A children's hospital in Colorado has decided it will no longer include M or F on patients' wristbands to show their biological sex in order to accommodate those who might identify as transgender or nonbinary.
According to NBC's Denver affiliate, Children's Hospital Colorado's decision to do so began with a "diversity task force."
"We are seeing more and more patients who have diverse gender identities," explained Dr. Natalie Nokoff who works at the hospital in Aurora. "I think that's true of programs all across the United States."
The hospital has said that its employees understand that it's "not easy growing up with an expansive gender identity or expression," and "believe gender-diverse children need a stable support system as they navigate their transition."
While the markers will no longer appear on the wristbands, medical history will still be recorded, Nokoff said. She considers the biological markers unnecessary.
In praise of the change, a teenager named Ben who identifies as a "female to male" transgender person and has been going to the hospital for approximately two years, said gratefully, "It's huge. Bigger than anything on this planet. Looking down and seeing that 'F,' I'm just like 'No. That's not right."
The Denver-area hospital hosts a group called TRUE Center for Gender Diversity, which is described as a "safe space" and stands for "trust, understand, respect and emerge."
On its website, The TRUE Center offer services such as hormone therapy, puberty blocking, consultations with therapists and referrals to support groups.
These practices are what Dr. Michelle Cretella, the president of the American College of Pediatricians, has described as "large-scale child abuse" within her field of pediatrics.
"Sex is not assigned by people. I don't assign sex to my patients when I see them in the delivery room. It declares itself. We recognize it. Our bodies tell us who we are," she said during a panel on the harms of gender ideology at FRC's annual Values Voter Summit, the largest annual gathering of social conservatives in Washington, D.C.
The striking of biological markers from hospital wristbands is the latest move to eliminate public distinctions between the sexes in official documents where many think they still matter. In the past few years, several nations and in a few states in the U.S. have allowed people to change their birth certificates and driver's licenses on the basis of their self-determined gender identity.
Most recently in New York City, the city council approved a bill permitting persons to put "X" on their birth certificates to designate a "third" gender instead of M or F for male or female.
Writing in UnHerd Monday, Feminist Current editor Meghan Murphy argued that the push to include gender on a medical document like a birth certificate is ridiculous and unnecessary.
"Gender is not the same as sex, and an individual's feelings about their gender does not change their biological sex. Advocates of these types of policy change do not seem to understand that gender simply refers to social constructs of what it means to be male and female," Murphy said, pointing out that unless born with a rare intersex condition, men have penises and produce sperm and women have vaginas and uteruses and produce eggs.
While people are free to self-identify as they want, "acknowledging that a person is male or female is neither an insult or an opinion — it is a fact," one that is important in the field of medicine, she added.
"Women and men have very different bodies and health needs. Pregnancy is an obvious difference, requiring specialist health care, but there are plenty of other differences. Cardiovascular disease, for example, is the No. 1 killer of women in many countries, including the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the U.K., in part because both symptoms and treatments have been tested primarily on men. Because our cells are sexed, diseases, treatments, and chemicals impact men and women differently."
"Regardless of how you want to self-identify, scientists and doctors need to know people's actual sex in order to treat them properly and conduct effective research."