Gender transition services are ‘reckless’, say medical and legal experts
While informed consent is one of the pillars of clinical bioethics, puberty blockers fail the test, according to prominent psychiatrist and constitutional scholar writing in the magazine Remark. Paul McHugh, professor emeritus of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, and Gerard Bradley, of Notre Dame, argue that neither young people nor their parents can understand what they lack in delaying puberty, one of physiology’s most mysterious aspects. human.
Their immediate goal is to support a recently passed law in Arkansas that prohibits “gender transition services” for people under the age of 18 because they are too young to give informed consent. The law was struck down by a federal appeals court. Seventeen other states have written in favor of the law, claiming that legislation is needed because “the medical establishment has abandoned the field to the political air.”
The article in Remark covers too much ground to sum up adequately, but McHugh and Bradley target two gaps involved in transgender medicine for children and adolescents.
The first is “recklessness”. Puberty, they argue, is mysterious and little understood. Tinkering with the physiology of a young person is dangerous.
In other animals, all they will be is in place at puberty. For us, puberty is like a kind of second birth; it is the beginning of our contribution to our time. To block puberty and then artificially reorient its course is to alter a vital matter of human development for no reason to rely on what will emerge beyond a life preoccupied with medico-surgical interventions to maintain the illusion that his gender has changed.
The second is “recklessness”. Consent must be informed; people need to understand the consequences of their actions. But a prepubescent person can hardly grasp the implications of a life of sterility, childlessness and perpetual medication.
They predict only one successful case against transgender treatment – like the UK’s Bell v. Tavistock –will collapse the experience with transgender medicine.
With the emergence in the United States of a single high-profile case like Kelsey’s, with its obvious potential for a major trial, the transgender misadventure will come to an end. A public outcry will begin, insurance companies will stop supporting malpractice as lawsuits emerge, and the reputations of doctors and health systems will collapse.
The damage to victims will nonetheless be irreparable and (like Abigail Shrier’s book on this subject in 2020) irreversible. Their sense of betrayal will be matched by the shame of all who are able to feel it.
Michel cook is editor of BioEdge