Monday, March 19, 2007

Yes, We Got a Letter From Dr. Maves.

Sorry to be so slackerly folks, but FRIDA/ADAPT/NDY did receive a letter from Dr. Michael Maves in response to our meeting of February 20. The text is as follows below. FRIDA is working on a response letter now. We will do our best to communicate more regularly through this blog!

March 5, 2007

Amber Smock
Feminist Response In Disability Activism
115 W. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60610

Dear Ms. Smock:

On behalf of the American Medical Association (AMA), I wanted to thank you and your fellow coalition members from Feminist Response In Disability Activism (F.R.I.D.A.), Not Dead Yet, and ADAPT for meeting with Dr. Cecil Wilson and me on February 27, 2007. I thought that our discussion was open and enlightening concerning several issues affecting the disability community. I was particularly touched by Ms. Donna Shaw's comment to the effect that we are all just one tragic event away from being part of the disability community.

I hope that our discussion regarding the issues brought up in the article "Attenuating Growth in Children with Profound Developmental Disability" and related editorial "Growth Attenuation---A Diminutive Solution to a Daunting Problem" that appeared in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine was helpful. While the JAMA/Archives journals are editorially independent of the AMA, I am pleased to see that you have written a letter to the editor of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine outlining your views on the subject.

The AMA respects your coalition's concerns and position regarding the treatment outlined in this case. While the AMA had no involvement in the case or the decisions that were made, we recognize that the AMA plays a prominent role in educating physicians about the important issues affecting the medical profession---whether it is landmark research, clinical advances or challenging ethical issues.

As Dr. Wilson discussed, the AMA currently has no official policy on the treatments outlined in this article. AMA policy is made by our House of Delegates (HOD) on a biannual basis. The HOD is made up of Delegates from state and national specialty societies in the United States.

I have requested that the AMA legislative staff review the Medicaid Community-based Attendant Services and Supports Act of 2005 (MiCASSA) when this legislation is reintroduced as the Community Choices Act of 2007. As I indicated during our discussion, AMA policy is supportive of reforming the Medicaid program to provide more home and community-based options for Medicaid beneficiaries and allowing an individual to choose their best option for care. Our discussion has highlighted the need for such legislation. We look forward to the opportunity to review the new bill as soon as the authors make it available.

The American Medical Society has been very supportive of the disability community. I believe that the meeting we had on February 20 was useful. I do not believe the scheduling of regular meetings as you requested is indicated presently, but would welcome such a dialogue in the future as other issues surface that warrant discussion.

Thank you again for your activism on behalf of the disability community and your willingness to share your views with the American Medical Association.


Michael D. Maves, MD, MBA