Garland asked to investigate threats to children’s hospitals

Three major medical associations have called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate and prosecute people who threaten violence against children’s hospitals and doctors who provide gender-affirming medical care.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the Children’s Hospital Association wrote to Garland on Monday. Her lawsuits come amid a series of threats against doctors and institutions that provide medical care for transgender children, sometimes including hormones or surgery for older teens.

Children’s hospitals across the country have substantially increased security and are working with law enforcement, while some providers now need constant security, the associations said.

Garland did not immediately comment publicly, and a spokesman did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Tuesday. Massachusetts US Attorney Rachael Rollins said this summer that the Justice Department will ensure equal protection of transgender people under the law.

Rollins said he would not allow “hate-based criminal activity” to continue in his district after Boston Children’s Hospital said in August that his doctors and other staff members were being threatened with violence because of his surgical program for transgender youth. The hospital is home to the first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program in the United States. Other US children’s hospitals were also being harassed online.

The medical associations said in their letter that the threats on social media have continued, along with harassing emails, phone calls and protesters at healthcare sites, causing “elevated and justifiable fear among families, patients and the community.” staff”. A hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit was shut down due to a bomb threat, they said.

“From Boston to Akron, from Nashville to Seattle, children’s hospitals, academic health systems, and physicians are under attack and threatened for providing evidence-based health care,” the letter says. “These attacks have not only made it difficult and dangerous for institutions and practices to provide this care, they have also disrupted many other services for families seeking care.”

The American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics are two of the most influential medical groups in the country, helping to shape government policy nationally and in physician offices. The Association of Children’s Hospitals represents more than 220 hospitals serving children across the country.

Laws and proposed legislation in several states that seek to limit children’s access to transgender care or criminalize doctors and parents who seek it have emboldened attacks by popular conservative Twitter accounts. Some tweets have misled her numerous followers about the procedures for gender-affirming care.

Boston Children’s became the focus of far-right social media accounts, media outlets and bloggers after they found informative YouTube videos posted by the hospital about surgical offerings for transgender patients.

Medical associations argue that the attacks are rooted in an “intentional campaign of disinformation”. Yes ok Americans agree online disinformation is a problem there is widespread apprehension surrounding federal efforts to monitor national online disinformation, with privacy and free speech advocates expressing concern that the government is infringing on free speech rights.

Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security, for example, launched and then promptly shut down a Disinformation Governance Board that it was intended to counter falsehoods that foreign adversaries, such as Russia, try to introduce into Americans’ social networks.