Florida Medical Board Considers Banning Transition Treatments for Kids

The state would ban treatments for children under 18.

QUICK FACTS:
  • A proposal by the administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis to prohibit doctors from giving hormone therapy and drugs to prevent puberty to transgender children is set to be discussed by the Florida Board of Medicine on Friday.
  • Last Monday, the state Department of Health petitioned the board that oversees medical practitioners to initiate a rule-making procedure on the divisive subject.
  • The action was taken as the state Agency for Health Care Administration announced plans to stop Medicaid from paying for some gender dysphoria therapies.
  • The Board of Medicine is proposing a “standard of care” that would prohibit those under the age of 18 from receiving sex-reassignment surgery and puberty-blocking hormone treatment.
STATEMENTS FROM MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS:
  • The petition cited a “lack of quality evidence and certainly no conclusive research to support the medical transition of children to the opposite gender as a treatment for gender dysphoria … Children do not possess the cognitive or emotional maturity to comprehend the consequences of these invasive and irreversible procedures.”
  • “We are concerned that any action by the Board (of Medicine) to ban or curtail standard medical care in Florida for individuals with gender dysphoria would set a troubling national precedent,” the letter said.
  • Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo issued his own statement pushing back against federal directives protecting such procedures for children, saying that “It was about injecting political ideology into the health of our children. Children experiencing gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18.”
BACKGROUND:
  • The petition is signed by Department of Health General Counsel John Wilson, but was quickly disputed by clinicians from such universities as Yale University, Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Texas Southwestern.
  • “We are alarmed that Florida’s health care agency has adopted a purportedly scientific report that so blatantly violates the basic tenets of scientific inquiry,” the professors and clinicians wrote. “The report makes false statements and contains glaring errors regarding science, statistical methods, and medicine.”
  • As of Friday, the Florida Board of Medicine posted 1,113 pages of documents on its website related to gender dysphoria treatment.