Guardians of the Public's Health

008 Protecting Patients and the Public by Immunizing Physicians (Amendments to C&B)

  • 15 Jun 2015 7:28 AM
    Reply # 3387049 on 3322548
    Anonymous

    2015 HOD Action:

    008, PROTECTING PATIENTS AND THE PUBLIC BY IMMUNIZING PHYSICIANS (AAPHP):

    Passed in this amended form:

    RESOLVED, That in the context of a highly transmissible disease that poses significant medical risk for vulnerable patients or colleagues, or threatens the availability of the health care workforce, particularly a disease that has potential to become epidemic or pandemic, and for which there is an available, safe, and effective vaccine, physicians and health care workers who have direct patient care responsibilities or potential direct exposure have an obligation to accept immunization unless there is a recognized medical reason to not be immunized. In such scenarios, appropriate protective measures should be taken. (New HOD Policy)

  • 30 Apr 2015 8:52 AM
    Message # 3322548
    Anonymous

    Submitted: 008 Protecting Patients and the Public by Immunizing Physicians (Amendments to C&B)

     

    Submitted by:  American Association of Public Health Physicians

     

     

    WHEREAS AMA House of Delegates policy opposes religious and philosophic exemptions from mandatory immunizations; and

     

    WHEREAS AMA Ethics policy appears to allow for such religious and philosophic exemptions when there are compelling reasons for physicians to be vaccinated; and

     

    WHEREAS immunization of physicians in the “front lines” of patient care is often directly required to protect patients; and

     

    WHEREAS virtually all physicians have contact, sufficient to transmit airborne infections, with healthcare personnel who see vulnerable patients; and

     

    WHEREAS physicians serve as examples for the protection of others, and for the protection of the public’s health; and

     

    WHEREAS our AMA House of Delegates resolved in 2013 that, “Our AMA will review and address existing inconsistencies in its policies regarding immunization exemptions”; therefore be it

     

    RESOLVED that in the context of a highly transmissible disease that poses significant medical risk for vulnerable patients or colleagues, or threatens the available of the health care workforce, particularly a disease that has potential to become epidemic or pandemic, and for which there is an available, safe, and effective vaccine, physicians have an obligation to accept immunization unless there is a recognized medical reason to not be immunized (new HOD policy).

     

     

    RELEVANT AMA POLICY

     

    H-440.970 Religious Exemptions from Immunizations

    Since religious/philosophic exemptions from immunizations endanger not only the health of the unvaccinated individual, but also the health of those in his or her group and the community at large, the AMA (1) encourages state medical associations to seek removal of such exemptions in statutes requiring mandatory immunizations; (2) encourages physicians and state and local medical associations to work with public health officials to inform religious groups and others who object to immunizations of the benefits of vaccinations and the risk to their own health and that of the general public if they refuse to accept them; and (3) encourages state and local medical associations to work with public health officials to develop contingency plans for controlling outbreaks in exempt populations and to intensify efforts to achieve high immunization rates in communities where groups having religious exemptions from immunizations reside. (CSA Rep. B, A-87; Reaffirmed: Sunset Report, I-97; Reaffirmed: CSAPH Rep. 3, A-07)

    ***

     

    E-9.133 Routine Universal Immunization of Physicians for Vaccine-Preventable Disease

    As professionals committed to promoting the welfare of individual patients and the health of the public and to safeguarding their own and their colleagues’ well-being, physicians have an ethical responsibility to take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of infectious disease in health care settings. Conscientious participation in routine infection control practices, such as hand washing and respiratory precautions is a basic expectation of the profession. In some situations, however, routine infection control is not sufficient to protect the interests of patients, the public, and fellow health care workers.

    In the context of a highly transmissible disease that poses significant medical risk for vulnerable patients or colleagues, or threatens the availability of the health care workforce, particularly a disease that has potential to become epidemic or pandemic, and for which there is an available, safe, and effective vaccine, physicians have an obligation to:

    (a) Accept immunization absent a recognized medical, religious, or philosophic reason to not be immunized.

    (b) Accept a decision of the medical staff leadership or health care institution, or other appropriate authority to adjust practice activities if not immunized (e.g., wear masks or refrain from direct patient care). It may be appropriate in some circumstances to inform patients about immunization status. (I, II) Issued June 2011 based on the report, "Routine Universal Immunization of Physicians for Vaccine-Preventable Disease," adopted November 2010.

    ***

    D-440.936 Immunization Exemptions

    Our AMA will review and address existing inconsistencies in its policies regarding immunization exemptions. (Res. 506, A-13)

     

    [Submitters note that this resolution, if adopted, would address the intent of D-440.936 by reconciling the philosophical discrepancy between H-440.970 and E-9.133.]


    Last modified: 24 May 2015 1:30 PM | Anonymous
    Moved from AMA Resolutions: 02 May 2015 2:32 PM
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