(June 24 2022)

Arizona Academy of Family Physicians (AzAFP) Policy Statement on Protecting the Patient-Physician Relationship

The AzAFP has grave concerns about laws that interfere in the confidential relationship between a patient and their physician. The AzAFP fundamentally opposes the unprecedented ability for private citizens to take legal action against a physician who aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion based on a suspicion. The AzAFP opposes external interference in the patient-physician relationship (AzAFP BOD action Fall 2021).

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Related Policies – as a state chapter of the AAFP, the AzAFP policies align with the following AAFP policies:

  • Reproductive Decisions:The AAFP encourages family physicians to provide patient education on contraceptive options to avoid unintended pregnancies. In the event of an unintended pregnancy, family physicians should educate patients about all options.
  • Infringement on Physician-Patient Relationship:The AAFP opposes legislation that infringes on the content or breadth of information exchanged within the patient physician relationship because of the potential harm it can cause to the health of the individual, family, and community.
  • Criminalization of the Medical Practice: The AAFP will take all reasonable and necessary steps to ensure that medical decision-making and treatment, exercised in good faith, does not become a violation of criminal law.
  • Reproductive and Maternity Health Services:The AAFP supports a woman’s access to reproductive and maternity health services and opposes non-evidence-based restrictions on medical care and the provision of such services.
  • Coverage for Reproductive Decisions: The AAFP endorses the principle that women receiving health care paid for through health plans funded by state or federal governments who have coverage for continuing a pregnancy also should have coverage for ending a pregnancy.
  • Training in Reproductive Decisions:The AAFP supports the concept that no physician or other health professional shall be required to perform any act which violates personally held moral principles.