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AAP, partners urge action to protect physicians, patients from violence

October 3, 2022

The AAP and other medical partners are decrying recent threats to health care institutions and their patients, and are urging federal authorities to take action.

Children’s hospitals, academic health systems, physicians and families around the country have been targeted for providing and seeking evidence-based gender-affirming care. There have been bomb threats and threats of personal violence.

In a letter calling for Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the increasing threats, the AAP, American Medical Association and Children’s Hospital Association said “coordinated attacks threaten federally protected rights to health care for patients and their families.” The attacks have impacted not only gender-affirming care but other services.

“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,” AAP President Moira A. Szilagyi, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP, said in a statement. “We cannot stand by as threats of violence against our members and their patients proliferate with little consequence.”

The organizations also are calling on technology platforms to do more to stop the rhetoric that often incites threats or acts of violence and has led to harassment campaigns across the country.

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