Amid an ongoing struggle with anti-transgender violence, the American Medical Association approved a resolution Monday to take action on the issue.
The AMA House of Delegates, which is comprised of U.S. physicians and medical students, approved the new policy, Resolution 008, at its 2019 annual meeting in Chicago. The goal of the policy to bring national attention to the issue of anti-trans violence, especially its disproportionate impact on transgender women of color.
AMA board member Bobby Mukkamala said in a statement violence against transgender people is “on the rise and most victims were black transgender women.”
“The number of victims could be even higher due to underreporting and better data collection by law enforcement is needed to create strategies that will prevent anti-transgender violence,” Mukkamala said.
Accoridng to a report from the Human Rights Campaign, at least 26 transgender people were killed in the United States in 2018. In 2019, at least eight transgender people were fatally shot or killed by other violent means.
The new policy urges AMA members to combat anti-transgender violence in several ways:
- Form partnerships with other medical organizations and stakeholders to educate members of the public, legislatures and law enforcement using verified data on hate crimes against transgender individuals and highlight the disproportionate number fatal attacks on black transgender women.
- Advocate for consistent collection and reporting of data on hate crimes across all levels of law enforcement that includes demographic information on a victim’s birth sex and gender identity.
- Advocate for a central law enforcement database to collect data on reported hate crimes that correctly identifies a victim’s birth sex and gender identity.
- Advocate for stronger law enforcement policies regarding interactions with transgender individuals in order to prevent bias and mistreatment and increase community trust.
- Advocate for local, state, and federal efforts that will increase access to mental health treatment and address the health disparities that LGBTQ individuals experience.
An AMA spokesperson said the policy was sponsored by the AMA Minority Affairs Section and the primary author was MAS Delegate Dionne Hart, who secured co-sponsorship of the resolution by the GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality.
The House of Delegates adopted the policy as amended to remove a policy clause calling on the AMA to issue a news release at the conclusion of the annual meeting and to publish updates in the media about the prevalence of physical and mental health conditions LGBT people face, according a policy document.
“Your reference committee recognizes that the AMA media team routinely develops press releases regarding adopted policy, and cannot control publication in outside media,” the policy document says.
An AMA spokesperson said the policy was unanimously supported in committee testimony, then adopted by the full House of Delegates, but the final vote tally wasn’t recorded per practice of the association.