EPPC Files Brief in Lawsuit Challenging HHS Gender Identity Mandate in Healthcare

April 6, 2023

On April 6, 2023, the Ethics and Public Policy Center filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit, American College of Pediatricians v. Becerra, challenging a “gender identity mandate” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Secretary Xavier Becerra. Under the guise of nondiscrimination, the mandate requires healthcare professionals’ performance, insurance coverage, and promotion of “gender-transition interventions” (puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries), including for children.

The brief, submitted by EPPC fellows Rachel N. Morrison, Mary Rice Hasson, and Eric Kniffin, asks the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a district court’s dismissal of the lawsuit brought by Plaintiffs American College of Pediatricians and Catholic Medical Association on behalf of their members.

The brief argues:

This “gender identity mandate” is an arbitrary determination by a government agency of the required medical standard of care and forces healthcare professionals, including Plaintiffs, to violate their religious beliefs and ethical obligations to render treatment according to their best medical judgment. As discussed below, there is no international or national medical consensus regarding an authoritative standard of care for the treatment of gender dysphoria or for the proper evaluation of the risks and benefits of medically assisted “gender transitions.” Gender-transition interventions can lead to significant and irreversible harms, especially for minors…. Without reversal, Plaintiffs will be forced choose between providing, insuring, and promoting harmful gender-transition interventions, including for minors, or violating their religious beliefs and best ethical and medical judgments.

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