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AMA News Room

June 9, 2015

AMA Takes Step to Further Protect Health Care Providers Following Shooting of Boston Surgeon

For immediate release:
June 9, 2015

CHICAGO—Less than six months after a Boston cardiac surgeon was fatally shot by an individual with a suspected grudge, the American Medical Association (AMA) voted today in support of a study that would look at the various ways to prevent violence against health care providers while in the workplace.

“It’s imperative that health care providers feel safe and secure while caring for their patients,” said AMA Board Chair Stephen R. Permut, M.D., J.D. “Given that there are currently no clear interventions proposed to ensure a safer and more secure environment for health care providers, the AMA is committed to taking the necessary steps to help shed light on the various protocols, procedures and mechanisms that can be put in place to do so.”

According to a study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, there have been more than 150 shootings in health care facilities in the past decade, which has prompted some states to adopt legislation banning guns in hospital settings. Another study done this past year showed that 28 percent of emergency physicians reported being physically assaulted while at work. Recent evidence also points to an increase in violent acts towards health care providers both inside and outside of the workplace.

“It’s clear that we need to explore more ways to curb the incidence of violence against America’s health care providers and this new policy puts us on the path to finding new ways to protect these individuals, who devote their lives to improving the health and well-being of their patients,” said Dr. Permut.  


Media Contact:
Stephanie S. Johnson
AMA Director, Media Relations

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