Head of Christian Doctors Group Quits AMA Over Pro-Abortion Advocacy

I received an announcement this morning from my dear friend, David Stevens, MD, announcing something that is coming as a surprise to many — his resignation from the AMA.

Resignations from the AMA are not really the fodder for news stories or blogs, except when the person resigning is the CEO of a national organization for Christian physicians and healthcare professionals. Dr. Stevens heads the 17,000-member Christian Medical Association, and is contending the AMA has become a pro-abortion advocacy group.

Stevens told LifeNews.com on Tuesday that he is canceling his membership in the American Medical Association as a way of publicly protesting what he says is the AMA’s control by special interests that do not represent most physicians.

The AMA has come under fire for endorsing healthcare overhaul legislation after closed-door negotiations with legislators even though it contains the largest expansion of abortion funding since Roe v. Wade.

“I can no longer associate with or support an organization that is unscientific, unprofessional and controlled by special interests,” Dr. Stevens asserted in a letter sent earlier this week to the AMA.

Stevens is also advising the organization’s 17,000 members to “carefully consider if they should continue their memberships in the AMA.” My guess is that many, if not most, will follow his lead and example.

In his letter to the doctors’ group, Stevens says the “AMA has even violated its own ethical statements in political advocacy at the behest of a vocal pro-abortion faction within AMA.”

The abortion advocacy Dr. Stevens condemns extends to the AMA position on the conscience rights of physicians.

“Your resolution on right of conscience states that the ‘AMA reaffirms that neither physician, hospital, nor hospital personnel shall be required to perform any act violative of personally held moral principles.’ Yet you have worked vigorously at the federal level to overturn the only federal regulation that protects your members from this type of discrimination,” he explained.

Stevens cited the AMA’s support of abortion and also embryonic stem cell research as examples of policies that contradict and undermine the positions of many physicians.

Stevens concluded, “In light of radical policies, it is no wonder that AMA’s membership has dropped since the 1960’s from nearly three of four practicing doctors to closer to one in five. Personally, I no longer see any hope of changing your radical positions by working from the inside.”

According to a report in LifeNews.com, while the AMA has its own set of problems, its state affiliates do as well — and may be taking conflicting positions because of a lack of leadership from the national level.

The Montana Medical Association refused to weigh in on a lawsuit seeking to legalize assisted suicide there.

Meanwhile, the Wyoming Medical Society has weighed in on various pro-life bills to limit abortions or ban assisted suicide — taking opposition positions to the bills each time.

On the other side of the coin, in August, the Wisconsin Medical Society rejected a measure that would have had the state medial group on record as supporting the practice of assisted suicide.

As a physician, ethicist and CEO of the 17,000-member Christian Medical Association, I also plan to encourage my colleagues to carefully consider if they should continue their memberships in the AMA, for the following reasons:
The AMA claims to put the needs of patients first and then meets with Senate leaders to bargain for higher physician Medicare reimbursement in exchange for support of healthcare reform legislation. This unseemly, behind-closed-doors session trades the future welfare of our patients away for physicians’ personal gain. It is a violation of the doctor-patient covenant and sells out our professional heritage.
The AMA has even violated its own ethical statements in political advocacy at the behest of a vocal pro-abortion faction within AMA. Your resolution on right of conscience states that the AMA reaffirms that neither physician, hospital, nor hospital personnel shall be required to perform any act violative of personally held moral principles. Yet you have worked vigorously at the federal level to overturn the only federal regulation that protects your members from this type of discrimination.
The AMA’s support of abortion and embryonic stem cell research that destroy life in the name of health and science violates the basic tenets of Hippocratic medicine and morality.
The AMA’s abandonment of science is illustrated in the recent endorsement of medical marijuana despite clear evidence that it is unnecessary (more effective drugs exist), unsafe (unknown quality, potency, dosage and safe delivery system), has negative health effects and serves as a gateway drug.
The AMA is controlled by special interests that do not represent the views of its members. Its recent endorsement of homosexual marriage as it caters to its GLBT faction is a glaring example of this. You have used my reputation and influence as a physician member to further a destructive attempt at social engineering that has been defeated by voters in state after state.
In light of these radical policies, it is no wonder that AMA’s membership has dropped since the 1960’s from nearly three of four practicing doctors to closer to one in five. Personally, I no longer see any hope of changing your radical positions by working from the inside.

In his letter, Dr. Stevens writes:

As a physician, ethicist and CEO of the 17,000-member Christian Medical Association, I also plan to encourage my colleagues to carefully consider if they should continue their memberships in the AMA, for the following reasons:

•  The AMA claims to put the needs of patients first and then meets with Senate leaders to bargain for higher physician Medicare reimbursement in exchange for support of healthcare reform legislation. This unseemly, behind-closed-doors session trades the future welfare of our patients away for physicians’ personal gain. It is a violation of the doctor-patient covenant and sells out our professional heritage.

•  The AMA has even violated its own ethical statements in political advocacy at the behest of a vocal pro-abortion faction within AMA. Your resolution on right of conscience states that the AMA reaffirms that neither physician, hospital, nor hospital personnel shall be required to perform any act violative of personally held moral principles. Yet you have worked vigorously at the federal level to overturn the only federal regulation that protects your members from this type of discrimination.

•  The AMA’s support of abortion and embryonic stem cell research that destroy life in the name of health and science violates the basic tenets of Hippocratic medicine and morality.

•  The AMA’s abandonment of science is illustrated in the recent endorsement of medical marijuana despite clear evidence that it is unnecessary (more effective drugs exist), unsafe (unknown quality, potency, dosage and safe delivery system), has negative health effects and serves as a gateway drug.

•  The AMA is controlled by special interests that do not represent the views of its members. Its recent endorsement of homosexual marriage as it caters to its GLBT faction is a glaring example of this. You have used my reputation and influence as a physician member to further a destructive attempt at social engineering that has been defeated by voters in state after state.

In light of these radical policies, it is no wonder that AMA’s membership has dropped since the 1960’s from nearly three of four practicing doctors to closer to one in five. Personally, I no longer see any hope of changing your radical positions by working from the inside.

It’s my hope that Dr. Stevens and the CMDA will lead the way to form a new medical association representing the views of the tens of thousands of faith- and morals-based physicians across the country.

What would I call such an association?

The Hippocratic Medical Association.

My belief is that healthcare professionals who believe in the Hippocratic Oath would flock to such an association. And, I believe patients would be comforted to know their healthcare professional was a member of such an organization.

4 thoughts on “Head of Christian Doctors Group Quits AMA Over Pro-Abortion Advocacy

  • Hope Caregivers of Montana

    Seems to me that him leaving is a good thing, and sounds like he left because “his special interest group” was not getting the attention he felt they deserved.

    Cannabis is a viable medicine, and just because doctors can’t get cut-backs (yet) from the caregivers, I am sure you’d rather prescribe them a big-pharma medicine when cannabis would more then suffice for their ailment.

    It’s all about the $$$ to doctors nowadays, unless they can rip someone off they will whine like giant babys!

  • I would disagree that marijuana is either safe or effective in the current forms in which it is sold. I’ve outlined my views in a chapter in my book, “Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook.” Here’s an excerpt:

    During the nineteenth century, medical journals and pharmacopeias recommended marijuana as an appetite stimulant, muscle relaxant, pain re- liever, hypnotic agent, and anticonvulsant. Most of marijuana’s current use centers around its ability to induce euphoria, relaxation, sexual arousal, and a general “high.” Although some would like to see marijuana legalized as a recreational drug, we will address only the controversy about its medical use.

    On the one side are those who claim marijuana should be available under medical supervision to relieve nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, to lower intraocular pressure in glaucoma, to stimulate appetite in AIDS patients who have difficulty maintaining their weight, to treat multiple sclerosis, to act as an anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant with certain spastic disorders, and to relieve chronic pain.

    On the other side of this issue are those who might agree that marijuana has some of these effects but would argue that it should still not be legalized for three reasons:

    1. More effective treatments are available for all these conditions.
    2. Marijuana, especially smoking marijuana, can have negative effects, not the least of which is dependence. For this reason, they would pre- fer that purified substances such as Marinol be used, not marijuana joints.
    3. Marijuana is believed to be a “gateway” drug. Those who use other illicit drugs have usually tried marijuana earlier. The claim is that marijuana acts as a “gateway” to these other drugs and that making it available medically would lead to patients and others trying other illicit drugs.

    The debate about whether marijuana has a legitimate medical use has similarities to the debate about other herbal remedies. Some give compelling anecdotal reports of people with cancer or AIDS or multiple sclerosis being helped by smoking mari- juana, who then have to face the anxiety and embar- rassment of obtaining marijuana from drug dealers.

    Even if its medical use were legalized, the familiar questions arise concerning quality and consistency. But this herbal debate is complicated by claims that marijuana is addictive and harmful.

    Equally compelling stories exist of people’s lives being ruined by marijuana. Some of these people started using marijuana out of curiosity or because of peer pressure. Some are concerned that legitimiz- ing the herb in any way will lead to more people get- ting hooked on it. However the legal and political situation gets resolved, the first step is to resolve the medical debate, and that centers around the results of research on marijuana and its cannabinoids.

  • Donna Smith Ullman

    I worked for Dr. Stevens’ mother while attending Asbury College. I commend him for taking his stand against abortion.

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