Conference Coverage

AAFP Congress adopts resolutions on physician privileges, medical education, employee benefits


 

REPORTING FROM AAFP Congress

Some of the resolutions that incited many passionate responses during the reference committee on advocacy were not discussed during the Congress of Delegates meeting.

One of these asked the AAFP to oppose legislation of physician-patient decision making in child and adolescent gender-affirming care. Some in support of this resolution referred to this type of care as evidence-based medicine and said that legislators should be kept out of the exam room. Those opposed disagreed with classifying this type of care that way, noting that the long-term effects of some of the treatments are unknown.

Dr. Kevin Wang explains why he suppports a gender-affirming care resolution at the AAFP Congress of Delegates Reference Committee on Advocacy. Katie Lennon/MDedge News

Dr. Kevin Wang explains why he suppports a gender-affirming care resolution at the AAFP Congress of Delegates Reference Committee on Advocacy.

During the reference committee, one opponent of the resolution, Lisa Gilbert, MD, claimed that gender-affirming care refers to blocking puberty, followed by cross-sex hormones,which would permanently sterilize the children. Dr. Gilbert, who identified herself as a member from Kansas speaking independently, added that if children have gone through puberty naturally, this would be a different discussion.

Kevin Wang, MD, an alternate delegate from Washington, who supported the resolution, noted that the rate of suicide in the transgender population is nine times that of the general population.

“I do want to emphasize that doing nothing does cause significant harm,” Dr. Wang said, The committee referred resolution No. 509 to the board for further clarification and study.

The merits of two other resolutions (No. 510 and No. 511), which called for the AAFP to no longer reject the use of “physician-assisted suicide” and “assisted suicide” and avoid the use of vague and euphemistic terms when referring to lethal medications prescribed with the intention of ending a patient’s life in statements and documents, also were heavily debated during the advocacy reference committee meeting. The committee recommended such resolutions be referred to the board for discussion.

The delegates approved the advocacy committee’s recommendations for Resolutions 509, 510, and 511.

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