Patients Win in Texas Sonogram Case

Jan 10, 2012, 13:36 ET from Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)

TUCSON, Ariz., Jan. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) applauds the magnificent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit this morning, which affirmed the strengthening of informed consent contained in the amended Texas Woman's Right to Know Act. Specifically, the Fifth Circuit upheld the "sonogram law" that was enacted in May 2011.

This law helps ensure that women will be fully informed before agreeing to an abortion. AAPS, which supports the Nuremberg Code for all treatments, not merely experimental ones, has long supported fully informed consent for patients.

It is the standard of care for abortion providers to perform sonograms on patients, but many do not show those sonograms to the women. Such information should not be withheld from patients in the delivery of medical care. Many women change their mind about abortion if they see their sonogram before they consent to the operation, and no one should be hiding information from a patient in order to obtain consent for a procedure that she may later regret.

AAPS filed an amicus brief in this case along with one of its Texas members. We urged the Fifth Circuit to vacate a preliminary injunction that had blocked enforcement of the sonogram law to the detriment of hundreds of women who have abortions each day there. "There is no legitimate right to deny patients informed consent, and no injunction should remain in place to perpetuate such a denial," AAPS wrote. "The preliminary injunction violates the right of the people to protect themselves against procedures performed without informed consent."

The Fifth Circuit so held. It ended the injunction and allowed the sonogram law to be enforced as fully intended. "This is perhaps the finest court decision ever for patients and the integrity of the medical profession," observed Andrew Schlafly, General Counsel for AAPS.

AAPS, a national organization of physicians in all specialties, was founded in 1943 to preserve and promote the practice of private medicine and the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship.

SOURCE Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)