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Medical Organizations Urge End To Transgender Surgeries For Kids

pediatrician
Image CreditNavy Medicine/Flickr/Public domain

A new declaration urges all U.S. medical personnel to stop experimentation and abuse of children under the guise of transgender treatment.

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Last week, pediatricians, doctors, and medical organizations from across the country joined forces, urging all U.S. medical personnel to stop experimentation and abuse of children under the guise of transgender treatment.

The “Doctors Protecting Children Declaration,” authored by the American College of Pediatricians (ACPEDS), was a collaborative effort relying on the expertise of hundreds of doctors, researchers, health-care workers, and leaders who “for years have been sounding the alarm on the harmful protocols that continue to be promoted by the medical organizations within the United States,” said ACPEDS Executive Director Jill Simons, MD, at a June 6 press conference.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, Endocrine Society, Pediatric Endocrine Society, American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry need to “follow the science” their European colleagues are finally acknowledging “and immediately stop the promotion of social affirmation, puberty blockers, cross sex hormones and surgeries for children and adolescents who experience distress over their biological sex,” Simons said. “[We are] defying the claims made by these medical organizations in the U.S. that those of us who are concerned are a minority, and that their protocols are consensus. They are not consensus and we are speaking in a loud unified voice, ‘Enough.’”

Admitted Failures and Harm

Representing thousands of health-care workers in more than 50 countries, the declaration comes on the heels of the April release of the nearly 400-page Cass Review, an extensive and independent review of gender services for children commissioned by the British National Health Service. The findings were glaring: no evidence of positive mental health outcomes for children who socially “transitioned;” social transitioning led to increased medical interventions; puberty blockers reduced bone density in youth and led to no improvements in gender dysphoria or body satisfaction; most long-term negative outcomes are yet to be seen.

In spite of this and the recently leaked WPATH files exposing the dangerous pseudoscience base for gender medicine, some U.S. medical organizations have not changed course, Simons said. With “clearly laid out evidence that these procedures are harmful and not helpful,” Simons and her colleagues had expected gender-transition practitioners to take a step back from current protocols, but instead they have “doubled down and said they’re going to continue with what they’re doing.”

The majority of health-care workers do not adhere to transgender treatment ideology, and attempts to silence and isolate the majority cannot continue, Simons said. 

“We are leaders in health care and if not us, then who? We are going to protect children,” Simons said.

Coalition of Co-Signers

Declaration co-signers represent thousands of doctors and health-care workers within various medical and policy organizations. Several spoke at the June 6 press conference.

“Gender dysphoria is a diagnosis, whereas transgenderism is an ideology,” said Andre Van Mol, MD, a private practice physician experienced in bioethics. “Systematic literature reviews done in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, and Germany show that so-called gender-affirming health care is out of step with the evidence base for gender dysphoric youth. Transition affirmation is not proven to be safe or effective long term. It does not reduce suicides, it does not repair mental health issues or trauma. Minors cannot give truly informed consent.”

Physicians take an oath to do no harm, and transgender health care is documented to lead to harm, he said: “There is always a more honest way to deal with gender confusion than the chemical sterilization and surgical mutilation of healthy young bodies.”

“The protocols currently being pushed on children and adolescents violate the fundamental precepts of Hippocratic medicine, which is to prescribe regimen for the good of the patient and ultimately to do no harm,” said Erika LeBaron, a family medicine physician and Association of American Physicians and Surgeons president-elect. “It’s past time for our profession to end harm being done and instead provide care to children that is both rooted in science and the principles of medical ethics and that put patients, not political ideology, first.”

Permissive Administration

“Protecting the life, health, and dignity of patients, especially children, should be the primary concern of federal and state health care laws and regulations,” said Louis Brown, attorney and vice president of public policy at the Catholic Health Care Leadership Alliance.

Those protections have been distorted under the current presidential administration. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) recent regulation under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act that attempts to “unlawfully mandate gender transitioning and related procedures in our country’s health care system … is outrageous,” Brown said. “This regulation endangers the health of children, undermines parental rights, and unlawfully exceeds HHS’ statutory authority. The rule also violates the medical conscience of rights of medical professionals and health care entities who have sound medical and conscience objections to performing or facilitating unethical practices.”

If HHS refuses to withdraw the regulation, Congress is obligated to pass legislation to stop these coercive, harmful interventions done on children, he said. In the meantime, the declaration continues to gain signatures and global support.


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