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Egnor: Why More Sex Change Medicine for Teens in US Than Europe?

One factor in the difference between the United States and Europe may be less accurate information in the United States
Michael Egnor

Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor offers a look at the radical trend to medicine and life-altering surgery based on teen identity issues:

Despite the logical gibberish, trans-activism has had a frightening impact on medical practice and medical ethics. ‘Gender affirmation’ clinics exist in medical centers across the country, and many clinics offer hormonal treatment and even radical surgery to children and adults. Boston Children’s Hospital — probably the most prominent children’s hospital in the country —  has offered mastectomies to girls as young as 15 for “gender reassignment,” and has offered patients phalloplasty (the surgical creation of a ‘penis’), metoidioplasty (cutting tissue to lengthen the clitoris), creation of a scrotum with testicular implants, hysterectomy, vaginoplasty (amputation of the penis and testicles with construction of a ‘vagina’) to older adolescents. In response to intense public criticism, Boston Children’s Hospital recently changed its website to claim that going forward it will restrict operations to people over 18 years of age, although it continues to ‘treat’ mentally ill children with hormones in anticipation of surgical alterations when they come of age. Seattle Children’s Hospital was exposed recently for recently for offering “medicalized transition” to children as young as nine years old.

Please note that these radical medical treatments and surgical procedures are performed on mentally ill children and adults.  These patients are mentally ill by definition — if they were not ill, they would not be in need of medical treatment, and their illness is not physical (their sexual organs are healthy). Their illness is mental, and for that they are subjected to radical medical intervention (including hormones of the type administered to sex offenders) and mutilating surgery.

In Europe, there has been a shift away from radical and mutilating medical treatments for children and adults with gender dysphoria. The British National Health Service is closing its only youth gender clinic amid concerns about the extreme and irreversible nature of its treatments.

Michael Egnor, “Gender Ideology and the Paganization of Western Culture” at American Thinker (September 14, 2022)

One factor in the difference between the United States and Europe may be less accurate information in the United States. For example, the University of Washington had to backtrack on a study claiming great benefits for transgender intervention for teens on account of the favorable publicity that the study had received:

A University of Washington study, in partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital, claimed gender-affirming care via puberty blockers leads to positive mental health outcomes for transgender teen patients. That characterization, however, was false, forcing substantial edits to the materials used to promote the study and prompting UW to cease promoting the research.

Despite all that, the UW communications staff chose not to proactively respond to “some pretty concerning claims” about the study because it had already received glowing media coverage, according to emails exclusively obtained by the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

Jason Rantz, “Rantz: Despite ‘concerning’ transgender study, UW kept quiet because of positive coverage” at 770KTTH (August 24, 2022)

In fact, Rantz notes, “The data shows there was virtually no improvement in mental health outcomes for the patients receiving gender-affirming care.”

This is not how science is supposed to work.

In Britain, by contrast, a public inquiry has forced the closure of the primary institution engaged in such practices. A nurse who worked there herself recounts,

The story of what happened at Tavistock is the story of how small group of whistleblowers—doctors, nurses, parents and patients, together with the help of journalists and reporters—were able to relentlessly expose activist-driven medicine that they knew was irresponsible. It’s also an object lesson for others who are deeply concerned about a one-size-fit-all approach to transgender healthcare and wonder what they should do about it…

I had also noticed that senior clinicians in the service would regularly meet with Mermaids, a transgender patient-advocacy group. At the time, various patient-advocacy groups were springing up alongside mental-health services so that patients would have a voice in the examination room. At first, I viewed all of this as an overdue development. But as time progressed, it seemed clear that groups like Mermaids were exerting influence over doctors and clinicians in the service—sometimes dictating the expectations of care for our patients.

Sue Evans, “How Tavistock Came Tumbling Down” at CommonSense (August 4, 2022)

Meanwhile, Sweden, hardly known for sexual repression, has sharply curtailed the use of puberty blockers for teens, generally a step prior to surgery in the transgender process.

Going forward, activists will probably have less influence over medics in Europe. It remains to be seen how it will play out in the United States.

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Egnor: Why More Sex Change Medicine for Teens in US Than Europe?