Medical trade association
A medical trade association is an organization composed of medical doctors who have united to advance their common professional trade, business, financial, and legal interests. Such organizations serve as labor unions for doctors.
General medical associations
Some are broadly based national medical trade associations which accept membership of every type of physician. Some examples are:
- American Medical Association
- Australian Medical Association
- British Medical Association
- Canadian Medical Association
- Danish Medical Association
- Finnish Medical Association
- Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG)
and many others.
The medical trade associations have their own association:
Specialist medical trade associations
There are also many medical trade associations to advance the particular professional trade, business, financial, and legal interests of medical specialists. Some examples are:
- American Academy of Family Practioners
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- American Urological Association
- Canadian Paediatric Society
- Canadian Urological Association
- Deutsche Gesselschaft fur Kinderchirugie (DGKCH)
- Royal Australasian College of Physicians
and many others.
Medical trade association statements regarding medical care
Medical trade associations occasionally issue an opinion statement regarding medical care offered by their speciality. The public should be aware that the medical trade associations first duty is to protect and improve the income stream of its membership. This frequently creates a conflict of interest between the best interests of the patient and the best interests of the member doctors.
Such statements may exhibit considerable bias toward protection of physician income.
Statements regarding male circumcision
Some medical trade associations have published an advisory statement regarding male circumcision. Male circumcision invariably causes psychic and physical trauma and loss of various physiological functions. When performed on an newborn infant who cannot safely be given general anesthesia, circumcision causes extreme, traumatizing pain. For good reason, the statements appear to have been vetted by their legal departments.
Typically, the statements may:
- cite "potential" benefits of circumcision, while failing to state potential means to exist in possibility, but not in actuality.
- omit a description of the foreskin and its protective, immunological, sensory, and sexual physiological functions.
- omit an adequate description of the pain of circumcision of the newborn, lack information on the lack of effectiveness of available analgesic methods, but recommend the use of analgesia for circumcision.
- omit a description of the physical and psychic trauma inherent in circumcision.
- omit a real discussion of the human rights and medical ethics issues regarding non-therapeutic amputation of a functional body part from a non-consenting minor.
- omit a discussion of limitations on power of surrogate consent-
- omit an actual recommendation for circumcision.
- attempt to shift responsibility and liability from the surgeon to the parents of the child.
Statements that follow this formula offers advantages to a medical trade association:
- The absence of a recommendation for circumcision allows the association to escape claims for damages.
- The absence of a condemnation of circumcision allows individual members to continue to profit from performing circumcisions.
Please see Position statements on infant circumcision for a discussion of individual statements.