Massachusetts Medical Society: How the MMS Made Headlines in 2018

How the MMS Made Headlines in 2018

By Tom Flanagan, MMS Media Relations Manager

Through 2018, news outlets covering health care stories of regional and national importance reached out for input from MMS presidents Alain A. Chaoui, MD, and Henry L. Dorkin, MD, and other members of the Society. The MMS received and facilitated more than 100 media requests. The most popular media topics included the opioid crisis, especially supervised injection facilities, provisions of the CARE Act, and the Julie Eldred case; medical aid-in-dying; the criminalization of self-induced abortion; and health care cost containment.

Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

“We don’t think the infrastructure is there to handle [involuntary 72-hour] civil commitment. We need to start the treatment in the emergency rooms, with medication-assisted therapy for instance. If we can figure out ways to get people into appropriate treatment, we have a better chance of helping with survival.”
— Henry L. Dorkin, MD, MMS past president, on Governor Baker’s proposals for the CARE Bill, NECN, January 17, 2018

Immigration Policy and Family Separation

“The medical harm children endure while subject to confinement can cause subsequent and chronic medical conditions. We denounce a zero-tolerance policy, which leads to the detention of all children who are seeking asylum.”
— Alain A. Chaoui, MD, MMS president; Boston Herald, June 23, 2018

No on Question 1

“We empathize with nurses’ concerns but cannot support a government-mandated policy that assigns arbitrary and rigid formulas for nurse-staffing ratios.”
— Lee S. Perrin, MD, president of the Middlesex District Medical Society; Lowell Sun, October 23, 2018

Decriminalizing Self-Induced Abortion

“The Massachusetts Medical Society took a new stand: women who attempt to end a pregnancy on their own should not be considered criminals.”
— Report on the vote by the MMS House of Delegates, quoting Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH, who spearheaded the resolution; WBUR, May 7, 2018

Tobacco Purchase Increase to Age 21

“The Commonwealth acted to protect our children and significantly decreased the chances that their health will one day be compromised by the harmful effects of tobacco use.”
— Alain A. Chaoui, MD, MMS president, on tobacco legislation for which the Society advocated; MassLive, July 27, 2018

Opposition to “Public Charge” Proposal

“I can in some ways empathize with the angst and uncertainty endured by those new to this country, but I cannot fathom the fear that comes with not knowing where to turn for medical help. It would devastate me to learn that one of my patients did not receive care for no reason other than they were too scared to seek it.”
— Alain A. Chaoui, MD, MMS president, on the threat to immigrants’ access to health care;, October 24, 2018

Farwell, Dr. Drazen

“We are indebted to Dr. Drazen for his visionary leadership, his unsurpassed scientific and clinical knowledge, and his deep commitment to this organization and its mission.”
— Alain A. Chaoui, MD, MMS president, on the exceptional tenure of Jeffrey M. Drazen, MD, as editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine; Boston Business Journal, September 27, 2018

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