Should a medical professional lose their license over stating mere biological fact? Amy Hamm doesn't think so.
The B.C. nurse and mother of two faces potential censure from her professional regulatory body for stating "there are only 2 genders" while co-sponsoring an 'I heart J.K. Rowling' billboard in 2020.
Rowling, an outspoken advocate of women’s rights, has frequently supported 'safe spaces' for women, including female-only bathrooms, changerooms and other places where biological males may not enter. The world-renowned author also faced professional ridicule on social media, making headlines around the globe.
Hamm told Rebel News at the time that two members of the public filed a complaint about her advocacy. Soon after, she received tens of thousands of messages that threatened her with hate and abuse.
"I think that has the effect of showing people how toxic this debate actually is," she said.
Nevertheless, Hamm is eager to put the disciplinary hearings behind her and continue practicing as a medical professional, without fear of persecution, owing to her personal beliefs.
In November 2020, the regulatory body launched an investigation and subsequently compiled a 332-page report, mostly composed of social media posts and statements by the nurse. Three years later, and the hearings are far from over.
The BCCNM initially claimed Hamm disseminated "medically inaccurate information," but they dropped that charge in June 2022.
In the most recent charge issued by the BCCNM against the accused, the college claimed the nurse made "discriminatory and derogatory statements regarding transgender people [between approximately July 2018 and March 2021] as a nurse or nurse educator."
"Funny how I’m allowed to work despite their accusations that my off-duty conduct makes me unsafe," she posted on her X feed October 4.
"This is a show trial. A witch trial," wrote Hamm.
On October 25, day 14 for her disciplinary hearing, the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) pulled out all the stops to try and disqualify a sexual behavior expert from defending her position on biological sex.
Karen Bastow, Hamm's legal counsel, spent hours trying to qualify Dr. James Cantor, a neuroscientist and clinical psychologist who has conducted extensive research on atypical sexuality. She contends the expert would "dispel the myth that Ms. Hamm's opinions could lead to harm for transgender people" and increase their suicidal ideation.
The allegations bear some similarity to another disciplinary matter concerning freedom of expression.
In January, clinical psychologist and commentator, Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, learned his license to practice could be revoked after the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO) launched an investigation against statements he made on X. Specifically, he posted on Pride and his opinion on whether a heavy-set Sports Illustrated model was "beautiful."
The CPO ordered Peterson to undergo "social media training" for his alleged "wrong think," which the legal counsel for BCCNM, Barbara Findlay, tried to use to undermine the trust in Cantor's ability to provide an expert testimony involving "marginalized transgender" people.
During cross-examination, BCCNM lawyer, Barbara Findlay, told Cantor: "The college concluded those statements contravened the Canadian psychologist's ethics of psychologists" in reference to the Psychologists of Ontario's (CPO) take on Peterson's tweets.
"In your professional opinion as a psychologist, is it your opinion that these statements align with the college's ethics?" she asked the psychologist. Bastow successfully objected to the line of questioning, arguing the question was "irrelevant" for the qualification hearing.
Findlay then redirected her questioning on how many cases Cantor had been qualified to speak on regarding gender dysphoria and whether or not his income has doubled as a result.
Cantor estimated that he's testified at approximately 20 such U.S. cases and confirmed that his income had indeed doubled since he first testified on the misuse of science to promote 'gender affirmative care' for 'transgender youth.' He added that in the case of Amy Hamm, he would be testifying at a financial loss incurred by himself.
"This is an important case for the freedom of expression of regulated professionals across the country," contends Lisa Bildy, also Hamm’s legal counsel.
"Professional regulators are created by statute and are essentially an arm of the state, to which the Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies," she added. "Nonetheless, many regulators are increasingly attempting to control what professionals are permitted to say or believe on the social and political issues of our time."
To find out more about what occurred in court this past week, you can click here.
Hamm's disciplinary hearing is set to reconvene on October 31, at which point the public will learn whether or not Cantor can provide expert testimony on behalf of the accused nurse.