More than 60 resolutions were put forth during the ACEP22 Council Meeting in San Francisco, with many of them drawing considerable discussion and debate. As usual, the resolutions provided a snapshot of what’s happening in society—concerns about access to reproductive health care, the dangers of scope creep, and appropriate involvement between law enforcement and intoxicated patients, to name a few.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 42 – No 01 – January 2023
A few of the most-discussed topics are highlighted below. View the sidebar to see a list of resolutions approved by the Council or referred to the ACEP Board of Directors. Interested in the work that happens after a resolution is approved? Visit acep.org/council to view actions taken on recent resolutions.
Access to Reproductive Health Care
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June 2022, it was no surprise that four resolutions were put forth to the ACEP Council focused on pregnancy-related health care. Taken as a whole, the reproductive health care resolutions called on ACEP to protect both physicians and patients. For patients, that included supporting equitable, nationwide access to evidence-based pregnancy care, including advocating for universal access to emergency contraception. For physicians, the resolutions pushed for clear legal protections for emergency physicians providing federally-mandated emergency care, clinical practices and policies that protect the integrity of the physician-patient relationship, and increased education around pregnancy-related complications.
Despite the potential divisiveness of this topic, the ACEP Council came to a clear consensus: All four resolutions were eventually adopted by the Council. (Resolution 27 was adopted as submitted, while Resolutions 24, 25, and 26 were adopted after amendments.)
Monica Saxena, MD, JD, a clinical assistant professor in the department of emergency medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine, led the writing for “Resolution 26: Promoting Safe Reproductive Health Care for Patients” with a group of her Stanford colleagues who, surprised by the sudden overturn of Roe v. Wade and its implications for emergency medicine, decided to take action through ACEP’s democratic process.
Dr. Saxena and her Stanford colleagues practice in the first hospital in the country to offer abortions through the emergency department (ED), so they are uniquely familiar with the procedure and its protocols. Still, they wanted to think beyond California to write a resolution to address the concerns encountered by colleagues in more restrictive states.
“We understand that emergency physicians are not a monolithic group,” Dr. Saxena said. “We wanted to make sure that we were respecting different opinions and even to some level different state laws and different institutional regulations, while also advocating for our patients.”