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AAMC Statement on the Patient-Physician Relationship and Reproductive Health

September 28, 2021

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MEDIA CONTACTS
Stuart Heiser, Sr. Media Relations Specialist

AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement about interference in the patient-physician relationship and access to safe and effective reproductive health care:

“The relationship between patient and physician or other provider is the basis of safe and effective health care. Any policies that interfere in that relationship put the patient at risk.

Recent state laws that limit a patient’s access to comprehensive reproductive health care by banning virtually all abortions interfere in the patient-physician relationship and override what is ultimately a physician’s professional judgment about medical care. Further, this disruption will impose a great burden on marginalized and disadvantaged populations that already suffer from poor access to quality health care.

The disturbing recent actions in some states fly in the face of decades of legal precedent established by the Supreme Court and, in one case, set a dangerous new standard by inviting third-party actors to collect wholly inappropriate bounties against physicians and other health professionals.

The chilling effect of such egregious actions intended to intimidate clinicians will extend far beyond reproductive health care to every patient seeking safe, high-quality medical care. These policies take our health care system backwards in our quest for health equity at the very time we should be redoubling our commitment to patient-centered, evidence-based care that promotes better health for people everywhere.”

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The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) is a nonprofit association dedicated to transforming health through medical education, health care, medical research, and community collaborations. Its members are all 155 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; approximately 400 teaching hospitals and health systems, including Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 70 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC leads and serves America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and the millions of individuals employed across academic medicine, including more than 186,000 full-time faculty members, 94,000 medical students, 145,000 resident physicians, and 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.