By James Tillman
HOUSTON, TX, November 13, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com)—The American Medical Association (AMA), finishing its four-day biannual meeting in Houston, adopted a resolution saying that bans on same-sex “marriage” contribute to health care inequalities. They also adopted another resolution calling for a repeal of the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” (DADT) policy, saying that it is detrimental to the health of homosexuals in the military.
Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, lauded the measures as “making it clear that these discriminatory policies pose significant, real-life threats to the health and well-being of thousands and thousands of people across the country.”
The first of the two resolutions argues that “exclusion from civil marriage contributes to health care disparities,” including disparities among the children cared for by single-sex “partners.” As AMA board member Dr. Peter Carmel summarized, married couples are more likely to have health insurance, and without health insurance one has a higher risk of “living sicker and dying younger.”
The resolution therefore supports measures providing “same-sex households with the same rights and privileges to health care, health insurance, and survivor benefits, as afforded opposite-sex households.”
According to Jenny Tyree of Focus on the Family, however, the AMA's argument has the issue exactly backwards.
“We all know there are problems with health care,” she said, “so let's solve the problem of the uninsured, rather than messing with marriage.”
The other AMA resolution argues against the DADT policy, under which military recruits will not be asked about their sexual orientation, and homosexuals may serve in the military so long as they keep their inclinations secret. The AMA argued that the policy violates doctor-patient confidentiality and that it could have a “chilling effect” on the relationship between doctor and patient, because a patient could be discharged if he revealed his behavior to his doctor. And, as another AMA resolution states, “the patient's reluctance to report his or her sexual orientation and behavior can lead to failure to screen, diagnose, or treat important medical problems.”
The AMA passed the above resolution at the same time that the White House has confirmed its support of legislation removing the ban on gays serving in the military. Alexander Nicholson, executive director of the homosexualist Servicemembers United, welcomed the AMA's resolution as “yet another nail in the coffin of the flawed and outdated 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' law.”
He continued: “It should send a strong message to those who continue to blindly claim that this policy works.”
Nevertheless, Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, said that the AMA's confidentiality concerns have nothing to do with the actual 1993 law, which simply confirms a ban keeping homosexuals from serving in the military.
“The first thing that they [the AMA] ought to have done is read the actual statute,” she told OneNewsNow, “and then maybe they would have figured out what their position should be. The second mistake they made was they consulted only with the advocates of gays in the military. It would have made a lot more sense to get balanced information.”
According to Donnelly, that's not the only reason why the AMA should not have issued this resolution.
“An organization that concerns itself with health matters should know that introducing into the military people who are at high risk of HIV infection makes no sense,” she said. “For the AMA to ignore all that and listen only to an advocacy group that's looking at only part of the story really reflects very poorly on the credibility of that organization.”
During the same meeting in Houston the AMA also continued its support for President Obama's health-care reform plan and adopted a measure urging a review of marijuana's status as a controlled substance.
The influence of the AMA within the medical profession has dramatically declined in recent years because of its activist policies. In 1962, membership in the AMA peaked at 70 percent of physicians. A July 23 2009 article in the Lund Report stated “the AMA (now) only reflects, at best, one-fourth of all doctors practicing in the United States. (921,000 physicians: 236,000 AMA members).”
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