June 24, 2022
The following statement was approved by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Board of Regents concerning the United States Supreme Court decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health issued on Friday, June 24, 2022.
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has long opposed governmental interference in the clinical practice of medicine and in the privileged physician-patient relationship. The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health will allow states to eliminate access to reproductive services for women and will jeopardize the autonomy of this relationship. We are concerned that this decision will impact the availability of comprehensive and safe reproductive healthcare services.
Patients, along with their physicians, must be primarily in control of medical decisions unimpeded by government interference. All patients must be afforded the right to make individual, informed healthcare choices, including reproductive services.
Surgeons, and physicians of all specialties, must be free to practice medicine, informed by medical education, experience, and scientific evidence, without fear of the care being criminalized. Physicians must not be placed at risk of persecution or prosecution for providing patient-centered care.
Access to healthcare is essential for optimal quality and safety. The American College of Surgeons recognizes that the health of patients suffers when access to care is restricted. Moreover, when health care access is restricted, the impact is greater on those who are already underserved. Accordingly, the ACS urges the passage of legislation that ensures full access to safe reproductive healthcare for all patients.
The American College of Surgeons will always advocate for the practice of evidence-based care, and oppose any interference by the government or any other entity in the patient-physician relationship.