June 10, 2013 — The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on Friday issued a statement urging lawmakers to stop interfering with the physician-patient relationship by requiring physicians to do or say certain things or prohibiting certain practices, CQ HealthBeat reports.
ACOG President Jeanne Conry said the organization's executive board was compelled to issue the statement because of a "relentless legislative assault on the patient-physician relationship," particularly the "disproportionate number of these types of laws [that] are aimed at women's reproductive rights and the physicians [who] provide women's health care services."
The statement specifically denounces several types of laws, including those that tell physicians what to say to women about breast cancer risk and breast density, those that mandate outdated abortion treatment protocols, and those that require women to undergo ultrasounds and view the images before having an abortion.
ACOG in the statement acknowledges that laws can promote public health and help provide for medical services, but it cautions that "laws that veer from these functions and unduly interfere with patient-physician relationships are not appropriate."
"As physicians, we are obligated to offer the best evidence-based care to our patients," Conry said, adding, "Government should stay out of imposing its political agenda on medical practice" (Adams, CQ HealthBeat, 6/7).