We’ve recently explored far too many stories about the tragic effects of so-called “gender-affirming” treatments for children, such as have been seen at Boston Children’s Hospital. But most of the doctors involved in these practices must be getting their “guidance” from somewhere, right? As it turns out, these dubious and dangerous practices involving everything from hormone injections and puberty blockers to genital mutilation surgery have all been endorsed by one of the nation’s largest medical associations. That would be the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). This week, the Washington Free Beacon, in partnership with Common Sense, has published an extensive deep dive into how the AAP has strayed so far off the beaten path in terms of the treatment of claimed cases of pediatric gender dysphoria.
The report begins with a horrific incident that took place during the AAP’s annual conference held this October in Anaheim, California. Dr. Morissa Ladinsky, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, was giving a lecture on transgender issues when she decided to pay homage to a teenage “gender transition” patient. The 17-year-old boy had been “transitioned” to being female but grew so despondent that they literally threw themself in front of a truck and died. Dr. Ladinsky described this horrifying act by saying the teen had “stepped boldly in front of a tractor-trailer, ending her life.”
In an address about “standing up for gender-affirming care,” Ladinsky eulogized Leelah Alcorn, an Ohio 17-year-old who, in Ladinsky’s words, “stepped boldly in front of a tractor-trailer, ending her life,” in 2014, after leaving a suicide note that “went viral, literally around the world.”
Ladinsky’s remarks were captured on video by a horrified onlooker, Oregon pediatrician Dr. Julia Mason, who expressed outrage on Twitter that Ladinsky was “glorifying suicide,” an act she described as “unprofessional and dangerous.”
That isn’t just Mason’s opinion. Technically speaking, it is also the official stance of the AAP, whose website for parents, healthychildren.org, explicitly warns that “glorifying suicide” can have a “‘contagious’ effect” and inspire others to take their own lives.
While Ladinsky’s remarks were more than enough of a nightmare, demonstrating just how unhinged some medical professionals have become when it comes to transgender treatments, the majority of the AAP has serious problems in this area. The lengthy report from the Free Beacon uncovers some disturbing statistics, suggesting just how badly this issue is being handled as a matter of politics rather than medicine.
First of all, relating to what I pointed out at the top, the AAP is widely recognized as a “standard-setting body.” They are the ones issuing all of the guidelines for pediatric transgender procedures such as those used at Boston Children’s and other hospitals. In many lawsuits brought by parents whose children have fallen down this rabbit hole, judges have frequently deferred to the “expert guidance” of the AAP when rendering decisions.
But the people driving the development of those guidelines are hardly politically neutral actors relying on extensive medical research. As the report notes, those guidelines were not formed based on a consensus of all the members. They were developed by “small, like-minded teams of specialists” who all work in gender transition clinics. Further, more than two-thirds of the pediatricians in the APP are registered Democrats, so the left-wing bias underlying the organization’s operations is quite evident.
The worst part is that so much of this supposedly scientific information is total junk science. As we have been increasingly hearing from doctors not caught up in this madness, most of these medical practices are taking us into virtually uncharted waters. The long-term effects of cross-sex hormones, particularly in children, are not fully known and some of the indicators point to significant problems. The drugs most commonly used as puberty blockers have never been approved by the FDA for the treatment of gender dysphoria. (I confirmed that with the FDA myself this year.) And the side effects of long-term use in children are serious and well-documented.
And don’t even get me started on the genital mutilation surgery again. Yet somehow, the American Academy of Pediatrics is rubber-stamping all of these procedures. And their guidance is being followed by other pediatricians and showing up as valid medical science in court cases. How is society supposed to break through this woke wall and bring some sanity back to the conversation? We clearly need to work to educate the public more thoroughly, but unfortunately, that is difficult when significant portions of the mainstream media have been singing along with the transgender choir from the beginning.
Reporting from Hot Air.