Treatment Ban Backed for Trans Youths

Treatment Ban Backed for Trans Youths

By Dara Kam, The News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Board of Medicine and the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine on Friday refused to scrap new rules prohibiting doctors from using gender-affirming care for trans youths, after dozens of transgender men and women pleaded with them to reverse the treatment bans.

Also, at a joint meeting of the boards, the Board of Osteopathic Medicine unanimously nixed an exception to its rule that would have allowed trans children participating in studies conducted by state universities to receive medical treatment. That brought the two boards’ rules into alignment.

The state Department of Health in July filed a petition seeking a rule-making process on the contentious issue of treatment for gender dysphoria, which the federal government defines clinically as “significant distress that a person may feel when sex or gender assigned at birth is not the same as their identity.”

The boards in November approved the DeSantis administration’s proposal to ban doctors from using puberty blockers, hormone therapy or surgery to treat gender dysphoria for transgender minors, with the Board of Osteopathic Medicine adding the exemption.

More than 150 people attended Friday’s meeting, where speakers overwhelmingly opposed the treatment bans. The critics repeatedly noted that most of the country’s medical associations have endorsed gender-affirming care for minors and adults.

Lola Smith, a self-described nonbinary 12-year-old, beseeched regulators to reverse the rules.

“The most embarrassing moment of my life is happening right now as I stand in front of a panel of strangers and publicly beg for my right to exist. Nothing is more humiliating and dehumanizing than pleading for one’s own existence. How did we get here? Politicians are using kids like me to get votes from people who hate us,” Smith said.

Lindsey Spero, a 25-year-old trans man from St. Petersburg, injected himself with a hormone shot as he faced the board. Spero said he attempted to end his life numerous times as he was growing up because he lacked access to gender-affirming care.

“My medication is lifesaving. Your denial of my need for this medication doesn’t make my existence as a trans person any less real,” Spero said.

Under the rules, minors currently being treated with puberty blockers or hormone therapies would be allowed to continue the treatment.

But parents of trans kids who are transitioning socially and haven’t begun such treatments or who are currently using medical treatment expressed concern about their children’s futures.

“This is a major infringement to my parental rights,” Emer Roy Mulcahy chastised the boards. “Stay in your lane. You don’t protect the children by removing health care from those same children. Those are easy to pick on, being a vulnerable group craving nothing more than acceptance and space in the world. Do the right thing. Reverse the whole thing.”

Simone Chriss, director of the Trans Rights Initiative at Southern Legal Counsel, argued that the treatments are necessary.

“We know based on the overwhelming weight of evidence and science that access to treatment for gender dysphoria is safe, effective and medically necessary … and stripping children in Florida … to that care harms them, in no way protects them,” said Chriss, a lawyer who was among the people who requested Friday’s hearing.

Board of Medicine Chairman Scot Ackerman pushed back, arguing “there’s not adequate evidence to support the use” of the treatments.

“What the board has sought to do is protect our children from therapies that have irreversible harm. … So it’s a very limited set of therapies that have been restricted, but this board still wants these patients cared for, absolutely,” he said.

But Jacob Eleazar, a transgender man who is a clinical psychologist, questioned what type of care that would be.

“There are no evidence-based psychological treatments for gender dysphoria.

So that makes me wonder, is the implication that the treatment should be sexual orientation or gender-identity change efforts, which we know … are incredibly harmful?” he said. “I’m sick of cleaning up the mess.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is widely seen as a top contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, has elevated the issue of treatment for transgender youths. The governor frequently refers to surgeries on transgender minors as “genital mutilation,” though experts have said the surgeries are exceptionally rare.

Board of Medicine member Hector Vila said the boards, which regulate physicians, thoroughly explored the issue before concluding the therapies are not supported by the evidence.

“I’m sorry it’s uncomfortable. We’re in an uncomfortable situation. I feel like there’s a lot of the public thinks I dislike them. Not at all,” he began, interrupted by jeers from the audience. “We can’t even make a sincere comment, and it’s hurtful to us … This isn’t about politics. This is about the information we reviewed, the testimony we’ve listened to, and the narrow set of circumstances in which we’re trying to protect the children.”

Urging the Board of Osteopathic Medicine to strip its rule of the exception for clinical research, Department of Health general counsel John Wilson said having different standards for the medical boards “is both illogical and confusing.”

“The department believes that the record does not support any reason that an osteopathic physician can complete these treatments or conduct this research with greater safety than their allopathic counterpart,” he said. “The department is also concerned that the exception threatens to undermine the purpose of the rule.”

The osteopathic board voted unanimously to remove the exception, with no discussion.

13 Responses to "Treatment Ban Backed for Trans Youths"

  1. Look at the picture at the top of the article. You see people holding political signs and police presence. You should not see either one of these things at a medical board meeting. They have nothing to do with science and medicine and have everything to do with a contentious political issue.

    As far as I know and can remember, being transgender was always considered a mental disorder by medical associations, medical experts and common wisdom. Political winds have changed and political pressure is constant and now various medical associations and experts have declared the science has changed and being transgender is not a mental illness. And we must all bend the knee to the new truth – well, common wisdom hasn’t changed and common people aren’t going to bend the knee.

  2. @Parent Advocate — the “entire reputable scientific community” does NOT support this. That “extra X” chromosome, or lack thereof, is definitive.

    Why is it that the only thing you can pretend to be and generate a massive outpouring of support is the opposite sex? If I pretend to be a policeman, doctor, lawyer, teenager, middle school student, property owner, governor, president, or thousands of other things I wind up in jail or a mental hospital.

    The denial of one’s own biology based on “feelings” may be real, but the biology is real, too. No amount of chemicals, medications, or surgery will change either one.

  3. @ Deep Six. When I enlisted, my parents gave me a new 1976 2-door Chevette in green. I rolled the wheels off that car. In its later years, the car was known as “La Bomba”.

  4. When I was in high school, I identified as a Corvette driver. My pop id’d me as a Chevette driver and told me to suck it up and be happy I was still sucking good air. I really wanted a Corvette and wouldn’t let it go… my mom says my pop spoiled me.

    If you are confused about your gender, you aren’t spoiled, you are sick. Very sick.

  5. This story isn’t new and it is testimony to the downward turn medicine has taken. It is preposterous for any medical doctor to believe this crap.

    It isn’t just FAMU that seriously dumb down the curriculum, it is all our universities and now, apparently our medical colleges.

    It has been, for a long time, obvious to the most casual observer that law school is a walk in the park and being able to speak fluent english hasn’t been a requirement, for years. We now should be very concerned about our Doctors and Nurses.

    So let the liberals keep dumbing down the course studies. Memphis has proven that being black is the only requirement to be a cop. Don’t think that the pilot flying the plane on you next vacation or the air traffic controllet guiding your flight is exceptionally qualified. The near miss at Austin, Texas airport a few days ago should scare any sane pilot/passenger.

    The fact is a lot of stupid, uneducated, under-priviledge youth are better off working a weedeater all day instead of flying your plane, being your doctor or being a cop. But that isn’t politically correct or woke enough.

    Some people are just losers and the taxpayer shouldn’t have to share their hard earned money with them.

  6. This should be between the person and their doctor and if underage the doctor or anyone from a public education system involved with a minor should be prosecuted.

  7. You get regular treatment for what you are…not what you pretend to be. If you’re a woman pretending to be a man, it is impossible for you to get a prostate gland check.

  8. It’s not mental illness according to the World health organization. Being transgender is no longer a ‘mental disorder’ as per APA (2012). This law/ban was generated politically, not by taxpayers, who give testimonials at any public board meeting, and always will. These Boards rejected all readily available peer reviewed clinical trials, saying those didn’t exist- more clinical trials were needed. They then ruled against more clinical trials- thus proving every point I’ve made here.

  9. What is this? A political town hall meeting? Why are medical boards meeting with Joe Public holding signs and giving emotional anecdotal testimonies and ideological arguments?

    I’m glad the Boards kept the ban, but what are they doing? Use the professional standards such as data, evidence and ethics like you did in the past. If you want to be a doctor, be a doctor. If you want to be a politician run for office and hold all the town hall meetings you want to.

  10. Not a mental illness according to the entire reputable scientific community eg; World Health organization & The American Psychiatric Association is the main professional organization of psychiatrists and trainee psychiatrists in the United States, and the largest psychiatric organization in the world.Wikipedia

  11. Friday’s 2/10/23 solution to the Board’s ‘there’s not enough research?’ was to vote to remove the Board of Osteopathy’s inclusion of more research!!….thus shining a bright light into a corner where legislation is not being driven by taxpayers (with known dire consequences to untreated gender dysphoria).
    The fact that one of the Board members referenced transphobia as homophobia verbiage tells you everything about the lack of medically accepted expertise that went into this decision, with huge limitation on speakers, truly representative of the public, at prior meetings.
    I’m a parent; if, like me you’re also a citizen who cares about humanity, please show up to public medical and educational meetings & speak or write your reps. Parents who also love their kids unconditionally, need to say it (your way) incl by voting against oppression, when;

    1. Elected representatives make their State an exception to best medical practices like WPATH, and *peer-reviewed 2022 and decades prior ample worldwide research*. Political-appointees overreach their roles into being present at Children’s medical appointments.

    2. The State is hurting parents & children whether by disregarding proven medical statistics (or in education by banning books and hurting the licences and livelihoods of teachers and media specialists, for teaching real history, critical thinking and complying with Title IX civil rights).

    3. This new State legislation is already encroaching inside my kids classrooms, in school libraries, in students restrooms and now moving into universities.

    4. By ending the meeting 40 minutes early (after only momentary deliberation) it was a refusal to listen to other members of the public by actively preventing speaking. Following prior State public meetings ended hours earlier than scheduled.
    Representative Anna V. Eskamani Rita Harris Democracy Forward
    Original post; 2/10/23
    The Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathy are in the process of passing rules that restrict gender affirming care. Medical decisions should continue to be made between *Medical* providers, young people and their families. But the State’s unrelenting transphobia, and the State agencies being used for political gain, are putting the lives of transgender youth at risk. Representative Fred Hawkins, Florida House, Senator Linda Stewart Maxwell Alejandro Frost please support trans youth!

  12. ~ Lindsey Spero, a 25-year-old trans man from St. Petersburg, injected himself with a hormone shot as he faced the board. Spero said he attempted to end his life numerous times as he was growing up because he lacked access to gender-affirming care. “My medication is lifesaving. Your denial of my need for this medication doesn’t make my existence as a trans person any less real,” Spero said.

    Anyone still think Gender Dysphoria/Dystopia isn’t a serious mental condition? Those who suffer with this condition need psychological treatment, not wokeological affirmation.

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