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San Francisco Marin Medical Society Blog

Letter to the Editor from SFMMS Leaders Opposing Separation of Children at Border

Letter to the Editor in the San Francisco Chronicle today:

Negative effects
Last week, the American Medical Association passed a resolution opposing the separation of children from their parents at the Mexican border. The San Francisco Marin Medical Society, representing doctors across specialties who care for children and families, joins the AMA and condemns this horrific policy. The story of an 8-year-old who experienced a brief but traumatic separation from her mother during their immigration journey highlights the harm.
The child had no prior mental health issues, and even months after being reunified with her mother, threatened to hurt herself with a knife at the thought of going to school and leaving her mother’s side again. The negative health consequences of childhood traumatic events disrupt the natural development of a growing brain and body, and increase the lifetime risk for heart problems, cancer, diabetes and stroke. The negative effects on the family and community are far-reaching and long-lasting. As physicians in San Francisco and Marin who prioritize health over politics, we join the chorus of other physician organizations speaking out against this unnecessary and inhumane policy decision.

John Maa and Heyman Oo,
San Francisco

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