TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — In response to campaigns attempting to discredit physicians who are perceived as undermining the approved COVID-19 public health message, the Board of Directors of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) issued a Statement on Scientific Integrity in Medicine at its 78th annual meeting in Pittsburgh, Pa.

AAPS states that: “Scientific integrity is enforced through the publication of ideas, scholarly debate, and careful observation in clinical practice. The interpretation of science is not the exclusive privilege of any one disciplinary body, advisory committee, professional journal, or forensic expert. Neither the scientific method nor clinical practice require adherence to consensus, because diversity of opinion is the engine of progress. In science, hypothesis and theory are always open to revision as new evidence emerges.”

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, AAPS notes that various government agencies have launched public health campaigns to promote specific social and medical responses in attempts to enforce a manufactured public health consensus in professional speech and clinical care. Parallel campaigns have alleged that physicians deviating from these messages are guilty of “professional misconduct.” “‘Misinformation’ has become the pejorative label of choice to disparage differing opinion.”

Threats of disciplinary action, including delicensure, from some state medical boards and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), which is a private entity, have created an environment of fear, AAPS states. This impedes physicians’ ability to fulfill their ethical duties to provide fully informed consent to each individual patient. 

“No medical code of ethics has articulated a duty to practice consensus-driven medicine in the service of public health to the detriment of individual patients,” the statement reads.

“We believe it is unethical for physicians to participate in any process that impedes the free exchange of scientific and clinical ideas through public allegations of misconduct or threats of punishment.”

APS states translating medical science into individualized patient treatment plans is a key component of the clinical practice of medicine. “Calculation of medical risk and benefit for individual care is the exclusive province of a patient-physician relationship grounded in trust and fiduciary responsibility.”

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943. Its motto is omnia pro aegroto (everything for the patient).

SOURCE Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)

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