WASHINGTON, D.C., July 11, 2007, — The American Public Health Association (APHA) today announced its opposition to the nomination of James Holsinger, Jr., MD, as surgeon general. In letters to U.S. Sens. Edward Kennedy and Michael Enzi, APHA expressed its deep concern over past writings regarding Dr. Holsinger’s “views of homosexuality, which put his political and religious ideology before established medical science.”
“As our nation’s most trusted advisor and leading educator on health, the surgeon general plays a vital role in promoting health, preventing disease and protecting the public,” wrote Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (Emeritus), executive director of APHA. “Scientific objectivity must be the standard for any nominee.”
“We cannot support a nominee with discredited and non-evidence-based views on sexuality,” wrote Benjamin. “While we have no doubt that Dr. Holsinger has made positive contributions throughout his medical and public health career, we believe his previously expressed views on sexuality are inconsistent with mainstream medicine and public health practice.”
Sen. Kennedy is chair and Sen. Enzi is ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which will hold a confirmation hearing July 12 at 10 a.m.
The full text of the letter can be found at http://www.apha.org/NR/rdonlyres/331EA90A-BF40-4028-AA17-33B63FE5674A/0/Holsingerletter.pdf. For more information about APHA, visit www.apha.org.