Pfizer, PhRMA Funded LGBTQ Rating Criteria for Hospitals, Pushing Gender Ideology
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Pfizer and PhRMA, the association that lobbies for biopharmaceutical research companies, both funded the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) "Healthcare Equality Index" (HEI), a tool that the private organization uses to promote LGBTQ+ ideology within healthcare facilities across the U.S., The Washington Free Beacon reported.
According to its website, the HEI is currently in its 15th year of evaluating healthcare facilities' pro-LGBTQ+ policies and practices. Last year's HEI rated more than 2,200 healthcare facilities nationwide.
The word "evaluating" medical institutions, really means "scoring them on whether they are adopting LGBTQ+ inclusive patient, visitation and employment policies," according to The Free Beacon.
But the issue of transgender procedures on children is also central to this debate. Critics of the HEI say their concerns focus on any potential endorsement of gender-altering drugs and surgeries which could place ideology and revenue above scientific questions about efficacy and safety for minors.
The LGBT activist group HRC keeps its description of the HEI more generic, posting on its website, "Facilities receive points for meeting specific requirements and by having a certain number of best practices and policies in place."
According to The Free Beacon, Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., had a perfect score on the HEI Index in 2022.
Points are awarded to hospitals on a 100-point scale that meets certain criteria like displaying LGBT symbols, soliciting and using patients' preferred pronouns, and conducting training on issues approved by the LGBT community.
In addition, hospitals must also provide the same treatments for gender dysphoria that they provide for other medical conditions or have points taken away. A hospital that uses puberty blockers to treat puberty cannot withhold the drugs from children who say they're transgender, according to The Free Beacon.
The outlet noted even though the index does not mention medical conscience exemptions explicitly, it does penalize hospitals for allowing so-called "discriminatory treatment".
As CBN News has reported, in the wake of criticism from parents and professionals, several countries around the world have put the brakes on radical gender medical modifications of children, including surgery.
However, critics have noted the very same companies that produce and make money from puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are funding the HEI, and trying to push gender medicine in the U.S. in a completely opposite direction, according to The Free Beacon.
The HEI's website features the logos of both Pfizer and PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) recognizing both for their "generous grants."
CBN News reached out to Pfizer and the PhRMA for additional comment.
In an emailed statement, Pfizer said the funding to the HEI was part of its commitment to "healthcare access," but didn't address concerns about conflict of interest since pharmaceutical companies stand to profit from certain transgender treatments.
"Pfizer funds the Healthcare Equality Index as part of the company's ongoing commitment to healthcare access and equity for all. The funding is made through an unrestricted grant; Pfizer is not involved in the index's development, production, or scoring process," the company's statement said.
In an emailed statement to CBN News, PhRMA spokesperson Brian Newell also sidestepped the issue of conflict of interest, saying the group was "not involved in the development or release of this specific project."
"We support and work with a wide variety of organizations to help promote affordable access to health care. Our work with HRC has primarily focused on issues impacting patient access and affordability, including for those with HIV, cancer, and other deadly diseases," Newell said. "We were not involved in the development or release of this specific project."
When asked why hospitals across the country would implement the diversity, equity, and inclusion recommendations from a non-scientific, advocacy group like HRC with no official medical or government backing, David Gortler, a former senior adviser to the Food and Drug Administration commissioner and current Ethics and Public Policy Center scholar, told The Daily Signal that "hospitals are no longer run by physicians following scientific evidence anymore; non-physician administrators outrank medical doctors in leadership hierarchy."
"Hospitals are also too administrator-heavy, affecting the practice of medicine," he said.
"These are the next generation of pharmacists, physicians, and nurses, and they're being taught to specifically ignore fundamentals of biology and data-driven findings," Gortler noted. "They're not following what science is trying to tell us. That's a really bad problem."
Roger Severino, vice president of domestic policy at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal that Pfizer and PhRMA have turned to an "ideologically driven interest group to do the dirty work" because federal law prohibits them from "directly pushing their dangerous drugs on kids with gender confusion."
"Pfizer and PhRMA are profiting off the broken lives of children who would have come to accept their bodies if only their natural development weren't interrupted by their drugs," Severino said. "Yet they continue to pay HRC to bully doctors and insurers into prescribing and paying for puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones that are sold with a smile by Pfizer and PhRMA members. These companies have absolutely no shame."
Jay Richards, director of the DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal Pfizer and PhRMA's involvement in the HEI is "a self-evident conflict of interest for private industry groups and drug companies to fund activist organizations that push ideological 'medicine' that creates lifelong patients for the drug companies."
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