September 3, 2021 (Updated)

Given recent events in Texas, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) and our 45 specialty society members again denounce any legislative interference into the practice of medicine that undermines the integrity of the patient-physician relationship. In May 2021, CMSS released a statement on legislative interference (below) that was based on a prior statement in 2012. The Texas abortion law violates these principles and goes further by allowing private citizens to take legal action against physicians and others who help a woman obtain reproductive health services and information.

As we state in our policy: “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.”

Physicians and patients must make medical decisions together about what care is best for them. CMSS strongly urges the courts to stop implementation of this law and any similar legislation that interferes with the practice of medicine.

May 3, 2021

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.