Two Florida medical boards have adopted care standards for children suffering from gender dysphoria that prevent doctors from treating minors with puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones or gender transition surgeries.
During a joint board meeting on Friday, the Florida Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine each voted to adopt new Practice Standards for the Treatment of Gender Dysphoria.
According to the newly adopted “standards of practice for the treatment of gender dysphoria in minors:” “sex reassignment surgeries, or any other surgical procedures, that alter primary or secondary sexual characteristics,” as well as “puberty blocking, hormone, and hormone antagonist therapies” are prohibited.
The boards allowed exceptions for nonsurgical treatments on minors already receiving such treatment and on “Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved, investigator-initiated clinical trials” which “must include long term longitudinal assessments of the patients’ physiologic and psychologic outcomes.”
“The chief point of agreement among all of the experts—and I must emphasize this—is that there is a pressing need for additional, high-quality clinical research,” Dr. David A. Diamond, a radiation oncologist and the chair of the board, said on Friday.
Members of both boards met in committee on Oct. 28 to hear expert and public testimony on the question. Several people who had undergone body altering gender treatments, only to regret their decisions, spoke during the public comment period, denying that gender transition procedures are harmless or reversible.
According to the public minutes of the five-hour meeting, a motion “to allow Board counsel to draft rule language for approval to set the practice standards for the treatment of gender dysphoria” was approved by a 9-2 vote.
The overwhelming majority of American voters, however, don’t support gender transition procedures for children. According to a recent Trafalgar poll, 78.7% of likely voters believe minors should be required to wait to obtain gender transition treatments.
Efforts in the Sunshine State to regulate gender transition procedures for children began in April 2021, when Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo proposed guidance to “clarify evidence recently cited on a fact sheet released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”
After a review of the evidence, the Florida guidance stated, “Due to the lack of conclusive evidence [in favor of gender transition procedures], and the potential for long-term, irreversible effects,” the guidance explained, “the Department’s guidelines are as follows:
- Social gender transition should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents.
- Anyone under 18 should not be prescribed puberty blockers or hormone therapy.
- Gender reassignment surgery should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents.
- Children and adolescents should be provided social support by peers and family and seek counseling from a licensed provider.”
While Florida is one of the first states to address the harms of gender transitioning practices through the state’s medical board, other states are taking action as well. Arkansas and Alabama have passed legislation protecting minors from gender transition procedures. In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the state’s child welfare agency to investigate parents who approve sex reassignment surgeries for their children for suspicion of child abuse.
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