Politics

Hospital Assigned ‘Trans Buddies’ To Pressure Doctors Into Affirming Children’s Gender Identity

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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The Vanderbilt University Medical Center matches transgender patients, including children, with transgender patient advocates to help them through the medical process as part of its Trans Buddy program, according to a video unearthed by the Daily Wire.

The program is aimed at making transgender patients feel comfortable and safe in a medical environment they feel is hostile toward them, according to a video shared by the DW. Advocates, who do not have medical backgrounds, serve patients and monitor medical professionals to ensure they’re using patients’ preferred pronouns and treating them respectfully.

VUMC confirmed the existence of the Trans Buddy program in a Wednesday statement which claimed social media posts had misrepresented their gender program in an apparent reference to the DW’s report.

“The Trans Buddy program mentioned in the video has received national acclaim,” the statement read. “Its purpose is to provide peer volunteers who support persons who are seeking highly personal care in an unfamiliar environment, and who may have been refused medical services in the past or avoided seeking them out of fear of being met with hostility.” (RELATED: Google, PayPal, Venmo Crack Down Anti-‘Groomer’ Account)

“We’re not seeking to find solutions, often, for people’s problems,” one advocate says in the video. “We’re just seeking to be there and to and to accompany and be a friendly face and to be a non-medical face in a place where everybody coming in the room is gonna be a healthcare provider and may be unsafe.”

“Sometimes I’m there to be sort of always observing how hospital staff are interacting with individuals, and again, you know, using preferred pronouns or treating the individual with respect,” another advocate says.

The DW report also exposed a video that purportedly shows VUMC employee Dr. Ellen Clayton suggesting that conscientious objections to performing sex changes and related procedures were problematic and that those who refused to perform them would face consequences.

VUMC denied discriminating against religious and conscientious objectors in its statement.

“Our policies allow employees to decline to participate in care they find morally objectionable, and do not permit discrimination against employees who choose to do so,” the statement said. “This includes employees whose personal or religious beliefs do not support gender-affirming care for transgender persons.”

A link to the VUMC website’s page about the program no longer works. VUMC did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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