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Internists Object to Policies that Interfere in Patient-Physician Relationship and Penalize Evidence-Based Care

Statement attributable to:
George M. Abraham, MD, MPH, MACP, FIDSA
President, American College of Physicians

WASHINGTON, D.C. February 24, 2022 –The American College of Physicians (ACP) is strongly opposed to governmental interference in the patient-physician relationship that prevents physicians from providing their patients with evidence-based medical services. This includes the new order from Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, that would classify medical treatment provided to transgender youth as “child abuse.” Laws and policies that restrict access to gender affirming care, such as this one from Gov. Abbott, reinforce marginalization and discrimination, increasing the risk of anxiety, substance use disorders, suicide, and other mental health issues for those it affects. Moreover, the Texas order would prevent transgender individuals from receiving evidence-based health care. Transgender individuals already face extreme barriers to accessing necessary health care, this type of interference in the patient-physician relationship is unacceptable.

Additionally, the policy in Texas places physicians, other health care professionals, and other professionals who interact with children in the position of being required to report parents for seeking care that is in accordance with the recommendations of ACP and other medical organizations. Instead of policies that block access to health care and harm the patient-physician relationship, we need to seek ways to better support these families, improve access to care for these services, and reduce social stigma.

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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 161,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), 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, Facebook, and Instagram.

Contact: Jacquelyn Blaser, (202) 261-4572, jblaser@acponline.org