Florida restricts doctors from providing gender treatments to minors
“I feel very strongly that this is an abuse of their power,” said Dr. Meredith McNamara, a Yale adolescent medicine physician who treats transgender children, testified at the meeting.
In September 2021, Mr. DeSantis appointed Dr. Ladapo, a physician and clinical researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, for surgeon general. Together, the two men are scientific uncertainty taken many times — whether it’s coronavirus vaccines or gender-affirming adolescent care — and has used it to justify aggressive policies outside of mainstream medical orthodoxy.
Florida’s Republican state legislature introduced legislation in 2021 and again this year that would criminalize performing sex-affirmation surgery on transgender adolescents and make it a first-degree misdemeanor to prescribe puberty blockers and hormones. In both years, the bill failed to advance in the state House of Representatives.
In April, dr. Nicely sent by a a letter to doctors in Florida who recommend against prescribing gender-affirming drugs and surgeries to minors, and to facilitate social transitions, such as changes in hairstyle or pronouns. The memorandum encouraged a state investigation which led to the loss of Medicaid coverage of gender-related treatments for patients of all ages.
In June, dr. Cool asked state medical board to consider a ban, arguing that the evidence for gender-affirming adolescent care is “extremely weak” and comes with a “high risk of long-term, irreversible harm.”
Two months later, the night before the board was to vote on whether to draft its own rule, Dr. Ladapo invited board members to apply, an unusual move, according to one member who requested anonymity because he was concerned about his privacy. Normally, he said, the board would decide to investigate doctors after receiving complaints, not at the behest of the surgeon general. The next day, the board voted on a draft of the new protection standard.
The Department of Health, which dr. Ladapo oversees said there was nothing inappropriate in the surgeon general reaching out to board members.
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