TESTIMONY OF THE MAINE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
IN OPPOSITION TO
L.D. 108, Act to Allow a Law Enforcement Agency
That Treats a Person with Naloxone Hydrochloride
to Bill That Person for That Treatment
Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services
Room 209, Cross State Office Building
Friday, March 27, 2017, 9:00 am
Good morning Senator Brakey, Representative Hymanson, and Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services. I am Peter Michaud, Associate General Counsel for the Maine Medical Association (MMA) and a registered nurse. I live in Readfield, and I am speaking in opposition to LD 108, An Act to Allow a Law Enforcement Agency That Treats a Person with Naloxone Hydrochloride to Bill That Person for That Treatment.
The MMA is a professional association representing more than 4,000 physicians, residents, and medical students in Maine whose mission is to support Maine physicians, advance the quality of medicine in Maine, and promote the health of all Maine citizens. We represent physicians from all medical specialties, as well as public health and primary care.
At the outset, I would ask whether this bill should be here at this point. This legislature has appointed a task force to review all bills related to the opioid crisis. Shouldn’t this bill, and the two that follow, be among those to be considered by that task force, so that a unified approach can be applied to this massive public health problem facing Maine?
LD 108, as you have heard, seeks to allow law enforcement agencies to bill persons to whom they have administered naloxone to reverse an overdose. This bill is simply punitive. It punishes people for having a substance use disorder. It continues the stigmatization of that illness, and by so doing it would interfere with all the efforts we as a state have been making to prevent drug abuse and to treat the problem in order to eradicate it. Remember that the person treated with naloxone did not ask for the treatment. There is no purchase. Society, in this case, makes a choice to save a life regardless of the person’s wishes.
LD 108 is a bad idea. We respectfully ask you to vote the bill “Ought Not To Pass.” I would be happy to respond to any questions you may have.