Bethesda, MD (Feb. 2, 2017) — As the largest international medical meeting dedicated to the science and practice of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery, Digestive Disease Week (DDW®) occurs each year to facilitate the exchange of scientific knowledge and breakthroughs in digestive disorders

The leadership of DDW believes that the recent executive order banning travel of foreign nationals and refugees from seven countries to the U.S. will stifle discussion among members of the scientific community. Presentations and meetings that occur during DDW allow physicians and scientists from around the world to learn about and discuss cutting-edge scientific research and create partnerships that often lead to innovations in identifying, screening, and treating digestive disorders, as well as improving patient care.

During DDW, we host an average of 16,000 attendees, including physicians, researchers, and academics, from around the world to facilitate dialogue between gastroenterologists and hepatologists. The potential for the travel ban to impede this free-flow of information is significant and will ultimately hurt the most vulnerable and unintended recipients — patients.

As physicians and scientists, we strive to ensure that patient care is the pinnacle of all that we do. It is our hope that the administration will lift or modify this ban to ensure that physicians, scientists and patients around the world have access to the science and research that might lead to improved identification, screening, treatment, and cures for digestive disorders.

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