CMDA's The Point

Doctors Impacted by New Obamacare Gender Rules

February 15, 2016
Photo Credit: AARP

by Gene Rudd, MD

Excerpted from, "Could it soon be illegal for doctors to believe in male and female?," Catholic News Agency commentary by Loredana Vuoto, February 3, 2016 - A current proposal by a federal agency has raised concerns that doctors may be punished for believing that there are only two genders, rooted in biological sex. The proposed rule, issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, says that it is aimed at banning discrimination against transgender individuals under the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act.

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act cites decades-old federal laws that prohibit any individual from being denied benefits or discriminated against in any health program or federally funded activity on the basis of race, color, nationality, sex, disability and age. However, the Office of Civil Rights is now interpreting “sex” to include “gender identity” and “sex stereotypes.”

The proposed regulation defines “sex stereotypes,” in part as “expectations that gender can only be constructed within two distinct opposite and disconnected forms (masculinity and femininity), and that gender cannot be constructed outside of this gender construct (individuals who identify as neither, both, or as a combination of male and female genders).” Gender identity is defined as “an individual's internal sense of gender, which may be different from an individual’s sex assigned at birth.”

As a result, doctors and medical institutions could be penalized - or even forced out of business - if they are not willing to perform or facilitate sex reassignment surgeries and other "gender transition" treatments for individuals who identify as transsexual. Critics of the suggested regulation say that it is a radical proposal that could result in severe penalties for doctors who cannot in good conscience comply.


Commentary

CMDA Senior Vice President Gene Rudd, MD: “They’re kidding...right? Sadly, no. The war against cultural norms is advancing at lighting speed. The latest redoubt under assault is gender identity. The ‘don’t tell me no’ crowd wants to deny biologic science (when it does not suit their agenda) and claim a right to define one’s own gender. The implications are far reaching.

“Suppose you were born with XY chromosomes and a normal male phenotype. But for today, you think of yourself as a female (or at least you claim you do). The proposed rule changes would allow you to shower in the female locker room...nothing to stop you. If someone tried, the proposed statutes say they are illegally discriminating. Tomorrow you could change your mind, thus allowing you to shower in the male locker room. This is not far-fetched.

“We are all plagued by the fallen-ness of the world. But we must not yield to its lure, individually or collectively. I am sympathetic toward those who suffer gender dysphoria. But the proper response is not to try to normalize aberrancy. The just and compassionate response is not to trample on the privacy rights of others or force them to act against their conscience. We must do right and oppose evil. To that end, Christian Medical & Dental Associations has joined the legal battle opposing efforts by the Administration to force society, and healthcare professionals in particular, into complicity with its war on social propriety.”

Action

Read the official comments on gender policy, filed with the Obama administration by CMA and others: CMA urges U.S. housing agency to respect privacy on gender issues

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