Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 10

M e d i c a l r e c o r d F e at u r e

Legislating Medicine
Open Letter to Pennsylvania
state legislators representing
the citizens of Berks County

G

overnment has a legitimate role to play in promoting public health and safety
as regards the practice of medicine. Important government functions include
safeguarding the public from unqualified or unscrupulous practitioners and
from unproven or harmful treatments, improving access to health care for disadvantaged
populations, tracking diseases and indicators of population health, disseminating healthrelated information, and supporting the education and training of a sufficient supply
of physicians and other health care providers. These are examples of functions widely
supported by the medical community.
When legislation intrudes on the relationship between physicians and individual
patients, or is used in an attempt to legitimize practices that are not based on widely
accepted evidence, distinguishing between legitimate promotion of public health and
unwarranted interference in the patient-physician relationship can be challenging. The
risk of unintended consequences (such as creating barriers to appropriate medical care for
certain individuals and making provision of care unduly burdensome) must be taken into
account when such legislation is proposed.
The leadership of the Berks County Medical Society would like to open a dialogue
with local legislators in order to improve understanding of our differing perspectives and
identify ways to improve the likelihood that legislation affecting the practice of medicine
will have the desired effects on public health while minimizing unintended consequences
that detract from the ability of physicians to provide individualized care in an efficient,
cost-effective manner.
In 2012, the ACP (American College of Physicians) developed a Statement of
Principles which set forth that body's views on this type of legislation from the perspective
of physicians. The summary of this Statement sets forth in some detail the concerns many
physicians share on this issue, and therefore we have attached it for your review. We ask
that you reflect on these concerns and provide some insight regarding the factors you take
into account as a legislator who must evaluate and vote on this type of legislation, perhaps
using the recent laws on the prescribing of opioids as a case in point. Please share any
ideas you may have about how we in the medical community could be more involved in
aiding the evaluation process.
By publishing your responses as part of an article on the difficulty of defining how to
draw the line between legislation needed to protect public health and that which intrudes
in a potentially harmful manner on the doctor/patient relationship, our intent is to raise
public awareness of the competing priorities and move the dialogue forward.
Thank you very much for your consideration.
Sincerely,
Editorial Board of the Medical Record, quarterly magazine of the Berks County
Medical Society
Lucy J. Cairns, MD, D. Michael Baxter, MD, Daniel B. Kimball, MD, and
Raymond C. Truex, MD

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 1
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 2
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 3
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 4
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 5
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 6
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 7
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 8
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 9
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 10
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 11
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 12
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 13
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 14
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 15
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 16
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 17
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 18
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 19
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 20
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 21
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 22
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 23
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 24
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 25
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 26
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 27
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 28
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 29
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 30
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 31
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 32
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Fall2019
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http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksMedicalRecord_Spring2019
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksMedicalRecord_Winter2019
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Fall2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2018
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http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Winter2017-18
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_Physician_Fall2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2017
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