The following statement was approved by the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident and Student Association (AAEM/RSA) Board of Directors concerning the United States Supreme Court decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health issued on Friday, June 24, 2022.
The AAEM Women in Emergency Medicine (WiEM) Section is deeply concerned by the Supreme Court decision regarding Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (reversing Roe v. Wade) and its impact on healthcare in the United States. Regardless of political belief or religious affiliation, patient autonomy is of utmost importance in delivering equitable, ethical medical care. Removing the informed consent discussion between physician and patient and eliminating personal autonomy in favor of laws created by non-physicians violates this tenet of medical ethics.
Additionally, as the frontline access to medical care in the United States, we, along with our colleagues in Obstetrics-Gynecology and other specialties, will face new hardships in patient care when abortion is legally restricted in many states. Several of the proposed new laws have challenged the ability of physicians to provide safe care, including in the case of ectopic pregnancies and when the life of the woman is threatened. Others have indicated potential criminal liability for providing the care that we undertake every day.
Reproductive decisions, like other medical decisions, should be made between a physician and a patient only.