Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has decided to ban gender reassignment treatments statewide. The measure reaches surgeries, medication, and other procedures to be outlawed in the next few weeks and will involve both ongoing therapies and those yet to be started.
The Governor announced the impending mandate for healthcare practitioners following a majority vote from the State's Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine, which recommended banning all gender reassignment surgeries and also puberty blockers administered to patients under 18. Other states such as Arkansas and Alabama have wanted to take similar action but were deterred by a barrage of lawsuits.
A gender reassignment operation in the United States currently varies in cost depending on the type of transition desired. In the case of a female-to-male transition, it is around US$ 124,400, while a male-to-female transition is around US$ 140,450.
The board voted 6-3 with five other members not present last Friday to forbid doctors from prescribing puberty blockers and hormones or performing surgeries until a patient is 18. It is yet unclear whether exceptions will be made for children who are already receiving the treatment.
The Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine also voted to ban the use of puberty blockers and sex-reassignment surgery in new patients who are minors but allowed an exception for children enrolled in clinical studies.
“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 the board of medicine’s chair, Dr. David A. Diamond, a radiation oncologist.
A clinic offering gender-transition services for children in the United Kingdom was closed down after authorities found it was “not a safe or viable long-term option” since other mental health issues were “overshadowed” by gender concerns.
Psychiatrist David Bell, a whistleblower who raised concerns about the Tavistock clinic, has also called for a Scottish clinic that offers gender-transition services for children to be closed immediately.
“There are quite a lot of studies showing if these children are helped in a different way, with expert attention and gender neutrality, they give up their wish,” he added. “A lot emerge as gay and lesbian young people . . . We want to celebrate gender fluidity, so people can keep their sex body but express their gender how they wish to.”
He expressed concern about the use of puberty blockers, saying “it should be an extremely rare occurrence that you should block a child’s puberty.”