Racial and transgender politics are endangering the practice of medicine, yet the Missouri State Medical Association (MSMA) is considering whether to actually welcome it, warns a national watchdog group.
The MSMA is currently taking members’ comments online on two proposed resolutions supporting minors’ access to gender transition treatments and opposing any legislative bans on them. Another resolution would support the right to change the gender on one’s birth certificate.
Meanwhile, a fourth resolution would oppose a state ban on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) education requirements in the state’s medical schools.
Those resolutions and more will be voted on at the MSMA annual convention March 31-April 2 in Kansas City. The MSMA currently has no official position on the resolutions, Jeffrey S. Howell, executive vice president, tells The Heartlander.
The online comment period runs from Feb. 24-March 23, but the transgender treatments for minors resolutions are already attracting fierce opposition from members, who use words such as “horrendous” and “terrible” to describe them.
“There is junk science associated with surgeries and hormone therapy and the junk science has led many countries to oppose procedures and hormones for minors,” one doctor writes.
“I think this is a TERRIBLE idea and it will be divisive to our association. This is not good medicine. I STRONGLY OPPOSE,” writes another.
Such resolutions would be harmful to the medical association itself, several argue.
“There is one certainty; if the MSMA approves such a resolution membership will decline as it never has before. Many long-time members will simply quit the MSMA. The goodwill MSMA has with the state legislature will be harmed. The respect the MSMA has in the state legislature will be lost. This resolution should be strongly opposed,” one of them writes.
Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, founder and chairman of national medicine watchdog group Do No Harm, also warns against transgender and racial politics being injected into Missouri medicine.
“Our organization’s and our personal view is that adults can sort of do what they want,” he told The Heartlander. “We’re not against people becoming transgender. We’re against children being supported in this activity before they really can undergo informed consent, or before they could really even appreciate exactly what they’re opting for.
“Physicians shouldn’t be dealing with children on hormone replacements or puberty blockers or any of these medications. I think this is something that should be reserved for adults.”
It’s dangerous from the outset, Goldfarb says, to treat patients as members of a group rather than as individuals.
“In treating these kids as if they’re all the same, and all we need to do is just allow them to change their gender, we’re missing the fact that so many of them, the vast majority of them, really have severe psychological problems that are leading to this decision. And before we go ahead and put them into this pathway of transition, we need to understand why they’ve come to view that that’s something that would benefit them.
“European countries have really looked at this very hard now and they’ve decided that, in fact, that kind of intense evaluation is really what’s required before anybody gets put on any kind of a treatment regimen of any kind.”
Goldfarb admits to being baffled by support for “gender-affirming care” for minors by medical schools and societies, as well as the American Pediatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics – except that, “in the academic world and universities, the vast, vast majority of individuals are progressive. They vote Democratic, they fund Democratic candidates, and they adopt many of the concepts that have become very popular in Democratic politics.
“Academia in general has become very much taken with these ideas. It’s proliferated in academia. The medical schools are, for the most part, parts of larger universities – and even though most of your state is a red state, most of your universities are deeply blue.”
Even so, the rush toward transgender treatments, particularly for still-developing children, isn’t supported by science, making its acceptance in medical circles all the more odd, Goldfarb argues.
“It’s peculiar, because the medical literature on this really doesn’t support that this is an effective and even a rational approach to the vast majority of these children.”
Countries such as Finland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom have commissioned careful analyses of the literature, Goldfarb says, “and in each case they’ve decided that there really isn’t good justification for assuming that a child who shows up and says ‘I want to change my gender,’ that that child should be supported in that approach without very intense psychological evaluation.”
There are likely many more Missouri doctors opposed to such treatments for minors than the ones commenting online, Goldfarb says. They just may be silent out of fear.
“I think there are plenty,” he says. “But you know, for the most part, because of the concerns about their careers and their interaction with their staffs at these hospitals and their administrations, they’re really hesitant to speak out.”
The Missouri Legislature is considering SB 49, which would ban transgender treatments for minors, but the bill has been held up by a Democrat filibuster.
Regarding DEI being taught in medical schools, the danger there is a divergence from medical education and merit, and a new segregation in health care. Says Goldfarb:
“In terms of hiring faculty members to be in medical schools, or getting medical students to come into the world of medicine and be accepted into medical school, the notion that the basis for those decisions should be skin color, I think it’s a profound mistake. And it takes what really ought to be something based on merit and achievement and turns it into something based on immutable characteristics.
“So that’s why the diversity part is bad. The equity part is bad because it really doesn’t speak to equal opportunities and equal treatment for everyone. It speaks to differential treatment so you accomplish a certain outcome. And that is something that I think is just not right. It’s not an American thing.”
As for inclusion, he says, it’s “just the opposite. It’s only including some people and not others.
“Ultimately the outcome will be that white patients will come into the hospital and say, ‘I don’t want to be treated by black doctor, I want to be treated by a white doctor.’ And black patients are going to come and say, ‘I don’t want to be treated by a white doctor, I want to be treated by a black doctor.’
“So, we’re going to end up with a racialized country that I don’t think anybody wants.”
Do No Harm says a medical student at the University of Missouri Columbia School of Medicine has anonymously reported that MU leaders are trying to prevent efforts to ban DEI in medical schools – including “a message from a chair for the Mizzou student chapter of the AMA and Missouri State Medical Association regarding ‘Steps You Can Take to Protect DEI in Our Curriculum.’”
“The student also documented getting ‘official emails saying that we should post our pronouns in our emails and zoom names,’” Do No Harm reports. “The student ends with a plea: ‘we should be able to rein in the madness.’”
The MU student, says Do No Harm, reports the institution also has enabled students to snitch on each other for perceived offenses to their woke sensibilities, quoting the student as writing:
“The MU School of Medicine Office of Medical Education has a way for students to anonymously report one another for ‘microaggressions’ … this is vague enough to keep anyone who slightly deviates from the woke script on their toes and afraid to stand up for what they believe to be right. This is a real threat to us.”