November 10, 2009, delegates to the AMA interim session approved resolutions recommending that the AMA oppose same sex marriage bans, urge redefinition of marriage under federal and state laws. They also recommend the ending of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the military.
“Report 1” – “REPORT 1 OF THE COUNCIL ON SCIENCE AND PUBLIC HEALTH (I-09), Health Care Disparities in Same-Sex Households,” is only published in the “members only” access, in advance of publication in a “peer reviewed journal.” There is a specific request *not* to publish the report. However, for those of you who would like to review the report, let me know and I’ll forward the pdf.
Report 1 tells us that, according to census data, approximately one third of people living in same sex relationships are uninsured, while also noting that slightly less than 1% of the US population lives in same sex households. The Reference Committee report states that “Adoption of this report further strengthens AMA policy in support of issues impacting same-sex households.”
The AMA currently recommends that members be aware of and work to prevent possible health care disparities among men and women who live in same sex partnerships. However, by adopting this report, the delegates have now apparently voted to encourage a wide-spread untried and potentially unhealthy social experimentation by calling for the redefinition of marriage on behalf of 0.33% of our population in order to “support measures providing same-sex households with the same rights and privileges to health care, health insurance, and survivor benefits, as afforded opposite-sex households.”
Surely, the same goal can be achieved without demanding that all States and the Federal Government change their definition of marriage. It appears that even the State of Washington, which just voted to afford the same rights of marriage to same-sex couples, did not go far enough to make the radicals happy.
The resolution concerning "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" originally asked that the AMA oppose using any disclosure to a health care professional for dismissal. However, the reference committee recommended and the HOD approved, a substitute resolution that goes far beyond support for patient confidentiality in health care:
"HOD ACTION: Substitute Resolution 917 adopted.
"REPEAL OF “DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL”
"RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association advocate for repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the common term for the policy regarding gay and lesbian individuals serving openly in the U.S. military as mandated by federal law Pub.L. 103-160 and codified at 10 U.S.C. § 654, the title of which is "Policy concerning homosexuality in the armed forces.""
It’s getting harder and harder to tell myself that I must continue my AMA membership in order to make a difference with in the organization. I’m beginning to be afraid that by adding to their numbers, I’m part of the problem, rather than a help.