Position Statements (5.000 – 49.999)

                           (See also Drugs and Medications, 75.000;
Health Insurance Coverage, 120.000Reimbursement, 265.000)

5.991               Right for Gamete Preservation Therapies

MSSNY officially recognizes and supports the right for the members of the New York transgender and non-binary community to seek fertility preservation services as an option for those who wish to preserve future fertility through gamete preservation prior to undergoing gender affirming medical or surgical therapies.  (HOD 2019-119)

5.992               Sale of Emergency Contraception Medicine Over-the-Counter:

MSSNY encourages physicians and other health professionals to play a more active role in providing education about emergency contraception, including access and informed consent issues, by discussing it as part of routine family planning and contraceptive counseling.  MSSNY supports access to emergency contraception, including making emergency contraception pills more readily available through hospitals, clinics, emergency rooms, acute care centers, and physicians’ offices.  (HOD 2003-158; Modified and reaffirmed, HOD 2013)

5.993               Unintended Pregnancies:

Women with an unintended pregnancy are less likely to seek early prenatal care and could expose the fetus to harmful substances such as tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.  Harmful exposure and the lack of early prenatal care can lead to low birth weight newborns due to premature birth and/or growth retardation in utero.  Low birth weight is the most important risk factor for infant morbidity and mortality, and infant mortality is commonly used as a health status indicator of the population.  Unfortunately, this country has an infant mortality rate that is higher than most industrialized countries.

The Medical Society of the State of New York supports requiring any prescription drug plans offered by insurance companies and health maintenance organizations to cover the cost of prescriptive contraceptives.  Furthermore, the Medical Society supports direct access for women to obstetric and gynecologic services.  (White Paper on Women’s Health Initiatives Council 11/2/00; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

5.994               Infertility:

MSSNY recognizes that infertility is a disease of the reproductive system that impairs one of the body’s most basic functions, the conception of children, and supports the requirement for insurance coverage for infertility treatments.  (HOD 2000-91; Reaffirmed HOD 2002-152; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2013)

5.995           Contraceptive Prescription Drugs, Insurance Coverage for Payment of:
                       Sunset HOD 2011

5.996          Freedom of Choice:

It is the position of MSSNY that reproductive choice, as any medical decision, is one of an informed consent between the patient and his/her physician.  (HOD 1989-27; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

5.997            Abortion:

Abortion is a medical procedure and should be performed only by a duly licensed physician in conformance with standards of good medical practice.  Neither physician, hospital, nor hospital personnel shall be required to perform an act violative of good medical judgment or personally held moral principles.  In these circumstances good medical practice requires only that the physician or other professional withdraw from the case so long as the withdrawal is consistent with good medical practice.  (Council 10/13/83; Reaffirmed HOD 2003-158; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

MSSNY opposes legislative proposals that utilize federal or state health care funding mechanisms to deny established and accepted medical care to any segment of the population.  MSSNY recognizes the fact of legalized abortion and supports the right of all women to safe and legal abortion.  (HOD 1982-5; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

MSSNY opposes any legislation that criminalizes the exercise of clinical judgment in  the delivery of medical care. (HOD 2013 amended and added policy)

5.998               Contraceptive Sales:

MSSNY supports efforts to liberalize the sale of contraceptives in New York State by the removing of age restrictions and the limitation of sales to pharmacies.  (Council 12/2/72; Modified and Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

5.999            Family Planning for Persons on Public Welfare Assistance:
                        Sunset HOD 2013

10.000        ACCIDENT PREVENTION:  (See also Public Health and Safety, 260.000)

10.968             Bicycle Safety Infrastructure

The Medical Society of the State of New York will encourage law enforcement to enforce the rules of the road, and will collaborate with county medical societies to ensure that future infrastructure projects consider the safety of bicyclists. (HOD 2018 – 151 and 152)

10.969             Rumble Strips:

MSSNY supports the use of rumble strips on highways and on roadways for which an engineering study or crash analysis suggests the number of crashes would likely be reduced by the presence of rumble strips.  (HOD 2010-150; Amended and reaffirmed HOD 2020)

10.970          Physician Reporting of Patients Who Should Not Drive:

MSSNY will promote passage of state legislation to establish a system to allow, but not require, physicians to confidentially report to appropriate governmental agencies or departments that a patient is not physically or mentally capable of operating a motor vehicle without jeopardizing his or her health or that of others, while also providing immunity from civil or criminal liability for reporting or not reporting when such is done in good faith.  (Council 3/3/08; Reaffirmed HOD 2018)

10.971             Medical Certification of Drivers Covered by Article 19-A
(Council 6/14/07; SUNSET HOD 2018)

10.972             The Use of Helmets in Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding at New York State Resorts:

MSSNY supports the use of properly certified helmets while alpine skiing and snowboarding at New York State ski resorts; and supports the inclusion of helmets in the rental packages offered by New York State ski resorts and rental shops.  (HOD 2006-151; Amended HOD 2016)

10.973          Require Backup Warning Devices On New SUVs As Standard Equipment 
                       SUNSET HOD 2015

10.974          ATV Safety:
                       SUNSET HOD 2015

10.975          Use of Protective Headgear to Prevent Injuries:
                       SUNSET HOD 2015

10.976          Impaired Drivers: The Physician’s Dilemma:
                       See Policy 260.939

10.977             Safety in Sport and Leisure Activity:

MSSNY will continue to work with other appropriate agencies and organizations to encourage safety in sport and leisure activity by advocating the use of protective equipment, and the proper training of coaches and trainers.  (HOD 2001-161; Reaffirmed HOD 2011; Reaffirmed HOD 2021)

10.978             Physician’s Role in Driver Safety:

MSSNY affirms its active role in driver safety in New York State and (a) will support Department of Motor Vehicles regulations that promote reaffirmation and verification of the minimal driver standards at each renewal cycle; (b) support the role of the Medical Advisory Board of the Department of  Motor Vehicles in its goal to establish “total driver qualifications” and a scale that measures medical conditions affecting driver safety (MCADS) for all drives in New York State; (c) encourage physicians to assess patients’ physical and mental impairments that may affect driving abilities, and in situations where clear evidence of substantial driving impairment implies a strong threat to patient and public safety, it is desirable and ethical for physicians to notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and release clinically pertinent information to help determine whether or not the patient can continue to drive safely, consistent with the American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs Report 1-I-99; and (d) support legislation that would allow a physicians, family members and caregivers to report impaired drivers to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles for reevaluation and provide immunity from civil or criminal liability for reporting or not reporting when such is done in good faith. (HOD 2000-171; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

10.979          “Drive Now, Talk Later”:
                       SUNSET HOD 2014

10.980         Ski Helmet Requirement:
                       SUNSET HOD 2014

10.981          Child Safety Seats:

MSSNY will seek and support legislation that mandates that automobile rental agencies provide child safety seats whenever needed, free of charge.  (HOD 1998-167; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

10.982          Expanded Use Of Safety Helmets:

MSSNY will pursue legislation which would require the use of helmets for all cyclists, inline skaters, skateboarders, alpine skiers, snowboarders, scooters and roller skaters, regardless of age.  (HOD 1997-176; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

10.983             In-Line Skating Injuries:

MSSNY supports the use of full protective equipment for in-line skating and supports appropriate efforts to educate adults and children about in-line skating safety, such as encouraging physicians to educate their patients about the importance of safety equipment use, and working with organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics to promote widespread distribution on information and educational materials about in-line safety, including the use of protective equipment, to both medical and non-medical audiences.

MSSNY will urge state consumer protection agencies to require the availability of all safety equipment at the point of in-line skate purchase or rental and will support legislation requiring the mandatory use of full protective equipment for children 16 years of age and younger.  (Council 12/14/95; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

10.984          Air Bags in Automobiles:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

10.985          Handrails in Hallways:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

10.986          Jogging Attire:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

10.987          Reflective Tape for Clothing:

MSSNY encourages the use of reflective clothing for the protection of pedestrians, joggers, and bicyclists during times of poor visibility, inasmuch as the use of reflective tape prevents accidents through increased visibility.  (Council 6/13/91; Reaffirmed HOD 2007-153; Reaffirmed HOD 2017)

10.988          Videotaping Drunken Drivers:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

10.989             Bicycle Helmets:

MSSNY supports requiring the use of approved helmets by all bicyclists on New York State roadways, regardless of age.  (Council 1/26/89; HOD 1992-16 & HOD 2007-154; Modified and Reaffirmed HOD 2017)

10.990            Low Beam Headlights:

In an effort to reduce multi-vehicle accidents, MSSNY encourages the use of low beam headlights on all present vehicles. The Society favors the installation on all vehicles sold in the United States by foreign and domestic manufacturers of a system which will automatically turn on low beam headlights with the ignition switch.  (HOD 1987-77; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

10.991          Safety Regulations for Motorcycle Operators:
                       SUNSET HOD 2013

10.992            Safety Belt Usage:

10.993          Shoulder Harnesses for Outboard Rear Seat Occupants:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

10.994          Safety Belts for Front Seat Occupants:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

10.995            Additional Death Benefits for Deceased’s Use of Safety Belts:
                          SUNSET HOD 2013

10.996             Leadership for Successful Promulgation of Mandatory Safety Belt Law                                                    SUNSET HOD 2013

10.997             Call for Mandatory Safety Belt Usage:

MSSNY calls upon the legislature to enact laws mandating both front and rear safety belt usage for people of all ages.  Further, MSSNY will pursue legislative action or regulation that would mandate all passengers, including rear seat passengers, regardless of age, be required to use safety belts. The New York Coalition for Safety Belt Use was organized with the Medical Society of the State of New York in a leading position.  (HOD 1982-19; Reaffirmed HOD 2013; Modified and adopted HOD 2019-112)

10.998         Proper Use and Design of Car Seats:
                       SUNSET HOD 2013

10.999          Car Seats for Children:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

15.000          ACQUIRED IMMUNODEFICIENCY SYNDROME – (AIDS):  (See also Children and Youth,
30.000; Medicaid, 175.000; Public Health & Safety, 260.000

15.950             End the Epidemic of HIV Nationally

MSSNY supports the funding for New York’s End the Epidemic 2020 program to sustain the initiative’s progress to achieve the 2020 target.  MSSNY will urge that the American Medical Association advocate that the federal budget include provisions to End the HIV epidemic and that such a plan be structured after New York State’s EtE 2020 or other similar state programs.  (HOD 2019-150) 

15.951             Education about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV

The Medical Society of the State of New York will continue its efforts to work with state agencies to educate physicians about the effective use of pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV and the US PrEP Clinical Practice Guidelines.  MSSNY will continue its advocacy work to require that all insurers cover the costs associated with the administration of PrEP and work with governmental officials to study the feasibility of providing PrEP free of charge to high risk individuals.

A copy of this resolution will be transmitted to the AMA for consideration at the 2016 House of Delegates.  (HOD 2016-159)

15.952             HIV Testing Guidelines: SUNSET HOD 2022

15.953             Support of a National HIV/AIDS StrategySUNSET HOD 2019

15.954             HIV Testing for Those Incarcerated, Prior to Release:

MSSNY to advocate to the New York State Department of Corrections and the New York City Department of Corrections that both be required to routinely offer voluntary HIV testing to all inmates prior to discharge; and, upon a positive test finding, (1) appropriate therapy be initiated and case management be instituted to prevent the interruption of treatment; and (2) the appropriate partner notification be implemented in the usual confidential manner to protect all parties.  (HOD 2009-160; Reaffirmed HOD 2019)

15.955             Condom Availability in Jails and Prisons:

MSSNY supports a policy of making condoms accessible to all incarcerated persons.  (HOD 2009-159; Reaffirmed HOD 2019)

15.956             Rapid In-Office HIV Testing and Public Health Law 27F: (HOD 2008-156; SUNSET HOD 2018)

15. 957             Expedited Partner Therapy in the Management of Sexually Transmitted Infections

MSSNY will (1) support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on expedited partner therapy (EPT) that was published in its 2006 white paper, Expedited Partner Therapy in the Management of Sexually Transmitted Diseases; (2) support legislation that would allow physicians diagnosing a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in an individual to prescribe or dispense antibiotics to that person’s sex partner in instances where the CDC has recommended the use of EPT; and (3) continue to ensure that physicians participating in the delivery of EPT are protected from liability. (HOD 2008-155; Amended HOD 2013-172 with title change)

15.958             Disclosure and Exchange of Health Information Among Providers:
                       (Sunset HOD 2017)

15.959             Expanding HIV Screening:
                       (Sunset HOD 2017)

15.960             Exchange/Disclosure of Health Information re HIV/AIDS Patients:
                       (Sunset HOD 2017)

15.961             Center for Disease Control’s Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults,
  (Sunset HOD 2017):

15.962             Non-Consented HIV Testing:
                       (Sunset HOD 2016)

15.963             Amend HIV Laws:
                       (Sunset HOD 2016)

15.964             New York State Department of Health’s New Guidelines Pertaining to HIV Counseling and
                       (Sunset HOD 2016)

15.965             Expansion of HIV Prevention Programs in Prisons:

MSSNY will urge the New York state Department of Corrections to develop and implement comprehensive HIV prevention and education programs specifically designed for the prison population.  (HOD 1997-157; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

15.966             MSSNY Position on HIV Surveillance and Partner Notification:
                       SUNSET HOD 2014

15.967             Physician Discussion of AIDS with Patients 50 and Older:
                       SUNSET HOD 2014

15.968             HIV Testing to be Part of a Routine Physical:
                       (Sunset HOD 2016)

15.969             HIV Status Disclosure To Occupationally Exposed Health Care Workers and Others:
                       (Sunset HOD 2016)

15.970             Limited Disclosure of Patient’s HIV Status:
                       SUNSET HOD 2014

15.971              Prophylactic Drug Treatment for Health Care Workers:
                       SUNSET HOD 2014

15.972              Needle Exchange Program, Expansion of:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

15.973              HIV Reduction Through Harm Reduction Measures:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

15.974             HIV Testing Mandatory  to Prevent Prenatal Transmission of:
                   SUNSET HOD 2014

15.975             HIV Infection, Counseling for as a Part of Routine Health Maintenance:

MSSNY supports routine HIV counseling and testing at the discretion of the physician without written consent.  (HOD 1996-164; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

15.976              HIV Testing, Mandatory in Criminal Cases:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

15.977              Epidemiologic Control Measures Against Aids:

MSSNY supports the concept that all findings of AIDS/HIV testing be made available to all treating physicians involved in the care of the patient.  (HOD 1995-185; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

15.978             Testing – Mandatory of all NYS Prison Inmates for HIV and Tuberculosis  Infection:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

15.979             Physicians’ Duty to Treat HIV Seropositive Patients:

MSSNY endorses the position that a physician may not ethically refuse to treat a patient whose condition is within the physician’s current realm of competence solely because the patient is HIV seropositive.  Physicians who are unable to provide the services should make referrals to physicians or facilities equipped to provide such services.  Persons who are HIV seropositive should not be subjected to discrimination based on fear or prejudice.  (Council 1/31/91; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

15.980             Responsibilities of HIV Positive Physicians and Other Health Care Workers:

(1) All persons (including physicians and other health care personnel) engaging in high risk behavior have a responsibility to withdraw from or modify these practices, to notify sexual or IV drug abuser partners, to seek counseling and to consider having a determination of their HIV antibody status.

(2) Physicians and medical students have the responsibility to prevent transmission of communicable diseases to their patients.  Physicians and medical students should, whenever appropriate, determine their HIV status.  If a physician’s ability to practice medicine is impaired, either physically or mentally by HIV infection or any other disease, he/she should not practice medicine.  If a physician or medical student is HIV seropositive but not impaired, he/she should not engage in any professional activity for which there is scientific evidence of disease transmission to the patient.  Adequate disability insurance coverage should be available to physicians and medical students who voluntarily limit their medical activities to reduce the risk of infecting patients with HIV.

(3) Physicians should not take upon themselves responsibility for determining the limitations to be placed on their medical practice.  This should be the judgment of a peer review group representing the institution or locale of the physician’s practice.  Physicians are entitled to confidentiality no less than others, and safeguards to assure this must be put in place.

(4) The risk of transmission of HIV in health care settings is so infinitesimally small that, pending review of an individual practitioner by an appropriate panel, the Medical Society of the State of New York believes that universal disclosure of HIV status by physicians is not required. (Council 5/10/90; Council 1/31/91; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

15.981             Ambulatory Treatment of HIV Infection:
                       SUNSET HOD 2014

15.982             Condoms, Use and Advertising of:

For sexually active persons, the only instance when condoms are unnecessary for reduction of infection risk is within a long-standing, mutually monogamous relationship in which neither partner uses IV drugs and neither partner is infected with HIV.  This applies to any sexual activity where the exchange of semen and/or blood is possible, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex.  Natural membrane condoms do not protect against infection from the HIV virus. Therefore, the FDA allows only latex condoms to be labeled for the prevention of STDs, including AIDS.  (HOD 1990-27; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

15.983             Communicable/Sexually Transmissible Disease – Designation of:                     SUNSET HOD 2019

15.984             Confidentiality of Test ResultsSUNSET HOD 2013

15.985             Reporting HIV Status to Public Health OfficersSUNSET HOD 2013

15.986             Testing – Mandatory for HIVSUNSET HOD 2013

15.987             HIV Infected Children, Immunization ofSUNSET HOD 2013

15.988             HIV Infection and Drug AbuseSUNSET HOD 2013

15.989             HIV Infection Status of Patient, Right of Health Care Workers to Know:        SUNSET HOD 2013

15.990             HIV Testing Laboratories
                           SUNSET HOD 2013

15.991              Blood Transfusions Contaminated by HIV:
                           SUNSET HOD 2013

15.992             HIV Transmission in Health Care Setting:
                           SUNSET HOD 2013

15.993             Testing – Voluntary for Persons at High Risk of AIDS:
                           SUNSET HOD 2014 

15.994             Needles and Syringes (Sterile), Providing to Drug Abusers:
                           SUNSET HOD 2013

15.995             Public Reservoirs of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Control of:                                                                          SUNSET HOD 2013

15.996             Notifying Sexual Partners of HIV Status:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

15.997             Contact Tracing:
                       SUNSET HOD 2013

15.998             Counseling:
                       SUNSET HOD 2013

15.999             Heroin Addicted Population:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

                        (See Managed Care, 165.000; Medicare, 195.000)

117.959           Assisted Living Residence (ALR) NYS Regulation Database

With the support of the NY Medical Directors Association (NYMDA), MSSNY will collaborate with the New York State Department of Health to create an easily accessible database which would make all Assisted Living Residence rules, regulations (ALR) and links to Dear Admin Letters (DALs) available to staff at assisted living facilities, primary care provider teams, hospitals, and/or health systems and which would be updated at least annually. (HOD 2022-103)

                         (See also Accident Prevention, 10.000; Drug Abuse, 65.000; Health Insurance Coverage, 120.000; Reimbursement, 265.000; Tobacco Use and Smoking, 300.000)

20.896             Increasing Awareness of Potential Drunk Drivers’ Blood Alcohol

The Medical Society of the State of New York will request that the New York State Liquor Authority research the use of blood alcohol content testing devices as a tool to reduce drunk driving in the state.  (HOD 2015-158)

20.897             Age-based Alcohol Policies

20.898             Blood Alcohol Level and Driving:

MSSNY supports efforts to lower the current drinking level standard from 0.08% to the more desirable alcohol level of 0.05%.  (HOD 1997-182; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

20.899            Continuation of the Hospital Intervention Services
                          Program for 
Alcoholism Screening:

20.900             Sales Tax Increase on Alcohol and Cigarettes:

MSSNY supports an increase in the tax on alcohol and cigarettes in order to discourage alcohol and cigarettes use.  (HOD 1993-124; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

20.991              Advertising Ban:

In the interest of promoting better health in our communities, the Medical Society of the State of New York takes the position towards banning alcohol advertising on billboards near all schools and public housing and at sporting events.  Billboard advertisements should not be placed less than five city blocks or 1,500 feet from all schools and public housing.  (HOD 1992-100 & 1992-101; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

20.992             Blood Alcohol Levels in Automobile Accident Cases
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

20.993             Admissibility of Blood Alcohol Samples as Legal Evidence:

MSSNY supports the principle of permitting a blood alcohol sample drawn in the course of medical treatment of an injured driver to be admissible as legal evidence in any criminal or civil proceeding against such individual, provided that an appropriate chain of custody and quality of analytical results is maintained.  (Council 5/14/92; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

20.994             Classification of Disease:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

20.995             Deleterious Effects of Alcohol Consumption:

MSSNY supports programs which warn the public about the risk associated with the consumption of alcohol as it affects both men and women.  (HOD 1991-120; Modified and affirmed HOD 2014)

20.996             Detoxification Coverage in Minimum Benefits Package of
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

20.997             Alcohol and other Drug Misuse Prevention/Control:

MSSNY supports prevention policies and programs that include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1)  Control of the quality, availability, advertising and promotion of alcoholic beverages.  Such Controls include:

(a)  Maintain a national legal age of purchase of 21 years for all alcoholic Beverages.

(b)  Curbs on advertising of all alcoholic beverages, including the voluntary elimination of radio and TV advertising, and intermediate measures, such as the establishment and enforcement of national standards for radio, TV and print advertising which eliminate use of young people, athletes, persons engaging in risky activity and sexual innuendo.

(c)  Counter advertising, through paid and public advertising, including health warnings about alcoholism and alcohol-related problems.

(d)  Requirements that alcoholic beverage containers display all ingredients and alcoholic content by volume.

(e)  Adjusting taxes on beer and wine to equate with those for distilled spirits, and adjusting taxes on all alcoholic beverages for inflation experienced since 1951.

(f)  Devoting significant additional funds derived from increased taxes to the support of prevention and research.

(2)  Control of the quality, distribution and availability of psychoactive drugs, including:

(a)  Measures to prevent the manufacture, importation and sale of illicit drugs.

(b)  Programs to prevent diversion of licit drugs for illicit sale and use.

(c)  Discouraging the inclusion of alcohol as an ingredient in the formulation of medicines beyond the minimum required as a solvent.

(d)  Promotion of safe and appropriate prescribing practices for drugs which may produce dependency.

(e)  Warning labels on prescription and over-the-counter drugs describing possible adverse interactions with alcohol and other drugs.

(f)  Warning labels indicating the potential of a drug to produce dependence.

(g)  Programs to educate health professionals about identification of drug abusing, manipulative patients seeking psychoactive drugs for inappropriate use.

(3)  Scientifically sound education for all segments of society including:

(a)  Age-appropriate education about the nature and effects of alcohol and drug use, including alternatives to such use, throughout the school curriculum.

(b)  Public education about the nature and causes of alcoholism and other drug dependence, the interaction of alcohol and other drugs, alternative techniques of managing stress, and the effects of alcohol and drugs on health and safety.

(c)  Adequate professional education about alcohol and drug problems in all programs which prepare students for careers in health, human services, teaching, the clergy, police, public administration and law.

(d)  Programs to keep practicing health professionals abreast of new knowledge and of current law and regulation relating to alcohol and drugs.

(e)  Avoidance of glamorization of alcohol and drug use and abuse by the media.

(f)  Accurate reporting of the adverse societal consequences of alcohol and drug use in the print and broadcast news.

(g)  Special programs aimed at populations known to be at high risk, including children of alcoholic and drug-dependent parents, pregnant women, medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy and veterinary students, health professionals, persons recovering from alcohol or drug dependence, persons undergoing stressful life situations and others.

(h)  Education for bartenders and other servers of alcoholic beverages about safe serving practices and prevention of harm to a person who is alcohol-impaired.

(i)  Inclusion of accurate information on alcohol and drug use in all health prevention programs.

(j)  Measures to discourage or deter the manufacture, sale and promotion of drug paraphernalia (products designed to process, prepare and administer illegal substances).  (Council 9/12/85) (Modified and Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

20.998             Driving While Intoxicated (DWI):
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

20.999             Alcoholism Health Insurance Coverage:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

25.000          ALTERNATIVE HEALTH CARE:  (See also Reimbursement, 265.000)

25.999             Practice Standards:

MSSNY has adopted policy that maintains that all physicians, including practitioners of alternative medicine, should be held to the same standards of practice and that this policy be utilized in educating our legislators and the general public regarding the problem.  (HOD 1995-66; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

30.000        CHILDREN AND YOUTH:  (See also Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome – [AIDS], 15.000; Drug Dispensing, 70.000Reimbursement, 265.000; Sports and Physical Fitness; Tobacco Use
and Smoking, 300.000; Vaccines, 312.000; Violence and Abuse, 315.000)

30.987          Treatment of Youths by the Justice System

The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) will support legislation or regulation that requires that youth under 18 years of age who are arrested for nonviolent crimes are processed as children, placed and remain in the juvenile justice system; and further

MSSNY will support legislation or regulation that requires that youth in the juvenile justice system who are identified with mental health or substance use disorders receive appropriate treatment, psychosocial recovery and support services for these mental health and substance use disorders. (HOD 2015-203)

30.988          Maintaining Tax Exempt Status for Youth Service Organizations

The MSSNY will oppose any New York State legislation that would remove the property tax exemptions currently granted to non-profit youth service organizations, such as 4H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and religious groups for the purpose of maintaining wilderness camps throughout New York State for the purposes of providing outdoor experiences for any of our youth. (Amended and adopted Council 11/20/2014.  From HOD 2014-209)

30.989          Availability of Self-Injectable Epinephrine Devices in New York State Schools

The Medical Society of the State of New York will support legislation that requires all schools (public and private) to stock auto-injectable epinephrine devices in standardized dosage formulations and train personnel for the administration of this medication.  MSSNY will urge the State Education Department (SED) to provide information to public and private schools about the ability for nurses and other trained individuals to administer auto-injectable epinephrine devices to children or adults who have had a severe allergic reaction and that these trained individuals are covered by the New York State “Good Samaritan” statute.

The Medical Society of the State of New York will educate its members about physicians being authorized to issue a non-patient specific regimen to a registered professional nurse under the provisions of Article 6527 (6) of the NYS Education Law. (HOD 2014-150)

30.990             Dangers of Youth Football

The Medical Society of the State of New York will promote the New York State Department of Health’s “When in Doubt…Take Them Out!” sports related concussion prevention campaign and the Sports Concussion Tool Kit developed by the  American Academy of Neurology to its members.  (HOD 2014-151)

30.991             Support Juvenile Justice

MSSNY will support efforts to study the etiologies of recidivism among juvenile delinquents, with a significant focus on incarcerated juveniles who have mental health factors involved in their delinquency compared to those with other factors; comparing treatment interventions that decrease juvenile delinquency recidivism and how intervention success varies when delivered in the institutional versus community–based settings.(2011-66 referred, amended, adopted by Council 3/19/12; Reaffirmed HOD 2022)

30.992          Graduated Drivers’ Licensing:
                     SUNSET HOD 2013

30.993          Classification for Video Games:
                     Sunset HOD 2011

30.994          Confidentiality of Adoption Records:

MSSNY will continue to advise all state legislative and regulatory agencies that, without mutual consent of the birth mother, birth father, if known, and child given for adoption, records which would identify either party remain sealed.

MSSNY affirms that the current system of handling requests for medical information, through a third party who is under oath to maintain the confidentiality of both parties, is adequate and sufficient to provide needed medical information to the child given for adoption.  (HOD 2001-63; Reaffirmed HOD 2011; Reaffirmed HOD 2021) 

30.995          Immunization of Adolescents:

MSSNY endorses the immunization recommendations for adolescents as set forth by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will urge NYS to adopt ACIP immunization requirements for adolescents as a condition for school attendance so that the State will be able to participate in the movement toward universal protection.  (HOD 1996-157; Reaffirmed HOD 2014; Reaffirmed HOD 2016-163)

30.996          Students with Complicated Medical Conditions:
                     SUNSET HOD 2014

30.997          School Health Policy, Notification to Physicians of Changes to:

MSSNY has adopted the position that the New York State Department of Education, Health and Labor should include school district physicians on their electronic communications or mailing lists for any matters pertaining to school health.  (Council 12/15/94; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

30.998          AIDS, School Health Education to Prevent the Spread of AIDS:
                     SUNSET HOD 2013

30.999          Handicapped Newborns:
                     SUNSET HOD 2013

35.000        CHIROPRACTIC:

35.996          Holistic Medicine:

MSSNY will inform the Board of Regents of the State of New York it has adopted the position that the practice of holistic medicine by Chiropractors is not part of the authorized practice of Chiropractic, and request that it issue an Order for such Chiropractors to desist and refrain from such practice of medicine.  (The Council directed that the word “not” be highlighted by boldface type to indicate stronger emphasis of the intent of the resolution).  (Council 3/27/97; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

35.997             Limited License Practitioner – Physician Relationship:

Whether a physician should have professional relations with chiropractors must be the individual choice of the physician, based on what the physician believes is in the best interest of the patient.  As with any limited license practitioner, a physician should be mindful of state laws which prohibit a physician from aiding and abetting a person with limited license in providing services beyond the scope of his license.  (Council 1/26/89; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

35.998             Hospital Privileges for Chiropractors – Opposition to:

MSSNY vigorously opposes the enactment of legislation which would permit the practice of chiropractic by chiropractors in hospitals.  (HOD 1988-72; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

35.999             Spinal Manipulation:
                         SUNSET HOD 2013

40.000           CLINICAL JUDGMENT:  (See also Hospitals, 150.000)

40.996             Appropriate Role of Pain Assessment in the Clinical Environment

The Medical Society of the State of New York publically states that the ongoing focus on pain, pain assessment, and pain management is contributing to the opioid epidemic; and that pain needs to be evaluated and treated within a medical model that addresses underlying pathophysiology and, when possible, addresses the source.  MSSNY supports discontinuation of the use of pain as a metric to evaluate physicians and hospitals by accrediting organizations such as the Joint Commission.  MSSNY will lobby the New York Legislature to have the use of pain as a 5th vital sign removed from both the clinical environment and all evaluator metrics in the State of New York. (HOD 2017-161)

40.997              Pain as the “Fifth Vital Sign”

The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) affirms as policy that the clinical highlighting of pain as “the fifth vital sign” and a focus on eradication or total resolution of a patients pain is misguided and leads to 1) inappropriate pain management demands by patients; 2) inappropriate pressure on clinical pain management practices by clinicians; and 3) consequently, the diffuse overuse of opioids.

MSSNY will recommend that “pain as the fifth vital sign” be removed from the clinical practice environment and that the Joint Commission remove “pain as the fifth vital sign” from its standards.

The New York delegation will forward this resolution to the American Medical Association encouraging it to request that the Joint Commission remove “pain as the fifth vital sign” from its standards.  (HOD 2015-154)

40.998             Communication in the Physician-Patient Relationship:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

40.999             Protection from Criminal Prosecution for Good Faith Clinical

MSSNY has adopted the position that physicians, acting in good faith while exercising clinical judgment in the delivery of medical care, should be exempt from criminal prosecution as a result of untoward outcomes as a result of said judgment, and intends to initiate appropriate legislation to assure such protection.  (HOD 1995-64; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)


45.999          Guidelines For Mailing Lists and Address Files:

(1)  Requests from Members:  All requests from members for lists of physicians will generally be referred to MSSNY’s Division of Information Technology.

(2)  Requests from Nonmembers:  (a)  Requests from nonmembers will be considered on an individual basis. Factors bearing on acceptance involve commercial aspects as well as value of the subject matter to physicians and/or their patients.  (b) Lists are usually available to vendor organizations approved by the Council.

(3)  General Considerations:   (a)  MSSNY’s policy will be quite circumspect in making mailing lists available, and MSSNY will not share email addresses, except with members’ county medical societies, or with the American Medical Association, when AMA members grant permission for MSSNY to do so.  MSSNY’s general policy will be to protect the confidentiality of these lists.  (b)  Any questions regarding suitability of requests will be referred to the Executive Vice President.  (Council 2/16/84; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2013)