Close this search box.
I want to

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

My name is Smitha Yaltho and I feel privileged to work as a family physician. Why? I believe that being a family physician has been the best job any physician can hope to have. I have personally grown in my own abilities and skill-sets with diverse opportunities in ambulatory practice, acute care and work in Facility Living.  Working in primary care has been exciting and has also afforded me tremendous opportunities for growth while still remaining stimulating in its complexity.  I believe that Family physicians are trusted partners in patient care –  every step of the way. 

Why are you volunteering to serve on this committee?
I currently have an interest in Physician Leadership and  trauma informed care.  I have served as a director with the Board of Directors with the Edmonton North PCN, Edmonton’s largest PCN. Thereafter, I have worked as the Director of Medical Services with CapitalCare (also based in Edmonton) for almost 6 years. It is my express wish that my contribution on the ACFP board of directors will highlight the excellence of family medicine that exists right here and now within the Alberta health care system. 

What about the ACFP’s work do you find most valuable?
Ability to highlight and further support the excellence of primary care right here in Alberta.