April 5, 2019 7:09 pm
Updated: April 5, 2019 8:21 pm

Part of Alberta medical community weighs in on gay-straight alliances

WATCH: A group of Alberta’s pediatric residents drafted statement to show support to the LGBTQ community. Jill Croteau explains.

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Alberta pediatric resident physicians are adding their voices to the contentious debate about gay-straight alliances (GSAs).

Pediatric resident Jazmyn Balfour-Boehm drafted an open letter because she felt they have a responsibility to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ youth.

This group of doctors wanted to support young people’s rights to belong to a GSA in their schools without the fear of being outed.

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“I’m recognizing that, as I am proceeding with my pediatric residency, we have this voice to use,” Balfour-Boehm said.

“We see children and youth inside the four walls of hospitals and clinics, but our role extends beyond that.

“We wanted to be the voice for the youth when they can’t advocate for themselves.”

“I hadn’t seen the medical viewpoint in the media on this and I felt it provided a new perspective to the conversation,” she said.

Nineteen other pediatric residents across Alberta have signed the open statement written by Balfour-Boehm.

In part, she wrote about doctor-patient confidentiality and said this situation between teachers and students is a direct parallel.

“In our profession, the only grounds for breaching the circle of confidentiality that exists within the patient-physician relationship would be if child or adolescent indicates intent to harm themselves or others, or if there is a suspected case of abuse or neglect,” Balfour-Bohem said.

“It is not within our rights to disclose a youth’s defined sexual orientation or gender identity unless the youth has provided clear and informed consent for us to share this information.”

Read entire open letter below:

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