Medical groups urge Justice Department and social media to take action

Three major medical groups sent a letter to the Justice Department on Monday asking it to investigate the growing threat of violence against children’s hospitals and doctors who provide gender-affirming care to transgender youth.

Why it matters: Several hospitals have scaled back services and tightened security measures in recent months due to threats and harassment, as a wave of laws targeting transgender youth has made its way into several Republican states.

or a note: Letters from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the Children’s Hospital Association to Attorney General Merrick Garland also called for more measures on Twitter, TikTok and Meta to “coordinated action to prevent disinformation.”

Push the news: The threats caused real-world healthcare disruptions, including a bomb threat at Boston Children’s Hospital after the popular far-right social media account TikTok’s Libs posted a video to its 1.3 million followers that made false claims about the hospital’s gender – Certainly care.

  • Field services and group meetings have also been canceled. For example, Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago recently notified families of a transgender youth support group that was cancelled due to threats.
  • Transgender Health Clinic at Vanderbilt Medical Center transfer Due to the threat, its medical appointments to virtual telehealth appointments.

at the same time, Children’s Hospital and its medical staff continue to face increasing threats from social media, emails, phone calls and protesters at medical sites, the letter said.

  • Because of the threat, many children’s hospitals have increased security and are cooperating with local and federal law enforcement.

What are they talking about: “As physicians, we condemn groups that promote hate-motivated intolerance and toxic misinformation that can lead to serious real-world violence and extremism and jeopardize patient health outcomes,” AMA President Jack Resneck Jr. said in a statement , adding that the group will continue to work with federal, state and local law enforcement officials.

  • The groups called on tech platforms like Twitter, TikTok and Meta to do more to prevent coordinated disinformation campaigns and stop threats or violence.
  • Representatives for the Justice Department, Twitter, TikTok and Meta did not immediately respond to Axios’ requests for comment.

By numbers: These groups represent more than 270,000 physicians and more than 200 children’s hospitals across the country.

deeper: FBI arrests woman in connection with Boston Children’s Hospital hoax bomb threat

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