“The ‘Patient Trust Act,’ introduced this morning in the state house by Rep. Dan Frankel and in the state Senate last week by Sen. Mike Stack, is critically important legislation that would protect patients and the public health by ensuring that politics do not dictate the practice of medicine. Pennsylvania will be better off if this legislation quickly becomes law.
This common sense bill would simply establish the basic principle that government entities cannot require health care providers to care for patients in ways that are not medically appropriate, give patients information that is not medically accurate or withhold information that is medically necessary. Lawmakers in Pennsylvania and around the country have violated that basic principle hundreds of times in recent years by passing laws that require doctors to give women misleading and false information about reproductive health care, by requiring unnecessary tests and delays before patients can access abortion care, and by prohibiting doctors and other health care providers from asking or sharing information about environmental and other hazards. The National Partnership released a report last week, Bad Medicine, which found the majority of states, including Pennsylvania, have intruded in the provider/patient relationship in this way. Leading medical societies have spoken out strongly against such practices.
The legislation introduced in Pennsylvania today will help get politicians out of our exam rooms and support the practice of the high-quality medical care doctors want to provide and patients must be able to count on. Its passage should be a high priority.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.