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What is the HHS Transgender Mandate?


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What is the HHS Transgender Mandate?


HHS recently mandated that doctors[1] must perform gender transition procedures on any child referred by a mental health professional, even if the doctor believes the treatment or hormone therapy could harm the childDoctors who follow their Hippocratic Oath to act in the best interest of their patient instead of this new mandate can face severe consequences, including losing their job[2]

The Transgender Mandate also requires virtually all private insurance companies and many employers to cover gender transition procedures or face stiff penalties and legal action[3]There are two major insurance plans exempted from HHS’s mandate, however—the plans run by HHS: Medicare and Medicaid. 

Why are the government’s plans exempt? Most children referred for gender dysphoria grow up not to be transgender and the government’s own panel of medical experts concluded that these gender transition procedures can be harmful[4]

Medicare and Medicaid don't even have to pay for these procedures because HHS’s medical experts believe gender transition procedures can be harmful[5]But HHS’s political appointees have pushed through a rule that will ruin doctors whose best medical judgment is that they cannot perform the very same procedures because it will harm the child under their care. 

To be clear, this is not a question of access to care but of forcing a political ideology on doctors against their medical judgment. This mandate would be unique in requiring doctors to violate their Hippocratic Oath.

A decision to undergo a gender transition procedure is a difficult and deeply personal one, and it is especially complicated in the case of children. It is a private healthcare decision that should be between a family and their doctor, not decided by politicians and government bureaucrats. 

 

 
 
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Medical Consensus: HHS's Transgender Mandate Will Harm Children


Medical Consensus: HHS's Transgender Mandate Will Harm Children


Research shows that there are significant risks with gender transition procedures in childhood.  Again, that is why HHS’s own medical board advised against requiring coverage of gender transition surgical procedures under Medicare and Medicaid. 

Along with physical impacts like heart conditions, increased cancer risk, and loss of bone density, the peer-reviewed longitudinal studies of children with gender dysphoria (that HHS accepted as valid) found that fewer than 1-in-4 children referred for gender dysphoria continued to experience that condition into adulthood. Some grew out of it, but many of the children ended up realizing that they were not transgender but instead gay or lesbian. 

The Transgender Mandate virtually guarantees that doctors will be forced—against their medical judgmentto perform procedures aimed at altering the gender of children who are not actually transgender.

Children, especially those wrestling with gender dysphoria, are some of the most vulnerable and at-risk members in our society. It is unconscionable that our government is ordering doctors to administer hormone therapy and even gender-transition surgery when the best medical science and the doctor’s judgment conclude that such procedures would be irreversibly harmful.

 

 
 
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Transgender Mandate Requires Doctors to Violate Hippocratic Oath


Transgender Mandate Requires Doctors to Violate Hippocratic Oath


Virtually every doctor in America takes some variation of the Hippocratic Oath, promising to put the needs of each individual and unique patient first and do no harm. And yet, for the first time, the Transgender Mandate would force doctors to violate their oath. 

Medical science is on the side of any doctor who feels that in a specific case it would be a mistake to begin gender transition procedures on a child. 

The Mandate does not allow space for the doctor’s medical judgment and does not even allow the doctor to refer the child to another doctor, even one more qualified, or for a hospital to find a doctor willing to perform the procedure. Any refusal by a qualified and practicing doctor to perform such a procedure is a violation of the Mandate[6]

The Mandate is not about access to care. It is not about science or the best medical research. It is clearly not about the welfare and health of children. This Mandate would mark a significant movement away from the accepted medical ethics of our time, ethics that were affirmed and strengthened nearly 70 years ago precisely in response to a time when governments tried to force doctors to administer treatments and perform procedures doctors knew to be harmful.

Too much is at stake to allow this mandate to stand.