United States Catholic Bishops has recently released a statement on the ethical standards to be upheld in Catholic healthcare institutions that they should refrain from performing "gender transition" procedures.
The bishops said that transgender interventions should not be carried out in these institutions because they do not acknowledge that each person is a unity of body and soul created by God. According to the bishops, the body is not a mere object but an essential component of the human subject, which must be respected and cared for as intrinsic to the person.
Some 'Gender Transition' Procedures are Not Acceptable According to US Bishops
According to the Catholic News Agency, the bishops have emphasized that as technology advances, there are many things to consider, including what should or should not be done. The entire order of the created world should guide the use of technology.
The Bishops stress their belief that Catholic healthcare services must not participate in surgical or chemical interventions that aim to transform the sexual appearance of a human body to the opposite sex or participate in developing such procedures. The bishops' Committee on Doctrine wrote the statement, which guides healthcare providers who operate under the Catholic tradition.
According to the National Catholic Register, the Catholic bishops released a statement on March 20th called "Doctrinal Note on the Moral Limits to Technological Manipulation of the Human Body". The statement's goal is to guide Catholic healthcare institutions on which medical interventions are morally appropriate and those that are not according to the teachings.
The bishops have consulted with medical ethicists, physicians, psychologists, and moral theologians in developing the statement.
The report added that the bishops recognized the need of healthcare professionals using all available resources to lessen the suffering of those who struggle with gender incongruence. They emphasized, however, that the methods must respect the basic structure of the human body.
They believe that only by using morally appropriate means can healthcare providers show full respect for the dignity of each human person. The statement is intended to provide moral criteria for Catholic healthcare institutions to discern which medical interventions promote the authentic good of the human person and which are injurious.
Also Read: Doctors Speak Out: Debunking Myths and Misconceptions about Gender-Affirming Care
The Call for Respect to Transgender Patients
According to the article in Crux, Sister Mary Haddad, the President and CEO of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, stated that Catholic healthcare providers would continue to respect the dignity of their transgender patients and provide them with the same quality care provided to all patients.
The bishops are said to have faced criticism from the LGBTQ+ community for not consulting any trans or nonbinary people in preparing the document. The Executive Director of New Ways Ministry, Francis DeBernardo, which works to bring together the Catholic Church and the LGBTQ+ community, called the bishops' unwillingness to counter any scientific evidence or the experiences of transgender people "neither good theology nor acceptable pastoral care."
The debate around gender-affirming care in the United States has largely centred on whether it is acceptable for minors. Some states have banned gender-affirming care for minors, while others have taken steps to protect access to care for transgender people. President Joe Biden has come out against restricting gender-transition procedures for minors and criticized the legislation as "close to sinful."
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