Thanks to a federal court ruling, surgeons will be allowed to follow their conscience and not be forced to use their skills against their will.
The lawsuit Franciscan Alliance v. Azar was filed over a 2016 federal regulation that threatened to drive doctors out of practice if they would not perform gender-transition procedures on patients, including children.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor for the Northern District of Texas struck down the rule, giving organizations such as Franciscan Alliance and Christian Medical Association a legal victory.
"It's just so far off base with the professional code, hypocritic oath, so we are delighted with this ruling," says Dr. Mike Chupp, CEO of Christian Medical Association.
Becket, the law firm representing the plaintiffs, says science and medicine warn of “significant risks” that include heart conditions and loss of bone density, and increased cancer risk.
“But studies show that children with gender dysphoria found that fewer than one in four children referred for gender dysphoria continued to experience that condition into adulthood," Becket said in a statement.
The religious liberty law firm also argued that a panel of medical experts assembled by the government warned about the dangers and advised against covering the medical procedures through Medicare and Medicaid.
"Our main opponent in this case is the ACLU," Becket attorney Luke Goodrich tells OneNewsNow.
“We expect that they will probably try to appeal this ruling and may also try to file lawsuits in other jurisdictions,” he says, “but one thing we know for sure is that this issue is not going away.”
According to Goodrich, doctors do not have to check their beliefs at the door and, in fact, he points out that many doctors were inspired by their faith to enter medical school with the goal of helping others.
Meanwhile, Dr. Chupp predicts the ruling will be appealed by the ACLU.
"It was ruled that HHS, because they had to change their position under a new administration, wasn't able to defend the old regulation as ardently,” he explains. “And so the ACLU has been allowed by the judge to intervene."