1601 N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9
Tucson, AZ 85716-3450
Phone: (800) 635-1196
Hotline: (800) 419-4777
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto

RESOLUTION 2001-2: Government Interference in Medicine

WHEREAS: The physician's first professional obligation is to his patient, not to a government agency or officer of the government; and

WHEREAS: The "Principles of Medical Ethics" of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons states "The physician should not dispose of his services under terms or conditions which tend to interfere with or impair the free and complete exercise of his medical judgment and skill or tend to cause a deterioration of the quality of medical care"; and

WHEREAS: The practice of medicine is subject to thousands of laws, regulations & policies (more than 132,000 pages of federal regulations alone) that interfere with patient communication and undermine patient trust that is crucial to the patient-physician relationship, and also interfere with the exercise of a physicians' medical judgment and cause a deterioration of the quality of medical care; and

WHEREAS: Physicians are subject to repeated and capricious government prosecution, harassment, audits, and investigations that compromise the practice of medicine; and

WHEREAS: Fear of government reprisal causes physicians to make changes in their practice or restrict medical care;and

WHEREAS: Patients are subject to a standard of care determined by government agencies rather than that determined by the physician according to his ethical principle that "I will prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to my judgment"; and

WHEREAS: Section 1801 of the Social Security Act of 1965 (PL 89-97) states that "Nothing in this title shall be construed to authorize any federal officer or employee to exercise any supervision or control over the practice of medicine..." while many laws, regulations and policies have done just that in practice; and

WHEREAS: Any measures that tend to lower the standards of medical care are unethical and immoral;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT: AAPS oppose continued and increasing government interference, supervision, and control in the practice of medicine; promote the immediate repeal of all laws, regulations, and policies that allow direct or de facto supervision or control over the practice of medicine by federal officers or employees; and call for a moratorium on any further laws, regulations, or policies that authorize government control over the practice of medicine.