From the New York Times news section:
Clinicians are divided over new guidelines that say teens should undergo mental health screenings before receiving hormones or gender surgeries.
By Azeen Ghorayshi
Jan. 13, 2022
An upsurge in teenagers requesting hormones or surgeries to better align their bodies with their gender identities has ignited a debate among doctors over when to provide these treatments.
An international group of experts focused on transgender health last month released a draft of new guidelines, the gold standard of the field that informs what insurers will reimburse for care.
Many doctors and activists praised the 350-page document, which was updated for the first time in nearly a decade, for including transgender people in its drafting and for removing language requiring adults to have psychological assessments before getting access to hormone therapy.
But the guidelines take a more cautious stance on teens. A new chapter dedicated to adolescents says that they must undergo mental health assessments and must have questioned their gender identity for “several years” before receiving drugs or surgeries.
Experts in transgender health are divided on these adolescent recommendations, reflecting a fraught debate over how to weigh conflicting risks for young people, who typically can’t give full legal consent until they are 18 and who may be in emotional distress or more vulnerable to peer influence than adults are.
Some of the drug regimens bring long-term risks, such as irreversible fertility loss.
“Irreversible fertility loss …”
Sure, sterilizing adolescents might seem a little harsh, but think about the Big Picture: if I don’t permanently destroy this child’s chance to have children, is the medical insurance company going to pay me enough for my trip to Marrakesh this year?
And in some cases, thought to be quite rare, transgender people later “detransition” to the gender they were assigned at birth. Given these risks, as well as the increasing number of adolescents seeking these treatments, some clinicians say that teens need more psychological assessment than adults do.
“They absolutely have to be treated differently,” said Laura Edwards-Leeper, a child clinical psychologist in Beaverton, Ore., who works with transgender adolescents.
Dr. Edwards-Leeper was one of seven authors of the new adolescent chapter, but the organization that publishes the guidelines, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, did not authorize her to comment publicly on the draft’s proposed wording.
It’s almost as if the World Professional Association for Transgender Health has a vested financial interest in permanently sterilizing confused children.
On the other side of the debate are clinicians who say the guidelines are calling for unnecessary barriers to urgently needed care. Transgender teens have a high risk of attempting suicide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And preliminary studies have suggested that adolescents who receive drug treatments to affirm their gender identity have improved mental health and well-being.
You just said that “Transgender teens have a high risk of attempting suicide.” Indulging their mental illness in order to bill their medical insurance is evil.
Considering those data, some clinicians are opposed to any mental health requirements.
“I’m really not a believer in requiring that for people,” said Dr. Alex Keuroghlian, a clinical psychiatrist at Fenway Health in Boston and the director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Gender Identity Program. “Being trans isn’t a mental health problem,” he later added.
Yes, it is. It’s definitely more of a mental problem than of a physical problem that requires permanent sterilization.
The public is invited to comment on the guidelines until Sunday, with a final version expected by spring.
Here’s my public comment: Burn in hell, greedy doctors.