AMA adopts anti-transgender violence, minor vaccination consent, human trafficking policies
The AMA adopted new policies to prevent anti-transgender violence, support the ability of mature minors to consent to vaccinations and to increase efforts to help human trafficking victims and survivors at the organization’s annual meeting.
According to the press release, a new AMA policy was adopted to bring national attention to the “epidemic” of violence against transgender individuals, particularly transgender people of color.
“According to available tracking, fatal anti-transgender violence in the U.S. is on the rise and most victims were black transgender women,” S. Bobby Mukkamala, MD, AMA board member, said in the press release. “The number of victims could be even higher due to underreporting and better data collection by law enforcement is needed to create strategies that will prevent anti-transgender violence.”
The new policy directed AMA members to form partnerships with medical organizations and stakeholders to educate the public, legislature and law enforcement with verified data on hate crimes against transgender people. The new policy also directs the AMA to advocate for consistent collection of records involving hate crimes against transgender people that includes demographic information on their birth sex and gender identity.
The policy also directs the AMA to advocate for stronger law enforcement policies to prevent bias and mistreatment in interactions with transgender people and to increase mental health treatment and address health disparities in the LGBTQ community at the local, state, and federal level.
Mature minor vaccination consent
The AMA House of Delegates also voted to support state policies that allow mature minors to override a parent’s refusal for vaccinations in response to the re-emergence of vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States, such as the current measles outbreak.
“The prevalence of unvaccinated pediatric patients is troubling to physicians,” Mukkamala said in the press release. “Many children go unvaccinated as anti-vaccine-related messages and advertisements target parents with misinformation. Allowing mature minors to provide informed consent to vaccinations will ensure these patients can access this type of preventive care.”
Human trafficking outreach
In recognition of the role physicians have in preventing human trafficking, the AMA adopted a policy in support of local efforts to provide educational material in medical settings on how to report human trafficking and how victims and survivors can get help.
The organization will also encourage the federal government to change laws to allow the phone number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline to be posted in medical settings, according to the press release.
“The AMA believes that the health care setting is an ideal place to engage with victims and survivors of human trafficking to get them the help and resources they so desperately need,” Mukkamala said in the press release. “Victims and survivors who fear their captors or law enforcement rarely seek help and posting information in medical facilities can provide the lifeline they desperately need.” – by Erin Michael
Disclosures: Healio Primary Care was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.