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DEBRA NESS – PRESIDENT, THE NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP FOR WOMEN & FAMILIES
BAD MEDICINE: HOW A POLITICAL AGENDA IS UNDERMINING HEALTH CARE...
There is a strong, bipartisan national consensus that quality care should be evidence-based and patient-centered, and should improve health outcomes. But more and more legislators in states across the country are enacting laws that mandate how health care providers (doctors, nurses, etc.) must practice medicine, regardless of the provider’s professional judgment and the needs of his or her patients. These laws undermine the high-quality, patient-centered care that health care providers want to provide and that patients need.
The new “Bad Medicine” report from the National Partnership for Women & Families looks at abortion restrictions in all 50 states, including ultrasound requirements, biased counseling, mandatory delays and restrictions on medication abortion. The laws it describes put health care providers in the position of having to choose between adhering to their ethical and professional obligations to provide high-quality care, and following laws that are not based on medical standards or patient needsThe report focuses on women’s health, but the growing trend of imposing ideology on medical care has implications for violence prevention, environmental health, and other issues as well.
Major medical organizations from the American Medical Association (AMA), to the American College of Physicians (ACP), to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), have all recognized that political interference in medical decision-making harms patient care. Health care providers should not be forced to choose between adhering to their ethical and professional obligations to provide the highest standard of care and following laws enacted in pursuit of a political agenda.
On Thursday, July 17th, Debra Ness, President of the National Partnership for Women & Families is available to you and your listeners to talk about “Bad Medicine” and how states have an appropriate role to play in regulating the medical profession -- but stepping into the exam room with an ideological agenda, overriding providers’ medical judgment and ignoring patients’ needs is unacceptable.
More About Debra Ness
For more than three decades, Debra Ness has been a strong advocate for fairness and social justice. Drawing on an extensive background in health and public policy, Ness possesses a unique understanding of the issues that face women and families at home, in the workplace, and in the health care arena. Before assuming her current role as president, she served as executive vice president of the National Partnership for 13 years. Ness has played a leading role in positioning the organization as a powerful and effective advocate for today’s women and families. Debra graduated summa cum laude from Drew University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology. After completing graduate work in social welfare and public health policy, she received her Masters of Science from Columbia University School of Social Work.