A state medical licensing board appears poised to adopt an emergency rule on Friday that will allow transgender minors who have been treated with puberty blockers and transgender adults who are taking hormones to continue taking the medication for an additional six months.
There is no written proposal, but members of the Florida Boards of Medicine (BOM) and Osteopathic Medicine (BOOM) Joint Rules and Legislative Committee agreed in concept on Thursday to allow transgender minors who were actively being treated prior to May 18 as well as transgender adults to continue to access their prescriptions so long as the dosage isn’t altered in any way.
The six-months’ time frame gives the BOM and BOOM the time they need to create informed consent forms and formally adopt them through the rulemaking process.
The full BOM meets in Tampa Friday and is expected to approve the yet-to-be-written emergency rule. The BOOM must also approve the emergency rule, but it isn’t slated to meet until August 11.
The forms are required under a new law (SB 254) that became effective May 18. The controversial law bans minors who weren’t in treatment prior to the law taking effect from accessing transgender health care services.
The law makes clear that consent for the procedures must be voluntary, informed, and in writing and on a form adopted by the BOM and the BOOM .
The law requires that the physician be in the same room as the patient during the informed consent process, which means that telehealth cannot be used. The law also requires physicians to inform the patient of the nature and risks of the prescription or procedure to allow the patient to make a prudent decision.
SB 254 was one of a handful of bills the Legislature passed during the 2023 Session that advocates for the LGBTQ+ community say is discriminatory. It was part of an aggressive agenda pushed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running for President.
Meanwhile, sources tell Florida Politics more than 100 people attended the BOM and BOOM Joint Rules and Legislative Committee meeting Thursday in Tampa to listen to the boards discuss the proposed emergency and permanent rules.
The Joint Rules and Legislative Committee members discussed what could be included in the informed consent form rule. A comment that the consent form make clear that the informed consent rule include language that “sex reassignment surgery does not relieve mental health issues” was met with opposition from many audience members who began coughing in unison to show their opposition.
Joint Rules and Legislative Committee Chair and BOM member Zachariah Zachariah advised speakers to limit comments to ideas on what should be included in the informed consent forms. Speakers were limited to three minutes or less. Most people who wanted to testify were able to, according to those who attended the meeting.
During a brief break, transgender audience members started singing the Bill Withers’ song “Lean on Me.” the message behind the song is that helping each other is good for the health and well-being of the overall community.
Thursday’s meeting also coincided with the start of Pride Month. It’s celebrated in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan when New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. The raid led to six days of protests and violent clashes between law enforcement and the club patrons.