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Public Health Improvement

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Physicians are uniquely suited to advocate for the improvement of the public’s health. Your Advocacy Resource Center has developed a multipronged campaign that provides advocacy materials focused on public health issues including but not limited to: alcohol, obesity, protecting the patient-physician relationship, public safety, safe vaccination, tobacco use, women’s reproductive health, and wellness and prevention. 

The AMA offers state advocacy tools on these issues and others. 

Protecting the Patient-Physician Relationship

Over the last few years, an alarming number of states introduced legislation that attempted to prescribe or proscribe the content of information exchanged between physicians and their patients. While this issue was most evident in bills that prohibit physicians from speaking to their patients about firearms and bills aimed at restricting abortion, this issue arose when legislatures attempted to create content-specific informed consent, or prescribe mandatory end-of-life discussions, such as mandatory palliative care scripts.  However, this issue is not about guns, abortion or “death panels.”  This is about legislation that encroaches on the patient-physician relationship.

These legislative forays into the practice of medicine not only infringe on physicians’ First Amendment right to free speech, they potentially put physicians in an untenable position of risking disciplinary proceedings, criminal prosecution or abandoning ethical obligations to foster patient autonomy. More important than all of these considerations, however, is the real harm that may come to patients if these laws continue to interfere with their safety and access to the most current medical information available.

Please contact Annalia Michelman at [email protected] to discuss this campaign in more detail. 

Available documents include:

  • Issue brief: Keeping Politics Out of the Exam Room
  • Model bill: Prohibit the Criminalization in Health Care Decision-making
  • Talking points: Protecting the Patient-Physician Relationship

Public Safety Campaign Resources

Please contact Annalia Michelman at [email protected] to discuss this campaign in more detail. 

Available documents include:

  • Issue Brief: Shackling of Pregnant Prisoners
  • Issue Brief: Tanning Restrictions for Minors
  • Model Bill: Prohibit the Shackling of Pregnant Prisoners Act
  • Model Bill: Prohibit Minors Access to Indoor Tanning

Obesity

The problems associated with inadequate childhood nutrition, health and wellness have been clearly defined—approximately 17% of American children are obese, and the rates have doubled in children and tripled in teens over the past 2 decades. There is significant cause for concern given the childhood obesity epidemic, poor student nutrition, insufficient physical activity and risk of long-term health consequences.

Teaching students to live a healthy lifestyle and making school environments healthier can have a major life-long impact on the well-being of our nation’s youth. In fact, health experts agree one of the most effective ways to prevent these chronic diseases is to establish policies and programs to help children and adolescents develop healthy eating and physical activity habits they can maintain throughout their lives.

State policymakers take a variety of actions to address the nation’s growing waistlines. While some policy approaches fall largely under federal jurisdiction, others are shared with state governments.

Please contact Annalia Michelman at [email protected] to discuss this campaign in more detail. 

Available documents include:

  • Issue Brief: Addressing Childhood Obesity
  • Issue Brief: Healthy Schools
  • Model bill: Competitive School Food and Beverage Act
  • Model bill: Healthy Schools Act
  • Model bill: Menu Labeling Act
  • Talking points: Addressing Childhood Obesity
  • Talking points: Healthy Schools
  • Talking points: Menu Labeling

Available correspondence documents include:

  • AMA Letter to South Dakota Legislature supporting H.B. 1166
  • AMA Letter to New Jersey Governor supporting A.B. 3254/S.B. 602 to raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco and electronic smoking devices 

 

The AMA’s Advocacy Work to Prevent Diabetes

Find out how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the AMA are working to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

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