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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: February 24, 2014 11:35 AM
From: Representative Dan Frankel
To: All House members
Subject: Patient Trust Legislation

In the near future I will introduce the Patient Trust Bill to protect patients and providers from inappropriate, unscientific legislative intrusion into medical decision-making. My legislation would protect the patient-provider relationship from statutory directives to practice care in a manner that is not in accordance with the standard of care.

Physicians and other health care providers are trained to provide medical care. Their job is not to care for the political agenda of elected leaders. Unfortunately, in recent years, politicians have increasingly passed legislation that directs medical care providers about how to practice, making decisions in the state Capitol that should only be made in the exam room. In a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the leaders of five major medical associations decried this trend toward politicization of medical decision making:

- Some recent laws and proposed legislation inappropriately infringe on clinical practice and patient– physician relationships, crossing traditional boundaries and intruding into the realm of medical professionalism. We, the executive staff leadership of five professional societies that represent the majority of U.S. physicians providing clinical care — the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and the American College of Surgeons — find this trend alarming and believe that legislators should abide by principles that put patients’ best interests first. Critical to achieving this goal is respect for the importance of scientific evidence, patient autonomy, and the physician-patient relationship (NEJM, Oct 18, 2012).

I hope you will join me in support of this important legislation. Please note that this legislation is being introduced as part of the Agenda for Women’s Health.

Introduced as HB2303