The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on Monday distributed a series of recommendations and moral criteria regarding gender reassignment operations to Catholic hospitals in the country. These recommendations were previously approved by the doctrine committee. According to the institution, the criteria seek to differentiate between practices that are good and bad for the intervened patient.
U.S. Bishops’ Doctrine Committee Issues Guidance to Catholic Health Care Institutions on Respecting the Fundamental Order of the Human Body. Read the complete statement here: https://t.co/m90MEOPQ6P pic.twitter.com/4rPiuKqe2s
— U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (@USCCB) March 20, 2023
According to the press release, while science has advanced to enable improvements in human health, processes are also being carried out that are detrimental to the "true flourishing of the human person," especially those treating what is known as gender dysphoria or gender incongruence. For these reasons, the bishops believe that Catholic health centers should not perform sex change operations on patients.
Because such interventions "do not respect the fundamental order of the human person as an intrinsic unity of body and soul, with a sexually differentiated body," the committee affirms that Catholic health services should not perform them.
The Conference of Catholic Bishops assures that health care facilities should make use of all other appropriate resources to treat the suffering caused by gender dysphoria, while respecting the fundamental order of the human body. The bishops' decision is supported by the words of Pope Benedict XVI, who, following the doctrine of the Second Vatican Council, emphasized that everything in the world has its balance, its built-in order, its own grammar.
According to the conference, the recommendations were developed in close collaboration with a panel of specialists composed of medical ethicists, physicians, psychologists and moral theologians. About 16% of U.S. medical centers are Catholic, according to Community Catalyst data. Of the 10 largest national health systems, four of them are Catholic. The 10 largest Catholic health systems total 864 emergency hospitals and 385 outpatient clinics nationwide.