Navigating transgender issues requires mutual respect and civility-not government mandates
The 17,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA, www.cmda.org) today issued a membership-approved statement calling for "Christian healthcare professionals to care for patients struggling with gender identity with sensitivity and compassion" while being "permitted to question transgender dogma free from exclusion, oppression, or unjust discrimination."
"We want to reassure the trans community that they can expect love and compassion from doctors of faith," explained CMA CEO David Stevens, MD. "We also want to assert the ability of every professional to make judgments based on science and not on ideology, and the ability of persons of faith to freely exercise their conscientiously held convictions."
The statement, developed by CMA's ethics committee and official adopted by the membership at its April annual meeting, aims to encourage what Stevens calls an "understanding of civility among our differences."
"We understand that the LGBT community looks with some distrust or even disdain on the faith community," Stevens said, "And while I can't speak for the entire faith community, I can speak for our member doctors, who have committed to compassionately caring for every patient they see without regard to ideology or sexual preference. And just as we doctors extend unconditional respect to our patients who hold different views, we ask that our own convictions and professional judgment be likewise respected."
That conviction and professional judgment is highlighted in the six-page member-approved ethics statement, "Transgender Identification."
The statement asserts an affirmation of God's design for male and female persons as described in the biblical book of Genesis and notes that "finding one's identity within God's design will result in a more healthy and fulfilled life."
The statement also points to the biological and genetic evidence for male and female distinctiveness and complementarity and the medical evidence that calls into question sex reassignment surgery.
Stevens said, "We as a nation are deeply divided on matters such as sexuality. As members of a democratic republic, we need to work toward civility among our differences. That civility is undermined by recent government mandates that seek to impose a new ideology by the sheer force of government power rather than unbiased examination of the scientific data as well as civil and democratic debate."