CMSS Statement on Legislative Interference

The vital relationship between a patient and a physician is essential to the provision of safe, appropriate, professional, and high-quality medical care, and this bond should be protected from unnecessary governmental intrusion. The Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) and its 45 member specialty societies oppose legislative interference into the practice of medicine.

Several recent and proposed state laws interfere with the ability of physicians to determine appropriate treatment options for their patients based on the best-available evidence. Further, legislative interference may limit communication between patients and their physicians on the strongest medical evidence and the professional medical judgment of physicians.

Almost a decade ago, CMSS endorsed the position outlined by specialty society leaders in the New England Journal of Medicine that “recent laws and proposed legislation inappropriately infringe on clinical practice and patient-physician relationships, crossing traditional boundaries, and intruding into the realm of medical professionalism.”[1]

Today, professional organizations across medical specialties again denounce legislative efforts to undermine the integrity of the patient-physician relationship.

[1] Weinberger SE, Lawrence HC 3rd, Henley DE, Alden ER, Hoyt DB. Legislative interference with the patient-physician relationship. N Engl J Med. 2012 Oct 18;367(16):1557-9. doi: 10.1056/NEJMsb1209858. PMID: 23075183.