Opinion

Intolerance is Poor Public Health Policy

The Trump administration’s Health and Human Services Department is poised to redefine gender as an immutable characteristic dependent on a person’s biological sex assigned at birth. Yet medical science knows that biologic sex cannot always be predicted by a quick inspection of a baby’s genitals in the delivery room (the basis of many birth certificates) or even a chromosome count. 

Fear of Deportation is Keeping Kids from Getting Health Care

Eleven-year-old Jaime was diagnosed with leukemia and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. He’s a U.S. citizen but his mother is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. “His mother told me that when they get home after his chemo, Jaime closes all of the curtains and locks the doors,” explained Jacqueline Casillas, my colleague and director of Pediatric Oncology at Miller’s Children’s Hospital in Long Beach. He’s afraid that his mother will be deported because she takes him to the doctor.

Give Youth an Escape Route from Addiction

Every time a young person who suffers from addiction reaches out for help, we have an incredible and precious opportunity to find the road back to the youth’s full potential. Wasting that opportunity isn’t just a waste of public dollars, it is a matter of life or death.

That is why my organization, the California Society of Addiction Medicine, is sponsoring legislation, Senate Bill 275, to create clear standards for youth substance use disorder prevention, early intervention and treatment.

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