Doctors in Florida are now banned from performing life-altering sex change surgeries on children following a groundbreaking vote by the state’s top medical boards.
The Friday vote, by Florida’s Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine, also prohibits doctors from prescribing dangerous chemical castration drugs for minors.
The rules had been pushed by Florida Surgeon General Joseph Lapado and were publicly supported by Governor Ron DeSantis (R).
Last week, DeSantis took issue with some in the medical community during a gubernatorial debate.
Lapado lauded the vote by the medical boards, saying that the decisions will “protect our children from irreversible surgeries and highly experimental treatments…
“I appreciate the integrity of the Boards for ruling in the best interest of children in Florida despite facing tremendous pressure to permit these unproven and risky treatments.”
On October 28, Florida’s top two medical boards held a legislative meeting that proposed the rule to ban medical transition treatments for those under the age of 18.
The proposal came after the board members heard from expert testimony and public comment.
On November 4, a second meeting was held where the committee voted on the rule.
The rule passed in the vote and is currently set to take effect after a 21-day public comment period.
“The chief point of agreement among all of the experts — and I must emphasize this — is that there is a pressing need for additional, high-quality clinical research,” said Dr. David A. Diamond, a radiation oncologist and the chair of the board.
Florida now joins the medical authorities of several European countries including Norway, Finland, Sweden, and the U.K. in concluding that the evidence of so-called “gender-affirming” care, is very poor and the risks are real.
“Gender-affirming” is a “woke” term used to describe life-changing sex-change treatments such as puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries, usually involving children.
The irreversible gender surgeries typically involve permanently removing or altering a child’s genitals.
Once the rule goes into effect, it will be the first ban in the country of “gender-affirming” care for minors instituted by a state medical board.
The committee cited the poor quality of evidence to support the use of “gender-affirming” medical interventions in minors.
The boards suggested that, instead, psychotherapy would be a more appropriate treatment for adolescents who have recently adopted a trans-identity.
The board voted 6-3 to adopt a new standard of care that will prohibit doctors from prescribing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or performing gender-related surgeries until patients are 18.
Doctors who disobey the new rule risk losing their medical licenses.
The rule includes a grandfather clause that permits individuals already receiving these treatments to continue.
For new patients, the Board of Osteopathic Medicine voted to allow exceptional cases if they participated in an Institutional Review Board-approved clinical trial.
However, the Board of Medicine voted against the exception.