With Meredithe McNamara and Christina Lepore: Scientific Misinformation Is Criminalizing the Standard of Care for Transgender Youth, JAMA August 22, 2022.
“Transgender and nonbinary (TGNB) youth in the US face growing sociopolitical obstacles in pursuit of health care. In 2021 and 2022, Arkansas and Alabama enacted legislative bans on gender-affirming care (GAC), with penalties for physicians ranging from loss of licensure to imprisonment.1 In 2022, the Texas attorney general set a troubling precedent by issuing a legal opinion equating GAC with child abuse, claiming that this treatment constitutes forced sterilization and experimentation.1 Such actions rely on scientific misinformation, retracted research, and politically biased sources.1 As of June 2022, enforcement of the Arkansas and Alabama laws has been temporarily enjoined by the federal courts, but the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has continued investigations into parents who provide GAC to their children. A summary of legal initiatives is presented in the Table. These bans on GAC place guardians and health care professionals in an ethically precarious position, in which the law and the standard of care conflict….”