Animal Conservation

UF Department of Ecology and Wildlife Conservation’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Committee takes initiative to oppose FDOH recommendations for treatment of gender dysphoria in children

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

A statement drafted by the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Committee is being circulated to several departments at the University of Florida (UF), asking UF faculty, postdoctoral fellows, students, and staff to “call the UF President, UF Provost, UF Faculty Senate, and Dean of the UF College of Medicine to publicly support the use of best practices accepted by major U.S. medical organizations to guide Florida Department of Health policy on transgender and gender-nonconforming adolescent health care.

The letter is in response to April 20 guidelines from the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), in which Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo says current federal government guidelines fail “at the most basic level of academic rigor. adding that “Countries such as Sweden, Finland, France and the UK are currently reviewing, reassessing, discontinuing or advising caution on the treatment of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents.”

The FDOH’s advice is based on their assertion that “current evidence does not support the use of puberty blockers, hormone treatments, or surgical procedures for children and adolescents.”

The Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Committee (Committee) cites advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, Endocrine Society and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and says that Dr. Ladapo encourages “harmful denial of health care that meets standards accepted and endorsed by the AAP and other leading American medical organizations for transgender children and adolescents and of various kinds.

The Committee questions Dr. Ladapo’s expertise in transgender medicine but does not explain why the Department of Ecology and Wildlife Conservation is taking the lead. The Committee writes, “It is incumbent upon us to speak up when academic authority is misused to facilitate state-sponsored harm to children and adolescents by attacking their (and their parents’) rights to care. health.

The letter currently has 16 pages of signatures, many from faculty and staff. While some come from doctors and medical schools, the majority come from other departments, including the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Department of Classics, the Department of English, the Department of Plant Pathology, the Department of Linguistics, the Center for Latin American Studies, IFAS, Department of Land and Urban Planning, School of Music, College of Education, Department of Physics, and others.

After reading the Committee’s letter, Jeremy Redfern, Dr. Ladapo’s press secretary, sent us the following statement: “The Surgeon General is sticking to the guidelines, as they speak for themselves. Consensus is not science, and the burden of proof rests with those who claim benefit for these life-changing medical procedures. Unlike lobby groups, such as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Florida Department of Health is a government agency mandated by law to protect the health and well-being of more than 22 million Floridians. , of which more than 4 million are under the age of 18.