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Christian Medical & Dental Associations responds to inaccurate claims by HHS Assistant Secretary

Bristol, Tenn.—May 18, 2022— The 16,000-member Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), which is the nation’s largest faith-based professional healthcare association, today issued this statement in response to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary Rachel Levine’s inaccurate claims in a recent NPR interview.

In this interview, Levine stated, “There is no argument among medical professionals – pediatricians, pediatric endocrinologists, adolescent medicine physicians, adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists, etc. – about the value and the importance of gender-affirming care.”

In response, CMDA Senior Vice President of Bioethics and Public Policy Jeff Barrows, DO, MA (Ethics) stated, “This is a deeply egregious and disturbing false claim attempting to coerce the public into believing that all healthcare professionals support gender-affirming care. In fact, gender-affirming care, especially for minors, is not supported by the best scientific evidence and should not be promoted by the federal government.”

“Believing it is the only option puts already at-risk youth at even greater risk,” Dr. Barrows continued. “As Christian healthcare professionals, we feel a strong obligation to provide ethical and evidence-based care for all patients, especially those struggling with gender identity, and to do so with sensitivity and compassion, consistent with the humility and love that Jesus modeled and commanded us to show all people.”

Dr. Barrows continued, “We also have a professional obligation to question an ideology not based on scientific evidence that puts our patients in harm’s way. This blatant omission—and seemingly ignorance—of differing viewpoints by Assistant Secretary Levine is alarming and inexcusable, especially because it shows a complete disregard for the full body of medical research which offers a vastly different conclusion. Research shows that the overwhelming majority of gender dysphoric/transgender-identified youth have pre-existing mental health issues and/or neuro-developmental disabilities, notably autism spectrum disorder. These conditions predate their gender dysphoria rather than being caused by it.”

CMDA has an ethics statement on transgender identification, which is available at This statement, developed by CMDA’s Ethics Committee and officially adopted by the membership, affirms that attempts to radically reconstruct one’s body surgically or hormonally for psychological indications are medically, ethically and psychologically inappropriate.

Dr. Barrows concluded, “There is no question that gender identity issues are complex. However, medicine is being undermined by government mandates that seek to impose a new ideology by the sheer force of government power rather than unbiased examination of the scientific data. And stuck in the middle are our patients who need help. Accepting gender-affirming care as the standard of care is a prescription for bad medicine.”

For more information about CMDA, visit


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