Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 04/08/2019  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  MMA Committee Releases Updated Policy Statement on Physician-Assisted Suicide Before Legislature's Debate of Issue
•  Maine School Immunization Rates Continue Downward Trend, Pertussis Rises
•  Federal Judge to Hold Hearing on CVS-Aetna Merger in May
•  Kentucky Physicians Pass Bill to Fix Prior Authorization. Will Maine Do the Same?
•  This Week's Public Health Updates from the AMA
•  Maine Independent Clinical Information Service 2019 Presentations
•  2019 Mary Cushman, MD Award for Exceptional Humanitarian Service as a Medical Volunteer
•  MMA Legislative Call Tuesday, April 9th
•  State House Highlights of the Week: Tobacco, Tanning, and Public Health in HHS; Short-Term Health Plans and Consumer Assistance in HCIFS
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  NAMI Maine’s Beyond the Basics in Suicide Prevention Conference - Friday, April 12, 2019
•  22nd Maine Pain Symposium on May 1 8am-4:30pm at University of New England
•  April 24 - Meeting Medicare's Quality Payment Program Requirements: Overview & Assistance
•  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!
•  Medical Director - Maine Mobile Health Program
•  Board Certified Family Physician - Newport, RI
•  Psychiatric Mental Health NP - Leeds
•  Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician – Bangor, Maine
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
•  Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health


MMA Committee Releases Updated Policy Statement on Physician-Assisted Suicide Before Legislature's Debate of Issue

An ad hoc committee established by the MMA Board of Directors, chaired by Past President and emergency physician Charles Pattavina, M.D., has drafted a Statement that will be presented for consideration by the Board at a regular business meeting on April 24th and will be shared with the Health & Human Services Committee on Wednesday, April 10th when the Committee considers L.D. 1313, An Act to Enact the Maine Death with Dignity Act.



The MMA has had a policy position in opposition to Physician-Assisted Suicide since a resolution adopted at the Annual Session on September 9, 2000 in anticipation of a question on the November 7, 2000 General Election ballot. Maine voters defeated the question. Since that referendum question, the Maine legislature has considered a bill on the topic every two years. In periodic polling, the MMA has observed an evolution in physician opinion on this topic which is reflective of evolving public opinion generally. The physician community appears as divided as the public at large, based on recent MMA polling.

In the wake of the legislature's debate on this topic in the last legislature, the MMA Board of Directors established an ad hoc committee of members interested in the issue to reconsider the MMA's policy on this issue. The result of several years of work by this committee is the draft Statement recently posted in the Spotlight Section of the MMA web site. The MMA Board of Directors will consider this Statement during its regular business meeting on Wednesday, April 24th. 

Charles Pattavina, M.D., an emergency physician and Past President of MMA who chaired the ad hoc committee, will present the MMA's testimony at the public hearing on L.D. 1313 this Wednesday morning. The MMA encourages any interested member or non-member physician to express an opinion to the HHS Committee on Wednesday, to the MMA Board on 4/24, or to both. The public hearing before the Joint Standing Committee on Health & Human Services will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 10th in Room 209 of the Cross State Office Building in Augusta.

If you have any questions about participating in the debate on this important issue, please contact Andrew MacLean, Interim CEO, at or by cell phone at 207-215-7462.