|Action||Unprofessional conduct - conversion therapy|
|Comment Period||Ends 8/7/2019|
I write to oppose the plan to adopt, via regulation, a prohibition on the ability of psychiatric, psychological and counseling professionals to provide certain types of treatments for children who seek treatment for gender disphoria. First of all, as you well know, the General Assembly, elected by the people of Virginia have twice rejected such regulations. This blatant end run around the elected legislature is anti-democratic and outrageous! Second, parents are closest to their child’s challenges, and are in the best position to make healthcare decisions involving the wellbeing of their child. Under Virginia law, parents have the fundamental right to make decisions regarding the upbringing, education and care of their children, and there is no reason why parents ought to be deprived of the choice of how to treat the medical issues of their children. Some young people may have attractions they desire to change or moderate. Others may simply desire guidance from a counselor to live a chaste life. In either instance, there should be options for families to make informed decisions. Further, the proposed ban would deny families the freedom to seek counseling aligned with their faith. Finally, licensed professionals with years of education and experience should not be removed from the process of helping children work through these sensitive and deeply personal issues.