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Call for moratorium on the "Meaningful" Use of Electronic Health Records mandate

This petition had 119 supporters

(This program, part of the Hitech Act of 2009, essentially dictates how most U.S. physicians document their work today, which is a key component of performing their jobs.  This program was designed by a commission of 23 people, 9 of whom were physicians, only 2 of whom were practicing.  This commission and Congress were heavily lobbied by the tech industry, which in turn heavily profited from the passage of this bill (see, while physician satisfaction with their EHR systems fell, from 90% positive before passage, to 30% afterwards.  See

If you have wondered why your doctor spends more time treating the computer than you, here is a key reason.)


July 4, 2015


We, the undersigned practicing physicians of America, do warrant the following:


Whereas the "Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records" program, as designed by a commission, composed of 23 persons, 9 of whom were physicians, two of whom were practicing, enacted by the Hitech Act of 2009, was imposed against the will and the professional judgement of the majority of America's experienced clinicians, 


Whereas, a legible, coherent, succinct and complete medical document is key and central to the safe, effective and efficient care of the patient, and physicians across this nation have found EHR systems which are compliant with this program to have significant and widespread deficits in these areas,


Whereas, we are trained and licensed medical professionals, responsible to prevent, diagnose and treat illness and injury, who sign and take personal and legal responsibility for our diagnoses and recommended courses of action,


Therefore, we hereby declare, as one profession, that as the captain of a ship is bound to avoid the reef, for his or her passengers' sake, and the pilot the mountaintop, so must physicians have the ultimate authority, and bear ultimate responsibility, for the medical care of patients who have entrusted them with their lives.  


And that, along with the nation's largest nurses union, the National Nurses United, and which patients do support the premise of this resolution, we call for an IMMEDIATE moratorium on this program, including any and all penalties associated, for a minimum period of two years (with an interim report at one year), to allow for collection of feedback from physician and other end users of these systems, and experimentation, in collaboration with other experts and stakeholders, in improvement of the same. 


That in the interim, America's physicians and surgeons will have both the right and obligation, to create a legible, coherent, succinct and complete medical document, to the best of their ability, and by whatever means each deems necessary, before signing said document, and assuming responsibility for its content, and that thoughtful, focused, problem solving care for the individual patient before him or her, will resume its rightful place as the prime directive of the physician, and that data collection, and all other objectives, will be assigned to others, whenever possible,


And that, any attempt by any person or entity, not the physician in attendance, to force the physician to do otherwise, and thus to violate his or her oath, shall be considered by these signatories to constitute the practice of medicine without license, or malpractice, and we call on our state legislatures to enforce the same, for the sake of all.


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