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Vanderbilt University Medical Center to stop gender-affirming surgery for minors to review practices

Officials at Vanderbilt University Medical Center announced Friday that they are stopping gender-affirming surgery for minors to review their practices.

The news, contained in a letter sent to a legislator demanding an end to the surgery, was released publicly on Friday afternoon. It comes amid mounting political pressure from Republican leaders in Tennessee – many of whom are running for reelection – who last month called for an investigation into the private non-profit hospital after videos surfaced on social media that said Was that the gender-affirmation process is “huge money”. Producer.” Another video shows an employee saying that anyone with religious objections should step down.

No politician could point to the specific law the hospital violated, and to date no agency has committed to an investigation. Republican Governor Bill Lee’s office said he has conveyed his concerns to Attorney General Jonathan Scrumetti, but his office has not commented on whether he is being treated at the hospital in Nashville.

C. Wright Pinson, VUMC’s deputy CEO and chief health systems officer, wrote, “We are stopping gender confirmation surgery on patients under the age of 18 years, which may take several months to complete this review.”

The GOP-dominated legislature is due to reconvene in January, and several lawmakers have vowed to introduce legislation to further limit gender-affirming treatment. If successful, it is unclear whether VUMC will be allowed to resume gender-affirming surgery for minors, regardless of their internal review.

“We must not allow permanent, life-changing decisions that hurt children,” Lee tweeted late Friday, “With the participation of the General Assembly, this practice in Tennessee must end.”

According to Pinson, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health recently changed its recommendations for transgender treatment, prompting the need for review.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends “providing youth access to comprehensive gender-affirming and developmentally appropriate health care.” In a 2018 policy statement, the AAP also noted that “supportive parent and family involvement is associated with better mental and physical health outcomes.”

Since the opening of its transgender clinic in 2018, VUMC has provided an average of five gender-affirming surgeries to minors each year. All were over 16 years of age and had parental consent, and none had received a genital procedure.

“Revenue from this limited number of surgeries represents a non-material percentage of VUMC’s net operating revenue,” Pinson wrote.

Emails provided to the Associated Press via a public records request show that hundreds of Tennesseans reached out to the governor’s office in support of the closure of VUMC’s transgender youth health clinic, some calling for a call to address the issue. Asked to convene a special legislative session. Others asked if he could suspend the licenses of doctors working in the clinic.

Some criticized Lee for not taking the drastic step at first, when he signed a law banning doctors from providing gender-affirming hormone treatments to prepubescent minors.

Only a handful defended the clinic’s services, some said transgender health care The life he received was a saver.

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