More than 150 health professionals signed an open letter to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), calling for it to remove a textbook advocating for “gender-affirming” care.
“We the undersigned strongly support the following Open Letter to the APA. Our letter calls on the APA to explain why it glaringly ignored many scientific developments in gender-related care and to consider its responsibility to promote and protect patients’ safety, mental and physical health,” the authors of the letter state.
The textbook, Gender-Affirming Psychiatric Care (GAPC), has been described as the “first textbook dedicated to providing affirming, intersectional, and evidence-informed psychiatric care for transgender, non-binary, and/or gender-expansive (TNG) people.”
According to the letter’s signatories, “The book’s claims of being evidence-informed are untenable. GAPC omits any in-depth analysis of the evidence to date, dismisses ‘scientific neutrality’ as ‘a fallacy,’ and chooses authors with the correct ‘lived experiences’ and ‘community impact of prior work over academic titles.’”
“Not only do the authors ignore the most current systematic reviews, which count as the most reliable source of scientific information in evidence-based medicine, they also repeatedly undermine well-established standards of care in multiple mental and medical practices. We highlight just two examples of many,” they add.
The health professionals then called for the APA to “withdraw” the textbook.
“To avoid discrediting itself as a professional organization and a reliable source of gender related psychiatric care, and to minimize the risk of legal liability to itself, we call on the APA to withdraw this book,” the authors wrote.
The letter comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced a plan to develop guidelines for the healthcare of transgender individuals.
“This new guideline will provide evidence and implementation guidance on health sector interventions aimed at increasing access and utilization of quality and respectful health services by trans and gender diverse people,” a press release reads.
According to the organization, the guideline will focus on five areas: “provision of gender-affirming care, including hormones;” “health workers education and training for the provision of gender-inclusive care;” “provision of health care for trans and gender diverse people who suffered interpersonal violence based in their needs;” “health policies that support gender-inclusive care;” and “legal recognition of self-determined gender identity.”