Robert Siedlecki: American Medical Association continues its descent down the path of political extremism

For the past several decades, the American Medical Association has been–to quote Vladimir Lenin–a reliable “useful idiot” of the woke left. For example in 2010, against the wishes of many, if not most, of its members, the AMA endorsed the notorious left-wing Obamacare health insurance plan.

In 2014, it passed a resolution objecting to the requirement imposed by most states that before a person may change his or her gender on official documents a person must first undergo gender reassignment surgery. In 2019, it passed a resolution that people should be allowed to change their gender in official documents without any prior examination. And at its June 2021 meeting, the AMA continued its descent down the path of political wokeism; first, with a resolution supporting the removal of biological sex from the public portion of birth certificates and second, by supporting Critical Race Theory.

According to AMA Board Chair-Elect Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, M.D., “Designating sex on birth certificates as male or female, and making that information available on the public portion, perpetuates a view that sex designation is permanent and fails to recognize the medical spectrum of gender identity. This type of categorization system also risks stifling an individual’s self-expression and self-identification and contributes to marginalization and minoritization.”

However, from time immemorial, at the time of the birth of a child, parents, doctors, midwives, and nurses have been able almost 100% of the time to successfully identify the sex of that child based on the child’s external genitalia. (n.b.–There are rare cases—about 0.02%—where a child’s sex cannot be determined at birth for one reason or another.) There was not any guesswork involved; objective facts and reason determined the truth of the matter. Now the AMA is declaring that for tens of thousands of years, almost everyone who has ever lived has erroneously been identifying the sex of newborns. It could be understood if a left-wing think tank or politician, for whom feelings and ideology trump facts and reason, advocated for this position that defies reality. But for the AMA to support it is incomprehensible. It makes one seriously question what is being taught in American medical schools. I surely would not want to be seen by a doctor who cannot understand what a five-year old child can.

Supporting critical race theory is the second radical left-wing stance taken by the AMA at its last meeting. At the meeting, delegates adopted guidelines designed to help medical institutions “prevent and address systemic racism, explicit and implicit bias, and microaggressions.” As AMA Trustee Willard Edwards, M.D., declared: “Systemic racism in medicine is the most serious barrier to the advancement of health equity and appropriate medical care.”

The resolution follows on the heels of the AMA’s launch this May of its strategic plan to “dismantle structural racism starting from within the organization.” As the press release announcing the plan stated, “The framework of the plan—which is central to the work of the AMA Center for Health Equity and the responsibility of AMA leadership, membership, and external stakeholders—is driven by the immense need for equity-centered solutions to confront harms produced by systemic racism and other forms of oppression for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, and other people of color, as well as people who identify as LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities.”

Both the resolution and the plan flow from “critical race theory.” Critical race theory is a divisive ideology that holds that America is a racist country and all white, Christian, straight people–especially males–have been and still are oppressors. Furthermore, it views almost all institutions in America as irredeemably racist which need to be dismantled as a result. Individual responsibility is viewed as irrelevant; the only thing that matters is group identity. History and facts are intentionally distorted to present only the false picture advocated by the critical race theorists. Fierce battles regarding critical race theory are occurring all over the United States now, especially in K-12 public and private schools where many school boards and teachers are trying to indoctrinate students in this divisive ideology. For the American Medical Association to support this hateful ideology is shameful.

At last month’s meeting, the American Medical Association continued their jaunt down the yellow-brick road of left-wing extremism by supporting resolutions advocating for the removal of newborns’ biological sex from the public portion of their birth certificates and by supporting the divisive ideology known as critical race theory. If only the AMA would recognize reality instead of fantasy, and support policies that unite rather than divide America, we all would be better off in mind, body, and soul.

Robert Siedlecki

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