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Statement from the ACFP on Gender-Affirming Care in Youth

As family physicians, we care for children, youth, and their families over the course of their
lives. It is our role to support our patients in their medical care by considering their context
and values and sharing relevant medical information to allow them to make the best
decision possible for their own health. Like other health decisions, gender-affirming care
for youth is a medical issue. Medical decision-making should only occur in the context of
trusting relationships between patients, their families if a child is not a mature minor, and
their physician and health team.

Medical decisions regarding gender affirmation already involve extensive expert
consultation. This process already has built-in checks and balances embedded. The
medications used for puberty-suppression have many medical uses, and limiting access to
these medications is inappropriate and may have many unintended consequences.

Gender diverse youth are vulnerable to mental health issues and suicide. As with any
person, when youth are not recognized for who they are now and denied the care that they
need, their mental health worsens. Our mental health system in Alberta is already under
significant strain.

All medical decisions require medical expertise as well as consideration of the context and
wishes of the patient. Gender-affirming care for youth is no exception. We urge the Premier
to leave medical decisions where they belong, within a physician-patient relationship.

The Alberta College of Family Physicians

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