The Florida Board of Medicine voted to consider a new standard of care for transgender youth in the state, colliding with major medical societies, federal guidance and urgent demands from LGBT+ advocates and health care providers in a move critics say is a slap in the face of transgender people The political attack on Gov. Ron DeSantis and those in his administration.
On August 5, widely debunked guidance against affirming health care was released in Florida (including “social” transition measures such as changing pronouns or wearing different clothes.
The governor-appointed board’s decision launched a formal rule-change process that would deny transgender youth from such care and force them out of the transition. The process can take several months, and gender-affirming care is not immediately barred.
The researchers cited in the April memo from the Florida Department of Health said their work was misrepresented in an attempt to justify denying gender-affirming care to transgender youth in Florida.
Report from the Vice President Finding that all 12 citations in the memo either distort the cited work or come from a clear trans-trans source, the Florida Department of Health claims it cannot find any evidence that such treatments are safe and labels them ” experimental”—though they cite work to the contrary.
The department asked the state’s medical board to ban “sex reassignment surgery or any other procedure that alters primary or secondary sexual characteristics to treat gender dysphoria” — including puberty blockers and hormone replacement therapy — on patients under 18.
Adults seeking such care must also obtain approval from the board, according to the health department.
The department also suggested that physicians already supporting patients receiving such care should stop — which would allow the state to mandate changes to transgender people in Florida.
This guide Florida Surgeon Joseph Ladapo Posts Disapproval Federal Health Guidance The study found that gender-affirming care for young trans people “is critical to overall health and well-being, as it allows the child or adolescent to focus on social transformation and enhances their confidence in navigating the healthcare system.”
In June, Mr Radapo told a state committee that the evidence for the broad support of medical professionals supporting gender-affirming care was “very weak” and said the state must “protect children from political medicine”.
Current guidelines do not recommend gender-affirming surgery for children under the age of 18, and they are generally ineligible for surgical transition.
A joint statement from Lambda Legal, Southern Legal Counsel, the Florida Health Justice Project and the National Health Law Initiative urged the committee to “stop playing politics with people’s health care” and reject the state’s guidelines, which run counter to the World Professional Association’s Guidelines. Transgender Health, American Medical Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Academy of Family Physicians, among others.
According to the group’s statement, “existing, well-established, evidence-based guidelines already guide health clinicians in prescribing treatments for gender dysphoria.”
Changing these standards of care “will make it more difficult, if not impossible, for Florida physicians to provide transgender patients with gender dysphoria care that is widely considered medically necessary,” they wrote. “The proposal is based on a clear hostility to trans people and junk science.”
Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, said Governor DeSantis’ “attack on trans people in Florida” was “an attempt to create a divide between parents, children, their teachers and doctors.”
This is a developing story