Current policy proposals supplant physician judgement and parental rights with one-size-fits-all approach
TALLAHASSEE — Following the release of new Florida Department of Health guidelines advising against the provision of gender-affirming healthcare for children, AHCA’s decision not to provide gender-affirming care to children and adolescents under Medicaid, and the state surgeon general’s request that the Florida Board of Medicine develop a standard of care for the treatment of all children with gender dysphoria, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics today released the following statement urging caution and reconsideration.
Gender-affirming care can be lifesaving. Research shows that access to evidence-based gender affirming care among adolescents significantly improves their mental health.
“Appropriate gender-affirming care, conducted in close coordination with pediatricians, specialists and parents, is safe and effective for treating patients experiencing gender dysphoria,” said FCAAP President Lisa Gwynn, DO, MBA, MSPH, FAAP. “It’s disheartening that the state of Florida continues to issue child-health guidance that conflicts with broad scientific consensus and without the consultation of pediatric physicians.”
In October 2021, The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association declared a national emergency in children’s mental health. National data have continued to demonstrate that LGBTQ+ youth are far more likely to attempt suicide, and experience more victimization, bullying, and sexual/dating violence than their cisgendered peers. Nearly 2 percent of high school students in the U.S. identify as transgender.
“In the midst of this national youth mental health crisis, obstructing the provision of necessary care does a disservice to medically vulnerable adolescents,” said Dr. Gwynn. “Like all children, transgender and gender-diverse youth deserve access to the care they need. The state’s attempts to supplant the judgement of pediatricians, specialty physicians and parents with a one-size-fits-all, state-mandated policy runs counter to sound medical practice, health equity and inclusivity, parental rights and the principles of limited government. The state should not interfere in the relationship between pediatricians, parents and their patients.”
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Through its more than 2,500 members, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics promotes the health and welfare of Florida’s children and supports pediatricians and pediatric specialists as the best qualified providers of their healthcare. Learn more by visiting www.fcaap.org.
*This statement is an update to FCAAP’s April 21 release in gender-affirming care for youth.
For more information:
Scott VanDeman, Communications Coordinator
Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics