SOURCE: American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Academy of Ophthalmology

February 24, 2011 20:44 ET

American Academy of Ophthalmology's Statement Regarding Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear Signing Optometric Bill (SB110) Into Law

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - February 24, 2011) - The following statement was released by Richard L. Abbott, MD, president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, in response to the Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear signing an optometric surgery bill that presents serious risks to patients into law:

"The signing of Senate Bill 110 into law is a serious blow to patient safety in Kentucky. In almost every state in the country, eye surgery is performed by medical doctors with years of extensive medical and surgical training and experience. Now in Kentucky complicated eyelid surgeries, laser glaucoma surgeries and corneal punctures can be handled by optometrists with little more surgical experience than a weekend mini-course. Just like we only rely on trained pilots to fly our airplanes, surgery should only be performed by surgeons. Optometrists simply do not have the training necessary to perform these procedures or manage the kinds of serious complications that can arise during surgery. Surgical proficiency is acquired through years of medical education and clinical training by medical doctors. For the sake of patient safety across the commonwealth, Governor Beshear and the legislature need to take another look at the complications and impact of this dangerous law, before it's too late."

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons -- Eye M.D.s -- with more than 29,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" -- opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases and injuries, and perform eye surgery. To find an Eye M.D. in your area, visit the Academy's Web site at

Contact Information

    American Academy of Ophthalmology
    Kevin R. Walter
    Advocacy Communications Manager
    (202) 587-5816 (Direct)
    (202) 420-0153 (Cell)