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Legislation in Kentucky That Affects Healthcare and Physicians

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Welcome to MD-UPDATE for January 2017.

There are several high profile pieces of legislation in this year’s session of Kentucky’s General Assembly that are targeted directly at healthcare initiatives and involve Kentucky physicians. I’m referring to Senate Bill 5, the ban on abortions after 20 weeks; House Bill 2, the ultrasound bill requiring women to view an ultrasound before having an abortion; and Senate Bill 4, sponsored by Dr. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, which would set up medical panels that will issue non-binding opinions about lawsuits against doctors and healthcare institutions before those suits can be filed in a Kentucky court.

In general, at MD-UPDATE, we believe our job is not necessarily to take a position on any particular issue but to raise the question and foster conversations among you and your colleagues.

As our country’s new president takes office this month and the power shifting commences, women’s issues will certainly remain on the forefront. When it comes to women’s healthcare, especially on a state level, consider whether you have a unique perspective as a physician that you can share with legislators.

Tort reform is long overdue in Kentucky. We recognize Dr. Alvarado’s leadership in this important issue and believe it will produce better healthcare for Kentuckians because physicians will be empowered to practice proactively and not defensively.

Additionally, bills to legalize medical cannabis for certain medical conditions have been introduced, including SB 57 by Perry Clark, D-Louisville. Dr. Don Stacy, a Louisville radiation oncologist, has joined this cause. I invite you to read Dr. Stacy’s essay on page 8 of this issue, as well as his research, which was published in last month’s issue, #104.

Physicians are community leaders. Your voices carry weight. The MD after your names means something. We recognize those physician leaders and invite you to participate. Contact me if you want to make your opinions known throughout the Kentucky medical community.

All the Best,Gil Dunn, Publisher

Send your letters to the editor to:, or (502) 541-2666 mobile Gil Dunn, Publisher: or (859) 309-0720 phone and fax