AMA calls for repeal of 'Don't ask, don't tell'

Posted on 10 Nov 2009 at 1:13pm

The American Medical Association today approved a resolution calling for complete repeal of the U.S. military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell policy” that prohibits lesbian and gay from serving openly in the U.S. armed forces.

According to a press statement released by Servicemembers United, the resolution passed “with overwhelming support from its [the AMA's] membership and virtually no opposition, even from the uniformed services representatives in attendance.”

Servicemembers United’s statement continued: “At issue before the AMA was the chilling effect that ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ has on the provider-patient relationship and the resulting impact on access to quality healthcare for many active duty troops. Military medical providers can and have been compelled to divulge personal information about patients to military commanders, resulting in the widespread perception among troops that medical confidentiality in the military is non-existent. Servicemembers United has documented cases of troops suffering in silence or hesitating to seek treatment for potentially life-threatening conditions out of fear for their careers, as well as cases of troops leaving the military to get proper treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat-related injuries.”

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