Three bills moving rapidly through the California legislature threaten to outlaw certain treatments that may be offered by physicians or other therapists, or sought by patients, reports the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). Any counseling offered to any person, minor or adult, would have to encourage acceptance of same-sex attraction, even if unwanted, or affirm the patient’s stated “gender identification,” if these laws pass, states AAPS.
The bills are AB 2943 (unlawful business practices: sexual orientation change efforts); AB 1779 (sexual orientation: change efforts, applicable to people in custodial care or guardianship); and AB 2119 (foster care: gender affirming health care and behavioral health services). AB 2943 even bans books in church bookstores that might help people cope with unwanted sexual feelings or gender confusion.
“Traditional medical ethics, enshrined in the Oath of Hippocrates, requires physicians to prescribe according to the best of their ability and judgment, and to avoid doing harm,” states AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient, M.D. “And patients have the right to choose their therapeutic goals.”
“These bills impose on all Californians, by law, the opinion of an activist lobby that same-sex attraction or the belief that a person is imprisoned in a body of the ‘wrong’ biological sex is always normal, healthy, and immutable,” states Dr. Orient. “They require physicians to violate their sacred Oath and withhold therapy they believe to be valuable, or cooperate with treatment they believe to be harmful and/or immoral. They deny patients the right to receive help for impulses they find distressing.”
Worst of all, she notes, is forcing medical workers to “make available” treatments such as puberty-blocking hormones and irreversible mutilating surgery to children, who have no capacity to give informed consent. “These are life-changing treatments, often resulting in sterility and long-term medical adverse effects. Yet about 85% of children who might be subjected to such intervention would come to accept the reality of their biological sex after puberty.”
“The legislature is proposing radical, uncontrolled experimentation on nonconsenting subjects,” she concludes.
“In addition to serious interference in the patient-physician relationship, these bills would violate the rights of all Californians to freedom of speech and freedom of conscience.”
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943.