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An new bill in Illinois bill would punish doctors for providing transgender youth with any transition-related health care.
Rep. Tom Morrison’s (R) bill, the Youth Health Prevention Act, would prevent doctors from giving hormone prescriptions, providing transition-related surgeries, or even referring trans youth to another doctor for transition-related health care. If a doctor does, it’ll be considered “unprofessional conduct” subject to discipline, and they could have their license suspended or revoked
Myles Brady Davis, communications manager and press secretary for Equality Illinois, said, “It’s trying to get in between a medical professional, parents, and their children. They’re basically trying to do that because of somebody’s identity. We’re going down a slippery slope if we’re going to allow a lawmaker to discriminate against somebody because of their identity. What if somebody decided he just doesn’t like people with cancer? Are we going to stand in between them and accessing care? It just blows my mind that a bill like that was even introduced.”
Joshua Safer, executive director for the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai, told ThinkProgress that it would be a breach of medical ethics to fail to provide health care according to standard guidelines. Safer said it seems “problematic” for a state to make a law obligating physicians to break their oaths.
Transgender people and experts on transition-related care say this health care is often a matter of life and death. Trans people sometimes seek care through unofficial channels without proper supervision, which puts their lives in danger. Trans people have died through illegal silicone injections, for example. When trans people can’t access necessary health care, their mental health is also put in danger.
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