Headlines

Florida Boards of Medicine Prohibit Care of Transgender Minors

Florida Boards of Medicine Prohibit Care of Transgender Minors

Comment

The Florida Board of Medicine approved a the rule On Friday, minors will be prohibited from receiving puberty blockers, hormone therapy or surgery as treatments for gender dysphoria.

The ban, which will come into effect after a 21-day public comment period, includes non-surgical exemptions for young people already receiving care. Doctors who break the new rules could they face penalties, including losing their medical license.

Other states have tried to restrict such care, but Florida is the first to do so through its medical boards. Arkansas and Alabama legislatures approved similar measures, but families filed lawsuits against both and judges barred either from taking effect as litigation it’s playing. Arizona lawmakers also passed a prohibition earlier this year, but that law hasn’t gone into effect yet, and activists have he vowed sue.

Multiple professional organizations, including American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association and the Endocrine Society have endorsed puberty blockers and hormones as appropriate treatments for young people with gender dysphoria. Studies have shown that puberty blockers and hormone therapy can reduce emotional stress for transgender young people and reduce the risk of suicide.

Preventing young people from accessing that care could lead to “tragic health consequences,” the head of the American Medical Association said last year.

Despite those guidelines, Florida’s conservative leaders have repeatedly tried to prevent young people from crossing. Republicans tried to pass a ban earlier this year, but account died in committee.

In April, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo made the announcement guidelines which suggests that young people should not be allowed to socially transition by using a different name, pronouns or style of dress, or receive gender-affirming medical care such as puberty blockers or cross-hormone therapy.

In June, citing “extremely weak” evidence to support gender-affirming care, Ladapo asked medical board to “establish a standard of care for these complex and irreversible procedures.” DeSantis named all 14 board members, and a Tampa Bay Times analysis this week found that at least eight of them had donated to Republican gubernatorial campaigns or a political committee.

The board met Friday afternoon — so close to the midterm elections that one state representative, Democrat Anna Eskamani, accused the board of using the vote to drum up support for DeSantis’ re-election bid.

Although the joint committee ultimately took public comments from 16 people — eight for and eight against the rule — members voted on the rule before hearing from the public.

In a split vote that a medical board attorney said he had never seen, the Board of Osteopathic Medicine will allow new patients enrolled in clinical trials to receive care, while the Florida Board of Medicine will not. This means that there will be two standards in the country, one for her 57,354 medical doctors and another one for its 7,842 osteopathic doctors. (Like medical doctors, osteopaths prescribe medications and perform surgeries, but they go through a different four-year training process and focus on preventive care rather than treating symptoms.)

David A. Diamond, a radiation oncologist and chairman of the medical board, was one of three dissenters who voted to retain the exemption for physicians.

“The main point of agreement among all the experts — and I must emphasize this — is that there is an urgent need for additional high-quality clinical research,” Diamond said. “I say we study it. … Let’s be a light to the world about what is the best care for these people. Otherwise we’ll never know.”

The board’s decision followed a lengthy and emotional board meeting in October. Committee members met for five hours in a conference room at an Orlando airport hotel, and activists who supported the ban flew in from across the country to testify.

Many of them said they had experienced trauma and once thought transitioning would ease their mental health struggles. They said they took cross-sex hormones and underwent surgical procedures, but later regretted those interventions. (A group of researchers from Princeton recently found that only 2.5 percent of transgender youth reverted to their natal gender within five years.)

Chloe Cole, a self-described “18-year-old detransitioning woman” from California’s Central Valley, said she began transitioning at age 12 and had a double mastectomy at 15. She said she now “seriously regrets” the procedure. .

“I want to be a mother one day, but I will never be able to feed my future children,” Cole testifies. “My breasts were beautiful. And now they have been burned in vain.”

Over the past six months, Cole has become one of the most prominent speakers in the detransition movement. She has testified before legislators in Louisiana, Ohio, DC and California. Last month, she spoke in Nashville at right-wing political commentator Matt Walsh’s “Rally to End Child Mutilation.”

At least one member of the Florida committee said she found Cole’s testimony compelling and sufficient reason to ban minors from receiving care.

Fifty trans rights activists attended the committee meeting, and several signed up to speak, but only one, Jude Speegle, was given time during the public comment period. Speegle read the names of 17 trans teenagers who “chose suicide over life in a world that refused to acknowledge or accept them.”

Shortly after Speegle finished, the commission’s chairman, a cardiologist from Fort Lauderdale Zachariah P. Zachariah, shortened the meeting. When the crowd complained that Zachariah had banned them from speaking after allowing nine detransition activists to testify, Zachariah told the crowd to email him.

The crowd protested and began shouting, “Their blood is on your hands.”

Zachariah, the longtime board member who wrote a $25,000 check to the Friends of Ron DeSantis in May, was unfazed.

“That’s fine,” he said.



#Florida #Boards #Medicine #Prohibit #Care #Transgender #Minors

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button