New Guidance Ignores Evidence-Based Care for Transgender Children
TALLAHASSEE — Following the release of new Florida Department of Health guidelines advising against the provision of gender-affirming healthcare for children and adolescents, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics today released the following statement urging 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 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 Florida’s health agency 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. LGBTQ+ students experience disproportionate bullying and bias in school, and recent CDC data indicate that almost 2 percent of high school students identify as transgender. 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.
“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, and decisions about that care should be left to medical professionals and parents, not to the state.”
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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.
For more information:
Scott VanDeman, Communications Coordinator
Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics