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Florida transgender kids ask court to suspend ban on medical treatment

They’re challenging rules recently adopted by the Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine.

Image by estableman from Pixabay

Three transgender minors and their parents are asking a federal judge in Tallahassee to temporarily suspend enforcement of Florida’s ban on medical treatment known as gender-affirming care. The plaintiffs, who are going by pseudonyms, filed a motion for preliminary injunction Monday in a lawsuit against Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and the state’s Department of Health.

They’re challenging rules recently adopted by the Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine, also defendants in the case, that “bar doctors from providing established medical care to transgender adolescents,” the motion says. “Because of the bans, no doctor in the state of Florida can provide the medical care (they need). Each of these minor plaintiffs will continue to suffer serious and irreparable harms if denied medical care.”

Under the rules, minors currently being treated with puberty blockers or hormone therapies would be allowed to continue the treatment. Children, such as the plaintiffs, who have begun to socially transition but have not started puberty blockers are ineligible for treatment. Florida doctors could lose their medical licenses if they order puberty blockers, hormone therapy or surgery for such trans minors. 

Ladapo and Gov. Ron DeSantis say gender-affirming treatment for youths is experimental and not backed by robust clinical research. But medical associations contend the state’s approach is at odds with widely accepted guidelines and that the treatment is safe, effective and medically necessary. A hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion has not yet been set. The case is before Senior U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle. 

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