In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) called on the Department of Justice to “act” on “disinformation” which is increasing “threats of violence” against hospitals and doctors for providing gender-based surgeries on minors.
We obtained a copy of the letter for you here.
“Whether it’s newborns receiving intensive care, children getting cancer treatments or families accessing compassionate care for their transgender adolescents, all patients seeking treatment deserve to get the care they need without fear for their personal safety,” said AAP President Moira Szilagyi, MD, PhD, FAAP. “We cannot stand by as threats of violence against our members and their patients proliferate with little consequence. We call on the Department of Justice to investigate these attacks and social media platforms to reduce the spread of the misinformation enabling them.”
The groups also encouraged the DOJ to take “swift action to investigate and prosecute all organizations, individuals, entities responsible.”
“Individuals in all workplaces have the right to a safe environment, out of harm’s way and free of intimidation or reprisal,” said AMA President Jack Resneck Jr., MD. “As physicians, we condemn groups that promote hate-motivated intolerance and toxic misinformation that can lead to grave real-world violence and extremism and jeopardize patients’ health outcomes. The AMA will continue to work with federal, state and local law enforcement officials to develop and implement strategies that protect hard-working, law-abiding physicians and other health care workers from senseless acts of violence, abuse and intimidation.”
The organizations also called on social media platforms to do more to reduce the spread of the “disinformation” which they say is leading to harassment.
“The organizations ask the platforms to take bolder action when false information is shared about specific institutions and physicians,” the request states. “They also urge social media companies to enforce safety and hateful conduct policies to stop the endangerment of patients, families, physicians and health care staff.”
The letter says that the “attacks” are “rooted in an intentional campaign of disinformation, where a few high-profile users on social media share false and misleading information targeting individual physicians and hospitals, resulting in a rapid escalation of threats, harassment, and disruption of care across multiple jurisdictions.”