Revised state rules on gender treatment say they’ll affect only trans youth in Ohio, not adults

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The first round of revised rules on gender-affirming treatments for trans youth in Ohio have been released, after public comment on them closed last month. The rules proposed initially by Gov. Mike DeWine are separate from the law banning gender transition treatment for minors and trans athletes in girls’ sports that takes effect in April.

Demonstrators outside the Ohio Statehouse showing support for transgender kids
Demonstrators outside the Ohio Statehouse showing support for transgender kids as a House committee hears a Republican backed bill to ban gender affirming treatments for minors under 18. [Daniel Konik | Statehouse News Bureau]
Only trans minors will be affected by the revised state administrative rules on gender transition care from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The rules note that because there was concern they would apply to trans adults too.
“The comments revealed a significant interest in the original draft’s impact on adult patients,” the memo addressing the changes noted. “The revised rules are now applicable only to care for minors.”

The agency also says options for professionals in the required multi-disciplinary care team were expanded, because of limited availability of certain medical experts and specialties.And there was one issue about the involvement of medical ethicists that the memo described as a “point of confusion” that it said has been resolved.

“The requirement for review by a medical ethicist was never applicable to individual patient care plans but rather provider operations,” the memo stated. “However, to alleviate confusion and because of assurances from healthcare leaders that providers already appropriately engage medical ethics professionals in this type of care, the proposed rule’s requirement has been removed.”

The revised rules on reporting data and on standards for facilities treating gender-related conditions from the Ohio Department of Health are expected soon.

DeWine had said last week the revised rules would “come fairly quickly” after public input poured in. And DeWine said some of that came from people who “don’t fully understand what the rules are.”

“We’ve listened to those comments. We never had any intention to limit access,” DeWine said. “I think there’s a disagreement about the facts. But others raised an issue about access. And so, we did not in any way intend to limit access.”

The process is far from over. The release of the revised rules mean the public comment period is open again, as it will when the Ohio Department of Health releases its revised rules. Once final rules are developed and filed, a public hearing will be set.