Is the TRANS World About to TRANSform?
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Recently, a Huge Turning of the Tide has
Occurred in the United Kingdom.
This Has Profound Ramifications
for the United States.
It involves The Tavistock Clinic in England, the hub of gender-affirming treatment under the country’s National Health Service.
The term “gender-affirming treatment” refers to treating gender dysphoria, first with puberty blockers, then with cross-sex hormones and finally, for a sizable number of patients, with sex re-assignment surgery.
A landmark lawsuit, was brought by Keira Bell. After being treated as a young woman at Tavistock for gender dysphoria she brought suit claiming she was fast-tracked for gender affirmation treatment by the clinic. She contended as a minor she had little understanding of the long-term consequences of what she was supposedly consenting to undergo. Most people think only the surgical changes are permanent, but the truth is that puberty blockers and hormone therapy also cause irreversible changes.
Now she has de-transitioned, and she accused Tavistock of taking children along a treatment path that involved irreversible changes. Bell states minors like herself could not possibly understand the magnitude or significance of these changes, including bone loss, sterility, altered brain development and the inability to experience sexual climax. Bell believes, she and other children were experimented upon in a cruel and reckless manner.
She prevailed in her lawsuit and the verdict was unanimously in her favor. The high court ruled that much of the treatment was not based on solid evidence. The court found that children under 16 simply can not consent to any treatment with such major and irreversible consequences.
I recently examined a patient myself, in her early 20s. As a teenager she had begun transitioning to be a male, and had her breasts cut off, leaving behind huge, ugly scars where her breasts used to be. Now she had decided she was a female after all, and she was pregnant when I saw her. She sorely grieved the permanent loss of her breasts. It was very sad, but does illustrate that young people do change their minds.
As a result of the Bell lawsuit and other cases, Dr. Hilary Cass, a former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, was tasked by the Boris Johnson government with reviewing practices at Tavistock. After a comprehensive literature review, a study of patients and clinicians at Tavistock, and a review of 9,000 patient outcomes, the Cass Review was issued. The findings were disturbing. Tavistock was using shaky evidence that had already been rejected by other Western European countries, including Finland, Sweden and France.
The Cass Review also stated there was almost no follow-up of patients, and hence very little understanding of whether Tavistock’s treatment really helped patients. Many patients and staff expressed doubts about the one-size-fits-all approach. The Cass Review recommended, and the government agreed:
that Tavistock be closed,
and that regional centers to treat gender dysphoria in a more responsible fashion be opened,
and that puberty blockers would be banned, until an evidence base could be established to guide their use on children.
And Then Last August the Big News Hit.
A law firm is launching a class-action suit against Tavistock, and they state that more than 1,000 clients will be joining the suit. This suit will accuse Tavistock of “multiple failures of duty of care” with regard to their treatment of pediatric patients suffering from gender dysphoria. Charges will include Tavistock having “recklessly prescribed puberty blockers with harmful side effects and (having) adopted an ‘unquestioning, affirmative approach’ to children identifying as transgender.” It is anticipated that any remaining support for gender affirmation treatment for minors in the UK will evaporate.
In less than a year, gender affirming treatment for minors in the U.K. took a 180 degree turn.
The “affirmation-only-no-debate” Approach to Pediatric Gender Dysphoria is Over, in the U.K.
Will the Same Thing Happen in the United States?
None of us has a crystal ball, but there are some obvious signs of things to come.
At least 12 states have already passed laws or policies that restrict gender transitioning care for minors.
In at least 19 other states, legislation restricting gender transitioning care for minors is being considered.
In 2021, 9 states refused to cover such treatments for minors under their Medicaid programs.
And here is perhaps the strongest indicator of things to come. Girard Sharp, a national law firm here in the US, that specializes in class action litigation is currently recruiting clients for a class action lawsuit involving the use of “puberty blockers” in children. It is highly likely the court here in the U.S. will rule the same as the court in the U.K. and gender affirming treatment for minors will end.
Valerie M. Hudson, a distinguished professor at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University has opined that:
"What is currently termed “gender-affirming treatment” for pediatric patients is likely to one day be seen as one of the greatest medical scandals of the 21st century. The light that will be shone on the practice in U.S. courtrooms will see to that, as happened in the U.K."
I suspect Hudson is correct. Trans-adults will continue to be accommodated here in the US, as they should be. Adults are free to live their life as they choose, as long as they don't harm others. But in the near future there will be a growing consensus that medical and surgical gender transitioning is off limits for minors. Minors can make their own decision when they are adults.
As society reaches consensus on difficult issues, acrimony and contention decrease and the country can work on other important issues. Thus everybody will benefit as the trans world accepts the inevitable conclusion that minors must postpone hormone treatment and sex change surgery until they can give informed consent as adults. The trans community will gain greater credibility and acceptance by the mainstream as they embrace this rational policy.
Take care and BE HEALTHY!
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