AMA Side Steps Health and Science for Political Correctness
By Danielle DiQuattro
Gender identity science and politics was a major topic of discussion at the 2017 AMA Annual Meeting last week.
Delegates of the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a resolution claiming that there are more than two genders and that someone’s biological gender can differ from their “gender identity,” despite the fact that these issues are widely debated and disagreed on by many respected members of the scientific community. Just last year a major study challenged the science behind the claim made by the AMA.
Many studies have linked gender confusion with negative mental health effects. About forty-one percent of transgender individuals will attempt suicide at one point in their lives and those who chose to undergo transition surgery are nineteen times more likely to die by suicide. Celebrating gender confusion, as the AMA has done, despite the negative health effects, is a violation of the Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm.”
Although the AMA claims are controversial in the scientific community, at least the statements lie in the realm of medicine and biology. That is until the AMA decided to step out of their area of expertise and enter the world of politics.
The AMA announced their opposition “to policies that prevent transgender individuals from accessing basic human services and public facilities in line with gender identity” and would not hold their meetings in any cities that have enacted these so-called discriminatory “bathroom bills.”
Heritage Foundation William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles & Public Policy Ryan Anderson, points out that the word discrimination is incorrectly applied to policies that do not allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. These policies simply define gender in terms of biology and not identity, and are not “discriminatory” in the same way Jim Crow laws were, for example.
He goes on to conclude that it is possible to have private and safe facilities for transgender individuals, while also respecting communities that do not wish to have men in women’s bathrooms or vice-versa.
The Obama Administration unnecessarily stepped into this debate last May when it attempted to unilaterally rewrite law in its guidance to the Department of Education by forcing schools to equate gender identity with sex. The Trump Administration has since rescinded this letter, but Congress should pass the Civil Rights Uniformity Act to clarify sex does not mean gender identity for the purpose of interpreting or enforcing civil rights statutes.
Politicians and groups like the AMA should not let political correctness undermine sound science and medicine.