Statement attributable to:
Ryan D. Mire, MD, MACP
WASHINGTON March 31, 2023 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) is alarmed by a law that went into effect in Kentucky this week that bans gender-affirming care for minors and forces detransition for any minors who are already receiving that care. While this law is alarming, even more troubling is that it is part of a larger trend of laws across different states that are also seeking to restrict access to this evidence-based health care.
Laws and policies that restrict access to gender-affirming care reinforce marginalization and discrimination, increasing the risk of anxiety, substance use disorders, suicide, and other mental health issues for those it affects. Studies have shown that receiving gender-affirming care is associated with increases in positive affect and life satisfaction and decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms for those patients. Transgender individuals already face extreme barriers to accessing necessary health care, this type of interference in the patient-physician relationship is unacceptable. The Kentucky law, similar to some of the laws being put into place in other states, also threatens the license of physicians who provide gender-affirming care to patients. Physicians must not face civil, criminal, or licensure penalties for providing medical care that is in accordance with the recommendations of ACP and other medical organizations. We need to be looking for ways to better support transgender and gender nonconforming patients and their families, reduce social stigma, and improve access to care for these vital health services.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 160,000 internal medicine physicians, related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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