Physician "gag clause" and hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania
The Medical Society has chosen not to object to this restriction on physician autonomy citing a letter from the Secretary of Health that physicians are free to share this information with others. Subsequently, the Secretary of Health was fired.
The gas industry has cited the Pennsylvania law as a model to be used in other states. As of this writing, no lawsuits have been filed to test this law. However, there are significant legal, ethical, and public health issues raised by the non disclosure agreements which limit what doctors may do in treating patients and limit the ability to create the evidence needed to assess the impact of fracking on health. This paper will discuss these issues.
Learning Areas:Environmental health sciences
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Describe the physician "gag clause" in Pennsylvania with respect to fracking List at least two ethical conflicts for physicians because of the gag clause
Keyword(s): Environmental Health Hazards, Physicians
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Past president APHA. Board chair, Philadelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility where we have been studying the issue of fracking.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.