Published June 22, 2022
The Ethics and Public Policy Center last week filed a friend-of-court brief in support of a lawsuit challenging a mandate by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requiring healthcare providers under the guise of nondiscrimination to perform and provide insurance coverage for “gender-transition procedures” (puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries).
The brief, submitted by EPPC Fellows Rachel N. Morrison and Mary Rice Hasson, asks the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a district court judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, a group of healthcare organizations and professionals who, based on their medical judgments and religious beliefs, do not provide harmful gender-transition procedures, including for children.
The brief concludes:
Despite the harms of gender-transition procedures, especially for minors, and the lack of medical consensus regarding the treatment of gender dysphoria and gender-transition procedures, HHS is seeking to impose a medical standard of care through Section 1557, a nondiscrimination provision. But there is no standard of care that authoritatively reviews and appraises the evidence, assesses the risks and benefits of proposed treatments and alternative care options, and optimizes patient outcomes through evidence-based outcome measurement.
Without a permanent injunction, Plaintiffs will be forced choose between providing and insuring harmful gender-transition procedures, including for minors, or violating their medical judgments and religious beliefs. Plaintiffs’ conscience should not be seared, and their patients should not be scarred.