• Family Physicians Stand Against Policies That Criminalize Care, Threaten Patient-Physician Relationship

    Wednesday, April 6, 2022

    “The American Academy of Family Physicians stands firmly against any policies that unnecessarily regulate the evidence-based practice of medicine, criminalize physicians and medical care, threaten the patient-physician relationship, and inhibit the delivery of safe, timely, and comprehensive care, including reproductive health services and information and gender-affirming care.

    “Patients must be able to depend on their physicians to help them make critical decisions about their personal health. Laws and mandates that restrict or create undue burdens in accessing these services endanger patients and put those of us who provide medical care—or even offer evidence-based information—at great risk.

    “The AAFP will continue to advocate for everyone’s right to health care and to protect family physicians. This echoes our longstanding policies opposing any governmental interference in the confidential relationship between patient and physician, including those related to criminalizing medical care. To that end, the AAFP strongly urges state and federal legislators and courts to strike down any laws that jeopardize care to protect physicians and their patients.

    “Physicians must be able to practice medicine that is informed by their years of medical education, training, experience, and the available evidence, freely and without threat of punishment, harassment, or retribution. Our patients, not policymakers, must make their own medical decisions.”


    About American Academy of Family Physicians
    Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 129,600 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.