The American Medical Association doesn’t usually get involved in political debates. They are impartial in part because their membership includes doctors whose political beliefs are all over the place, so they stay in their lane.
And yet the AMA is now suing North Dakota to block two different anti-abortion laws from going into effect.
Are they changing their policy of staying on the sidelines? Not at all. They say they’re wading into this issue because the two laws would require doctors to lie to patients, and that’s an ethical breach they refuse to accept.
The first law requires doctors to tell patients who took the first of two abortion pills that they can still stop the procedure. That’s not necessarily true and there’s no scientific evidence that “abortion reversals” work. So this law would have doctors telling patients something that has never been confirmed.
The second law requires doctors to tell patients that abortions terminate “the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” That’s a conservative opinion, not a medical fact, and the AMA said they don’t want doctors functioning “as the mouthpiece of the state.”
It’s the second time this year the AMA has taken legal action on an abortion-related issue. In March, the group filed a lawsuit in Oregon in response to the Trump administration’s new rules for the federal family planning program. Those rules would, among other things, ban doctors and other health professionals from referring pregnant patients for abortions.
“The Administration is putting physicians in an untenable situation, prohibiting us from having open, frank conversations with our patients about all their health care options — a violation of patients’ rights under the [AMA] Code of Medical Ethics,” wrote then-AMA President Barbara McAneny.
We’ll see if the lawsuits are successful, but it’s a welcome sign that the AMA is fighting back against ideological politicians who care more about faith-based fiction rather than science and health care.
If the experts remain silent, the ignorant voices will win out. It’s about damn time the AMA jump into the battlefield to defend the doctor-patient relationship.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Scott for the link)