American Academy of Family Physicians supports freedom of conscience

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) passed a resolution at a meeting in Philadelphia supporting freedom of conscience for physicians.  Resolution 507 (Physician Conscience Protection Rights) was proposed by the Florida chapter as a result of concerns about freedom of conscience generated by federal health care reforms.  The Congress of Delegates agreed that hysicians should be able to practise in accordance with their conscientious convictions, “without resulting in loss of licensure or significant financial penalty.”  Current policy of the organization is that physicians who are “uncomfortable” providing contraception should refer patients to colleagues willing to provide “the education and/or service.”  [MedPage Today]


American Academy of Family Physicians President comments on obligations

Richard G. Roberts, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, is reported to have said that physicians do not have a “statutory, constitutional or ethical” duty to perform procedures to which they object, but that the medical profession has an obligation to help patients access necessary legal services. The remarks appear to distinguish between personal and corporate obligations.