We are medicine’s moral compass.”
“How ironic,” states Dr. Orient, “that organized medicine treats the Oath of Hippocrates as outmoded. Its unequivocal prohibition of physician-assisted suicide is based on the belief that physicians are healers, not killers. Moreover, the Hippocratic physician’s concern is the good of the individual patient, not population health or ObamaCare marketplaces.”
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943. It supports the natural and constitutional rights of patients and physicians; traditional, time-tested ethics; and sound economics. Its 75th annual meeting will be in Indianapolis, Oct 3-6.