Friday, December 23, 2016

LifeSite + ACPeds = Displeasure with National Geographic

Avery Jackson on the cover of National Geographic
LifeSiteNews, the orthodox Catholic website, informs us on Friday that: “Pediatricians condemn National Geographic over 9-year-old ‘trans’ child on January cover.” Those pediatricians would be the American College of Pediatrics, a tiny splinter organization that is designated a Hate Group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Michelle Cretella, MD, president of the American College of Pediatricians, told LifeSiteNews that National Geographic is “promoting a political agenda over science and the wellbeing of innocent children” by featuring a young transgender child.
Dr. Cretella is also on the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice (formerly NARTH). In other words, she is a religious crackpot. She is also projecting when she accuses National Geographic of promoting a political agenda over science for that is precisely what her organization does. BTW, her license to practice medicine in Connecticut seems to have expired in 2015.
“'Affirming’ so called transgender children means sterilizing them as young as 11years old,” said Dr. Cretella. “Puberty blockers plus cross-sex hormones causes permanent sterility. And biological girls who ‘transition’ to male by taking testosterone may have a double mastectomy at age 16. The life time use of cross-sex hormones also puts these children at risk for stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancers and more.”
That is irresponsible nonsense. Cretella frames this as if the intent is sterilization and that is not the case. She also knows that the word sterilization has a particularly evil connotation. While it is true that young children might receive puberty blockers, hormones are not an option until their late teens and they are administered with the full consent of the patient and his or her parents in consultation with expert clinicians. No child is a candidate for surgery so the double mastectomy is out of the question. The bottom line is that people do not receive treatments that are irreversible unless there is virtual certainty that they are irreversibly transgender.

Let us understand that gender dysphoria causes great discomfort and the potential for self-harm. The only known intervention is to affirm the patient's gender through drugs and, later in life, possibly through surgery. If Cretella has some miracle cure for gender dysphoria then she should publish it to a respected, peer-reviewed scholarly journal.
Cretella believes it is both unethical and harmful for parents to make such decisions regarding their children’s gender because they will most likely grow out of their gender dysphoria. “When a child under the age of 12 thinks they are the opposite sex and is allowed to naturally pass through puberty, 75%-95% of the time that child will accept his or her biological sex by the late teen years.”
What study provides those percentages? Those percentages, even if accurate, are meaningless. They tell us that Dr. Cretella has no experience working with trans kids. It is true that many children grow out of gender dysphoria. However, there is no evidence that children other than those who are in considerable distress are treated. Those are the kids who are unhinged if they are not permitted to live according to their gender and have serious potential for self-harm without gender affirming treatment.
Cretella argues that public support of “transgenderism” in children is tantamount to “child abuse.” “When academic, medical and other public institutions propagate the lifetime use of toxic hormones and the surgical removal of healthy body parts as healthcare for children they are engaged in institutionalized child abuse,” she said.
This is just irresponsible bullshit! Puberty blockers are not hormones and surgery is not an option for children. Child abuse occurs when children suffering from gender dysphoria are not evaluated and treated by a team of expert clinicians who work with these kids on a daily basis. Putting that child on the cover of National Geographic provides understanding and tolerance. It does more for kids than anything Cretella has in mind.

What and where are Cretella's recommendations? What alternatives to gender affirmation does she provide? Medicine is a science. Once a physician succumbs to the pseudo-science of religion-oriented medicine they should forfeit their right to practice.

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