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Society extremely disappointed
with Act 37 enactment

In a statement released Monday, the Wisconsin Medical Society expressed its extreme disappointment with Gov. Scott Walker’s action late last week to enact 2013 Wisconsin Act 37. The new law requires that a woman considering an abortion first must undergo an ultrasound – even if she doesn’t want one – and that physicians must follow specific steps mandated by lawmakers when discussing the patient’s decision.

“The Society’s disappointment with Act 37 has nothing to do with the very emotional and sensitive social issue of abortion,” the statement from Board Chair Molli Rolli, MD, and President Timothy McAvoy, MD, said. “Our disappointment rests squarely on our deep concern that this law is a direct infringement on the patient-physician relationship and injects non-evolving government mandates into medical science.”

A blog post on Forbes.com highlighted the Society’s concern about government mandates for specific medical procedures not keeping pace with the latest medical science. “Once the state begins micromanaging the practice of medicine, physicians lose the ability to nimbly respond to changes in practice guidelines as medicine evolves, with any changes then being subject to another act that amends political statutes,” blog writer David Kroll said. “The Wisconsin Medical Society clearly points out this danger, leading physicians — and patients — to rightfully fear how this precedent might influence medical care when a political majority passes legislation at odds with the modern practice of medicine.”

Doctors Rolli and McAvoy also said in the statement that “the Society believes all medical decision-making should follow only after there has been a full and confidential discussion between patient and physician, and that these medical decisions are made after an assessment of the latest medical evidence. … The Wisconsin Medical Society remains steadfast in its position that legislating what occurs in the exam room is unequivocally unacceptable.”

Back to July 11, 2013 Medigram