May 6, 2019

In This Issue
MMA and Leading Medical Associations Hail Ruling in Maine Case Over Medication Assisted Treatment in Jail
Eat, Sleep, Console Update
Tick Aware and Tick Alert - May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Maine
Trump Administration Reveals New Refusal Options for Healthcare Personnel
Alfond Leaders Program Seeking More Applicants for Student Debt Relief - Applications Being Accepted Through May 15
Federal Judge Agrees with AMA, Strikes Down Gag Rule
This Week's Public Health Updates from the AMA
Experts Fear Rising Number of Unvaccinated Children Will Lead to More Measles Outbreaks
Free MAT Training at CMMC June 1
Lawrence B. Mutty, M.D., M.P.H., 1934-2019; MMA President 2004-2005
MMA Legislative Call Tuesday, May 7th
Vaccine Vote Drama and Other State House Highlights of the Week
Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
Cumberland County Physicians: Join the MMA at the Foreside Tavern in Falmouth on Thursday, May 16
Treatment & Prevention of Medical & Mental Health Emergencies -Substances & Gun Violence -May 17 & 18
Quality Counts: Rapid Induction Starting in the ED (RISE) Training, Webinars, ECHO Program
"Trust Me, I’m a (Certified) Doctor: Innovations and Improvements in Maintenance of Certification” - Thursday, May 23
MICIS 2019 Clinical and Legal Opioid Update - May 29 in Brewer, June 5 in Augusta
MaineGeneral Xwaiver Training for Staff - June 3
The Maine Concussion Management Initiative Will Be Offering Training Programs – June 21 and October 29
Assessing and Managing Non-Suicidal Self-Injury and Suicide Risk in Healthcare Settings - 3 Hour CME Training for Healthcare Professionals at MMA on Friday, June 21, 2019
2019 Mary Cushman, MD Award for Exceptional Humanitarian Service as a Medical Volunteer
Maine Independent Clinical Information Service 2019 Presentations
BC/BE Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Physician
BC/BE Family Medicine Physician or Experienced Family Nurse Practitioner
Gastroenterology Lead Physician - Bangor, Maine
Physician for Maine Maritime Academy Summer Training Cruise
Internal Medicine Outpatient Physician
Mid Coast Maine - Adult Psychiatrist and/ Psychiatric NP/PA Opportunity
Family Medicine Opportunity in Beautiful Western Maine
PCHC in need of Pediatrician for Brand New Pediatric Center!
Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician – Bangor, Maine
Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health

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MMA and Leading Medical Associations Hail Ruling in Maine Case Over Medication Assisted Treatment in Jail

Leading national and New England-based medical associations joined together to applaud a federal appeals court ruling that a Maine jail must provide a woman with medication assisted treatment for her substance use disorder while she serves a 40-day sentence. The ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston upheld an earlier ruling from the federal district court in Maine. The Maine Medical Association also joined in the amicus curiae brief for the trial court.

Over a dozen leading medical associations asked to file an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit. The appeals court affirmed the lower court ruling without the need for oral argument or further briefing.

Medical experts and addiction specialists from those associations hailed the appeals court decision, calling it an incredibly important step in the fight to end the opioid crisis that will reduce pain and suffering and save lives. Citing this momentum, they called on corrections facilities around the nation to begin providing necessary care to people in their custody who have substance use disorders.

Robert Schlager, MD, President of the Maine Medical Association:

“The Maine Medical Association is very pleased with the decisions of both the US District Court and the Court of Appeals. Both Courts recognize the fact that substance use disorder is a major health problem that requires ongoing treatment. Any withholding of necessary treatment from a person involved in the process of recovery is not good for the individual nor does it further the goals of the correctional system. We thank the ACLU for their excellent work on behalf of evidence-based health care in Maine.”

Barbara L. McAneny, MD, President of the American Medical Association:

“The American Medical Association strongly supports treatment decisions being made between patients and their physician. Patients with the chronic relapsing disease of opioid use disorder deserve comprehensive, medically based care — whether in the community or in a correctional setting. The ruling in Maine is a victory for ensuring patients receive that care.”

Maryanne C. Bombaugh, President of the Massachusetts Medical Society:

“Persons in Massachusetts with a history of incarceration have a 120 times higher risk of opioid-related overdose death than the general population. To then appreciate the lack of comprehensive treatment in these settings, we knew that we must think broadly and creatively about all options to urge expanded treatment for substance use disorder. We are thankful to all collaborators on this and other related cases to move towards our vision for full-spectrum, low-barrier treatment for all vulnerable populations with substance use disorder, including those in incarcerated settings.”

Paul Earley, MD, DFASAM, President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine:

“The American Society of Addiction Medicine is thrilled that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed a preliminary injunction granted by the District Court of Maine to allow an individual to continue to receive medication to treat her opioid use disorder while incarcerated. It is incredibly important to offer all forms of medications for the treatment of addiction to patients in the criminal justice system who are diagnosed with an OUD to improve patient outcomes and reduce overdose deaths.” 

Audrey Kern, MD, FSAM, President of the Northern New England Chapter American Society of Addiction Medicine:

“As we work to end the opioid crisis, now the worst epidemic in US history, we have to acknowledge addiction as a brain disease, not a moral failing, and as worthy of treatment as other medical illnesses. This ruling will go a long way toward ending stigma, and provide care by meeting those in need of treatment where they are, ultimately saving countless lives.”

Michael F. Bierer, MD, MPH, President of the Massachusetts Society of Addiction Medicine:

“Denying necessary care to people with substance use disorders risks pain, suffering, and even fatal overdose. Having experienced the professional and personal heartache of these consequences all too often, we support efforts to assure humane and effective care for people with substance use disorders who become incarcerated. This decision will effect lasting positive changes on our patients' health and lives.”

Joel Goloskie, Senior Counsel, and Meagan Thomson, Associate Counsel, at Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC, who authored the amicus brief on behalf of the medical associations:

“We cannot overstate the contribution of these 13 prestigious institutions, both in the research they’ve provided and the gravitas they’ve brought to this cause. We are honored to have their support.”     

The American Medical Association, American Society for Addiction Medicine, Maine Medical Association, Connecticut Society for Addiction Medicine, Connecticut State Medical Society, Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians, Massachusetts Medical Society, Massachusetts Society of Addiction Medicine, New Hampshire Medical Society, Northern New England Society for Addiction Medicine, Rhode Island Medical Society, Rhode Island Society for Addiction Medicine, Vermont Medical Society, and several individual experts all filed motions for leave to file an amicusbrief in the case.

More about the case, including the appeals court ruling, is here: https://www.aclumaine.org/en/cases/smith-v-aroostook-county



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