CMSS Policy Statement Opposing Government Interference in the Patient-Physician Relationship

The Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), the national organization of specialty societies, strongly denounces any governmental interference into the practice of medicine that undermines the integrity of the patient-physician relationship. CMSS endorsed the position outlined by specialty society leaders in the New England Journal of Medicine that opposed “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]

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. Federal and state laws should not interfere with the ability of physicians to determine appropriate treatment options for their patients based on the best available evidence. Further, legislative interference into the practice of medicine may limit communication between patients and their physicians on the strongest medical evidence and the professional medical judgment of physicians. Physicians and patients must make medical decisions together about what care is best for them.

CMSS opposes any governmental efforts that interfere with the practice of medicine and undermine the integrity of the patient-physician relationship.

Updated: February 24, 2022



[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.