Doctors accuse AMA of misleading public on ‘marriage equality’

A former AMA state president and two AMA life members are among a group of doctors urging the AMA to retract its “fatally flawed” Position Statement on Marriage Equality. The AMA document was published on 20th May and supports same-sex marriage.

Spokesman for the group, former Tasmanian president and AMA Fellow, Chris Middleton, has resigned from the AMA because of this Position Statement.

He says, “The AMA has strayed into social activism and has mortgaged its credibility.”

The dissident “working group” includes a paediatrician, child psychiatrist, physician, occupational medicine practitioner and two GPs. They claim “the AMA has misled the public on a great political question; it has also neglected the needs and best interests of the child.”

In a fifteen-page Critique delivered to AMA federal president Michael Gannon a week ago, the doctors identify a number of misleading clinical claims, in particular the AMA’s assertion that there is no peer-reviewed evidence of poorer outcomes for children of same-sex parented families. The Critique declares that to be “unequivocally false”:

We reference peer-reviewed articles that do find poorer outcomes for children raised by same-sex couples, and we also show that the AMA was aware of this evidence. By denying publicly that there is any such evidence of detriment to children, while admitting privately that there is, the AMA has misled the public on a crucial aspect of the marriage debate and must be held to account.

In addition, the Critique analyses “politically sensitive” but unjustified AMA claims that our current marriage laws harm LGBT health, showing that the AMA’s evidence is specious and the claims are misleading.

The AMA has declined to correct the erroneous assertions in its Position Statement. The dissident doctors have told the AMA they will now “undertake that task” themselves, sending the Critique to federal MPs and Senators “to minimise the harm done by the AMA prior to any debate next week on marriage”.

The working group expects a significant number of medical professionals to add their name to the urgent petition launched today asking the AMA to retract its Position Statement.

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