Pediatricians’ first revision in a decade includes pro-LGBT languageAround the Nation, Online Only Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
In what LGBT activists are hailing as a major step forward, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued the first revision in nearly a decade including, among other points, a decidedly pro-LGBT message. “Sexual-minority youth should not be considered abnormal,” said its new materials released on Monday entitled “Office-Based Care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth.”
Although non-binding, some of the steps the 60-year-old body recommended include creating offices that are “teen-friendly and welcoming to all adolescents, regardless of sexual orientation and behavior,” putting out brochures with pictures of both same- and opposite-gender couples, posting a rainbow decal on an office door or bulletin board, providing medical questionnaires that are gender-neutral and that staff be trained to not ask a boy about his girlfriend but rather his ‘partner’ (and vice-versa).
While the AAP is the largest body of its kind in the United States, smaller, more conservative, more religious-based organizations were quick to discount those recommendations. “That’s where we would disagree. Major, major disagreement,” said Dr. Den Trumbull, president of the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), which was formed in 2002 as an alternative to AAP over its pro-LGBT policy. While Trumbull believes in the basic concept of treating every patient with dignity and respect, he does not believe (and by extension the group) that non-heterosexual behavior should be normalized.
The Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) went even further arguing that “It’s wrong for anyone to be bullied or mocked or stigmatized. At the same time — and I know this is heresy to the lesbian and gay community — I do not think we should normalize these kinds of behaviors and orientations,” said Dr. Jerry A. Miller Jr., a pediatrician in Augusta, Ga., who is chairman of the CMDA’s pediatric section.
Previous policy statements, those from 1983, 1993 and 2004, rarely, if ever, touched on LGBT issues. But given their size and reputation, the AAP’s recommendations are more uniformly adopted than those from smaller organizations which view pediatric care through a moral or religious prism.
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