Mass. Medical Society Physicians Adopt New Resolutions

WALTHAM — Resolutions on end-of-life care, the age to purchase tobacco products, bicycle helmets, medical marijuana, and care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients were among those adopted as new policies by the physicians of the Mass. Medical Society (MMS) at its interim meeting held on Saturday, Dec. 6.
The interim meeting brings together hundreds of Massachusetts physicians from across the state to consider specific resolutions on public health policy, healthcare delivery, and organizational administration by the society’s House of Delegates, its policy-making body. Resolutions adopted by the delegates become policies of the organization.
Among the policies adopted by the organization:
Physicians adopted a set of principles for end-of-life care to include whole-person care, containing physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs; the integration of health care and long-term social services; basic palliative care; public awareness to encourage advance care planning; and informed preferences of care in line with a person’s values, goals, condition, circumstances, and needs.
Delegates voted to encourage state government to impose strict penalties for the sale of tobacco and e-cigarette products to persons under age 21 and to support funding of a statewide anti-tobacco campaign, including pursuing dedicated funding for nicotine addiction treatment programs for all ages.
Responding to the soaring increase in bicycle use and the fact that head injuries are reduced anywhere from 68{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} to 85{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} with helmet use, physicians agreed to petition for legislation to change bicycling laws so that everyone, regardless of age, would wear a helmet and also be encouraged to wear highly visible clothing during daylight and darkness.
In the “interests of public health and patient safety and physician protection under state and federal laws,” physicians voted to write to federal officials expressing the urgency to reclassify marijuana to accommodate appropriate scientific research and quality control.
The MMS approved a three-year pilot program to establish annual grants for medical students, residents, and fellows to be used for curriculum development or research that addresses lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health disparities. Up to $16,000 each year will be available for grants.
The Mass. Medical Society, with more than 24,000 physicians and student members, is dedicated to educating and advocating for the patients and physicians of Massachusetts. The society, under the auspices of NEJM Group, publishes the New England Journal of Medicine, a leading global medical journal and website, and NEJM Journal Watch alerts and publications covering 13 specialties. The society is also a leader in continuing medical education for healthcare professionals throughout Massachusetts, conducting a variety of medical-education programs for physicians and healthcare professionals. Founded in 1781, MMS is the oldest continuously operating medical society in the country.

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