• Family Physicians Encouraged SCOTUS Decision Safeguards Access to Care

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 27, 2024

    Julie Hirschhorn
    AAFP Public Relations

    Statement attributable to:
    Steven P. Furr, MD, FAAFP
    American Academy of Family Physicians

    “The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is encouraged that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the case State of Idaho v. United States upholds the Emergency Medical Treatment & Active Labor Act (EMTALA), which helps physicians treat patients in life-threatening medical situations, including pregnant patients in distress. While we support the outcome of today’s opinion, access to care is still at risk, as EMTALA continues to be questioned in the country’s legal system.

    “Family physicians form long-lasting relationships with their patients and provide comprehensive care before, during, and after pregnancy. Pregnant people should receive life-saving medical care, including in emergency situations. This ruling will preserve patient access and safety while ensuring that physicians can practice medicine informed by their years of medical education, training, and experience and by the available evidence, without fear of criminal liability.

    “The AAFP will continue to advocate for everyone’s right to health care and work to close equity gaps while opposing any governmental interference in the confidential relationship between patient and physician.”


    About American Academy of Family Physicians
    Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 130,000 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits — that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. To learn more about the specialty of family medicine and the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, visit www.aafp.org. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s consumer website, www.familydoctor.org.