PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION RESOLUTION SUPPORTING PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE BILL NO. 1105, PRINTER'S NO. 2288, WHICH WOULD PROHIBIT LAWS THAT FORCE DOCTORS TO PROVIDE MEDICALLY INACCURATE INFORMATION OR TREATMENT

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association has a long history of supporting legislation and policies that promote equality, civil rights and fair treatment for all, including protecting the rights of women and interests of medical professionals and their patients;

WHEREAS, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians and American College of Surgeons, "politicians are increasingly overstepping their boundaries by considering and enacting unprecedented numbers of measures that inappropriately infringe on clinical practice and patient-physician relationships and improperly intrude into the realm of medical professionalism, often without regard to established, evidence-based care guidelines." The New England Journal of Medicine, October, 2012;

WHEREAS, the type of statutes being enacted prohibit providers from communicating important health information, mandate unnecessary procedures or outdated modes of care, and force doctors to give patients substandard, ideologically driven care;

WHEREAS these type of statutes undermine high-quality care, public health, and patient confidence that their doctor's advice is rooted in scientific consensus and clinical experience;

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania Act 13 of 20121, limits the right of health care providers to use toxic fracking chemical information except to treat their specific potentially exposed patient -- by cloaking toxic chemical information as trade secrets and mandating a confidentiality agreement from the provider limiting use of that information to that patient -- thereby restricting their public health obligations to protect third parties from harm from exposure to such chemicals;

WHEREAS, Florida enacted a law that restricts health care providers from counseling patients about gun safety despite the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation of such counseling to help prevent unintentional shooting deaths, especially by and of children, which has been upheld in court in the face of a First Amendment challenge;

WHEREAS, Kansas, Mississippi, and Texas have laws requiring health care providers to give or refer women to state mandated medically inaccurate information that falsely asserts a link between abortion and breast cancer;

WHEREAS, Arizona and Arkansas adopted laws requiring providers to tell patients that medical abortion is "reversible," an assertion without any medical basis;

WHEREAS, thirteen states require health care providers to perform an ultrasound before performing an abortion regardless of the medical need;

WHEREAS, the Patient Trust Act, House Bill No. 1105, Printer's No. 2288, prohibits laws that force doctors to provide medically inaccurate information or treatment or gag them from sharing accurate relevant medical information. Specifically, the Patient Trust Act prohibits mandates that force doctors to provide a patient with information that is not medically accurate or medically appropriate, or provide a medical service in a manner that is not evidence-based and appropriate for the patient. "Medically accurate" is defined as information that is verified or supported by the weight of peer-reviewed medical research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods; recognized as correct and objective by leading medical organizations with relevant expertise; or recommended by or affirmed in the medical practice guidelines of a nationally recognized accrediting organization;

WHEREAS, this legislation is supported by major medical associations in Pennsylvania, including the Pennsylvania chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (representing 1,300 physicians across the Commonwealth), Pennsylvania Association of Certified Nurse-Midwives, and Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians, as well as the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, CeasefirePA, and Penn Environment;

WHEREAS, consumers of health care are entitled to receive medically accurate and appropriate information about their health.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association urges the General Assembly to enact, and the Governor to sign, House Bill No. 1105, Printer's No. 2288, or similar legislation;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chancellor or the Chancellor's designee are authorized to take all necessary steps to effectuate this resolution, including communicating the Philadelphia Bar Association's position on House Bill No. 1105, Printer's No. 2288, or similar legislation, to the Governor, the General Assembly, the media and the public.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: January 21, 2016

1 Act of June 17, 2013, P.L. __, No. 2013-13, 58 Pa.C.S. Chapter 33.