June 24, 2022
The Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), a coalition of 48 specialty societies representing more than 800,000 physician members, strongly denounces any interference into the practice of medicine that undermines the integrity of the patient-physician relationship. Casting aside 49 years of precedent and eliminating the constitutional right of millions of Americans to make their own reproductive health decisions, the US Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has inserted the government between patients and their physicians.
The vital relationship between a patient and a physician is essential to the provision of safe, appropriate, and high-quality health care. This bond must be protected from governmental intrusion, and physicians must have the ability to recommend appropriate treatment options for their patients based on the best available evidence.
Deaths during childbirth have been increasing in the United States since 2000. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the maternal mortality rate was twice as high for Black women. Nearly two-thirds of the 700 pregnancy-related deaths that occur annually are considered preventable. Given the high rate of preventable pregnancy-related deaths for women with underlying medical conditions cared for by our specialty societies, pregnancy-related decisions must be made between patients and their physicians.
By eroding the constitutional right to privacy, this decision has the potential to restrict access to some forms of contraception and fertility treatments. Some states will also allow private citizens to take legal action against physicians, other health professionals, and their fellow neighbors who help a woman obtain reproductive health services and information.
Reproductive health decisions should be private matters, made in consultation between a patient and a physician or other health care professional, without interference from the government. CMSS opposes efforts that interfere with the practice of medicine, undermine the integrity of the patient-physician relationship, and limit access to our health care system.
Click here to review the CMSS Policy Statement “Opposing Government Interference in the Patient-Physician Relationship.”
About the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS)
The Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) is a coalition of 48 specialty societies representing more than 800,000 physicians across the house of medicine. As the national organization of specialty societies, CMSS provides a proactive platform to assess and address emerging issues across specialties that influence the future of healthcare and the patients we serve.