Friday, August 9, 2019

This medical doctor should have chosen the priesthood instead

“Laidlaw's professional orations are not consultations. They are sermons.”
Dr. Michael K. Laidlaw
For religious reasons, Michael K. Laidlaw is obsessed with transgender people. That plaque to his right represents membership in the Endocrine Society. He is at odds with his own professional organization when it comes to the care of trans youth.
via YouTube
American Family Association, an anti-LGBT hate group turns to Dr. Michael K. Laidlaw for his view of gender-affirming care for trans youth. The hate groups seem to coalesce with religious screwballs to promote their anti-LGBTQ doctrine.

Dr. Michael K. Laidlaw is one of those screwballs. Laidlaw practices endocrinology in Rocklin, CA. Laidlaw's board certification was revoked — probably for not meeting Maintenance of Certification (continuing education) obligations. Laidlaw does not treat transgender youth. Yet, he has an awful lot to say on the subject.

Laidlaw's aversion to gender-affirming care begins and ends with his religious objection based on the teachings of the Catholic Church. Any medical rationale that he conjures up is derived from selective observation. According to American Family Association:
Some doctors in the U.S. are actually prescribing hormones and puberty blockers and performing mutilation surgeries for children who want to be the opposite sex. In late July, [AFA] reported on a letter from a medical coalition led by the American College of Pediatricians to U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, asking that Dr. Adams look into that practice.

Now another group – The Kelsey Coalition – is petitioning Adams to delve into the matter and make recommendations before the harm goes further. California endocrinologist Dr. Michael Laidlaw, who is with The Kelsey Coalition, tells [AFA] it's bad enough that the parents are falsely buying into it.
The author of that glorious prose is AFA's Charlie Butts.

“Mutilation?” Butts, who gets his erudition in medical science from the epistles of the New Testament, clearly knows nothing about gender or gender-affirming care. For the Record, the American College of Pediatricians is a minuscule hate group located in Gainesville, FL (the real peer organization is the American Academy of Pediatrics).

The Kelsey Coalition is even less respectable than the phony medical association. The Kelsey Coalition consists of an anonymous Google website. Nothing more. There is no address and it does not identify any individuals. There is a contact form routed to a nameless person with a promise to respond within two weeks. I once speculated that the website was the handiwork of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Perhaps the web domain belongs to Michael K. Laidlaw.

As I previously observed, ACPeds asked Surgeon General Jerome. M. Adams, an anesthesiologist, to issue an advisory about the evils of gender-affirming care. Maybe Laidlaw is upset that nobody asked him to join the other cranks and religious crackpots who signed that letter. The Kelsey website offers this bit of gibberish:
To find help for yourself or a loved one: Contact ParentsofROGDKids for support. To guide you in finding proper therapeutic support for your child, refer to the materials produced by Sasha Ayad, LPC.
ParentsofROGDKids is another anonymous website; one dedicated to nonexistent Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria. It offers some advice about finding a therapist which would guarantee limiting someone to the services of an unqualified crackpot. The above-referenced Sasha Ayad is one of those unqualified flakes.

Returning to American Family Association and Michael K. Laidlaw:
"The problem is growing more and more," he laments, "and I think another aspect of this is they're pushing this in the schools so that kids are led to believe they may be born with a different gender in their head compared to what's in their body."

Resulting in children getting the notion that it's okay to be the opposite gender – a mindset they tend to grow out of in their upper teen years.
Laidlaw is a disgrace to his own profession. Children do not become gender incongruent because of any information they receive in school. Bear in mind that gender incongruent people have some different brain structures. If Laidlaw knows what causes gender dysphoria then he would be in Nobel Prize territory. Laidlaw has never conducted any research.

Laidlaw is intentionally misleading. He knows perfectly well that the persistence of gender dysphoria is a direct consequence of its severity. While most children do grow out of the condition they are not those who transition. At issue are the children with acute GD who require gender-affirming care. If Laidlaw doesn't know that then he is resistant to evidence that does not conform to religious doctrine.
"[It's very harmful] starting kids on puberty-blocking medications, which are very dangerous, [and] cross-sex hormones before they have any idea what their body is really like," Laidlaw adds, "and [before they] have an opportunity to have counseling or looking into some kind of underlying psychological problems or abuse …."
Always the same bullshit: Underlying pathology or abuse causes gender dysphoria. Never mind that research does not support that proposition. Furthermore, Laidlaw is grossly overstating the dangers of puberty blockers. All of this is the result of a religious objection to the existence of transgender people. It is not science and, most importantly, it is not predicated on the best interests of children.

Ask Laidlaw and he would also claim that gay people are “objectively disordered.” Medical science be damned if it says otherwise.

AFA's Butts concludes:
The Kelsey Coalition argues that the treatments and procedures of "identity medicine" are being done without one long-term study backing their safety or efficacy. Yet "gender confirmation surgeries," as they're known, jumped more than 150 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to a [2017] report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
I guess that the pronouncements of an anonymous website are somehow authoritative. At least for Charlie Butts.

There is a mountain of research demonstrating the efficacy of gender-affirming care. The statistics about surgery are true but much less impressive when you consider the actual numbers reported: 8,304 in 2017 vs. 3,256 in 2016. It probably says more about availability and cost than demand. For example, corporate health insurance policies and Medicaid are increasingly covering gender confirmation surgery. Obviously, Mr. Butts did not like the 2018 numbers. Those demonstrate an increase from 8,304 in 2017 to 9,576 in 2018 or about 15%.

In the end, most doctors are not like Michael K. Laidlaw. Most doctors contribute, in some way, to the guidance offered by their professional organizations by serving on various committees or through research published to peer-reviewed academic journals. Most of my doctors also have academic appointments. Laidlaw does none of that. His guidance comes from the Vatican and that is all he needs to know. Laidlaw's professional orations are not consultations. They are sermons.

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