Ten’s VUMC . Social Media Posts Spark Calls To Check
Nashville, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has called for an investigation into a pediatric transgender health clinic after video surfaced on social media of a doctor saying gender-affirming procedures are “a lot of money-making” for hospitals and a staff member. To say that anyone with religious objections should be omitted.
Conservative political commentator Matt Walsh Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Tuesday after posting a series of tweets accusing the private hospital of opening its transgender health clinic, as well as some of the treatments VUMC provides to minors came under severe scrutiny.
The post included a video of a VUMC doctor in 2018 saying that “this type of surgery brings in a lot of money” and later saying that female-to-male bottom surgeries are “a lot of money-makers. ” A separate video is shown warning another employee that if the employee doesn’t want to participate in transgender treatment they “probably shouldn’t work at Vanderbilt,” and warned that the objections were met with “consequences.” should go.
“We must not allow permanent, life-changing decisions that hurt children or policies that suppress religious freedom with the aim of financial gain,” Lee, a Republican running for re-election this year, said in a statement late Tuesday. Huh.” “We have to protect the children of Tennessee, and that requires intense investigation.”
The governor did not specify what laws the Nashville-based hospital may have violated, but his spokesman told The Associated Press that he had passed on concerns to Attorney General Jonathan Scrumetti.
Scarametti’s office did not rule out an investigation when the AP arrived on Wednesday.
“We are aware of allegations of illegal conduct at the Clinic for Transgender Health at Vanderbilt University Medical Center,” spokeswoman Samantha Fisher said in an email. “General Scarmetti will use the fullest extent of his authority to ensure compliance with Tennessee law.”
Fischer did not immediately respond to questions about which laws in particular may have been violated by VUMC.
VUMC said in a statement that it launched its transgender health clinic in 2018 because transgender people face a higher risk for mental and physical health issues.
Spokesperson Craig Borner said in a statement, “VUMC requires parental consent to treat a minor patient who needs to be seen for issues related to transgender care and for transgender youth under the age of 18. does not deny parental involvement in care.”
Borner said VUMC employees are allowed to refuse to participate in any treatment they find morally objectionable and prohibit discrimination against employees who do so.
“We are and will continue to be committed to providing family-centered care to all adolescents in compliance with state law and in accordance with professional practice standards and guidance established by the Medical Specialty Society,” he added.
Borner declined to answer any additional questions, including how much and what types of treatments the clinic has provided to minors. The websites of VUMC’s transgender health clinic and LGBTQ health programs were down on Wednesday.
Social media posts have drawn the attention of prominent Tennessee Republican lawmakers – many of whom are also running for reelection – vowing to further limit gender-affirming treatment during the General Assembly recon in January. Meanwhile, US Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee praised Gov. Lee’s call for an investigation.
Nationally, Republicans have pushed for restricting LGBTQ rights in their attempt to drive up the party’s base and push the limits in already GOP-strongholds.
Tennessee has for years been on the front lines of pushing anti-LGBTQ legislation among Republican-dominated state-houses. Just last year, Republican lawmakers and Gov. Lee banned doctors from providing gender-affirming hormone treatment to prepubescent minors, though advocates say no doctors in Tennessee were doing so.
Lee approved the banning of transgender athletes from playing girls’ public high school sports or middle school sports after declaring that allowing transgender girls to participate would “destroy women’s sports”.
Such transgender-centric legislation is usually challenged in court. While Tennessee’s youth transgender ban is in effect, Arkansas is currently barred from implementing a similar version. A federal judge in May blocked a similar law in Alabama.
In Texas, child welfare officials have been barred from investigating three families of transgender youth who are on gender-affirming care receiving minors.
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