Saturday, May 23, 2020

What Qualifies This Woman to Offer Medical Advice?

Aside from being unqualified, this individual is a pathological liar presumably acting in defense of the Church.
Maria Keffler
Anti-transgender activist and conspiracy theorist Maria Keffler is trying to scare parents away from the medical experts best qualified to treat their children. In an act of projection she is claiming that doctors are determined to scare parents into making bad choices.
Maria Keffler writes: Scaring Parents Of Trans Kids With Suicide Shuts Down Their Ability To Consider Options For Their Kids. Keffler has a persistent anti-transgender agenda (which she will undoubtedly deny). This bit of prose at The Federalist (of course) is no exception.
As one of the co-founders of the Arlington Parent Coalition, an organization that helps parents demand accountability from public schools on issues of parental rights, sex and gender training, and children’s protections, I receive considerable venom from transgender-rights groups and people who have been led to believe that transitioning a gender-dysphoric child is the only kind and scientifically rational thing to do.
If I recall correctly, the Arlington Parent Coalition was formed to oppose transgender accommodations in the Arlington, Virginia public schools.

In any event, Ms. Keffler has neither the training nor experience to weigh in on the medical care of children who suffer from gender dysphoria. Neither do I which is why I am content to accept the consensus of medical science. The American Academy of Pediatrics has published clinical practice standards which recommend the gender-affirming care model.

The AAP is consistent with a strong consensus in the peer-reviewed literature and every other major medical association in the United States.

Research confirms that children with severe gender dysphoria who transition have levels of anxiety and depression reasonably comparable to their cisgender peers. Genesis 1:27 and other ancient texts are entirely irrelevant to the care of kids with a medical condition.
Oh the poor thing
My team and I — and myriad others who have pushed back on this agenda — have been hissed at during school board meetings, called names and lied about in the media, and personally attacked in parts of our lives completely unrelated to this issue. Such are the despotic strategies taught and modeled by certain unscrupulous factions of the LGBT lobby: attack, defame, and destroy in order to make the rest of society too scared to resist.
No Ms. Keffler. Opprobrium comes your way because you piss people off — particularly parents of gender-diverse children who are correctly following the advice of clinicians with the right training and experience.

The notion that Keffler is being attacked to send a message to others is promoted in an attempt to discredit her detractors. It is idiotic per se. It is also unoriginal.

As for her “team,” unless they have credentials comparable to the aforementioned medical professionals then they have an agenda outside of the best medical care of kids. Ms. Keffler should think twice about accusing others of mendacity.

At another outlet Keffler has written this, for example:
A 2011 study from Sweden, one of the most transgender-supportive countries in the world, admits that after decades of support for social transition and sex reassignment, no positive change has occurred regarding rates of mortality, suicide and psychiatric morbidity.
That is not at all what that study concludes. For starters it never touched on social transitioning; limiting its focus to individuals who had gender confirmation surgery between 1973 and 2003. Furthermore it never concluded that there has been “no positive change.” Rather, it concludes:
Our findings suggest that sex reassignment, although alleviating gender dysphoria, may not suffice as treatment for transsexualism, and should inspire improved psychiatric and somatic care after sex reassignment for this patient group.
Perhaps Ms. Keffler was regurgitating someone else's talking point. It would seem that she has not read the study she is citing.
Returning to Keffler's current diatribe
Keffler notes the reluctance of parents with affected children to discuss their children's condition with her. Then she opines:
If pro-transgender parents allow themselves to consider even the whisper of the possibility that they’ve made the wrong decision for their kids, they’ll then have to consider that they may bear responsibility for their children’s physical and psychological destruction.
In other words Keffler is disappointed that she isn't given the opportunity to disagree with the qualified doctors who treat these children. Moreover, Ms. Keffler assumes that anything other than following her guidance is the “wrong decision for their kids.” She also assumes that others are stupid enough to buy into that arrogant proposition.

Who the hell is she to give advice? What makes Keffler think that parents should substitute her judgment for that of medical professionals?
Keffler has a monopoly on truth
They are genuinely trying to do what they think is right to give their children the best lives possible. The problem is that they have been systematically and pervasively lied to.
The parents who never want to speak with Keffler have apparently spoken with Keffler in great numbers:
Time and again I hear about the same experience from parents of gender-dysphoric children: After their child announces that he or she wants to change genders, the parents consult the “experts” — the principal, the school counselor, the pediatrician, the therapist — who tell the parents, “Affirming the child’s gender transition is the only option. If you don’t, your kid will likely commit suicide.”
The above is a deliberate lie. Children do not “announce [that they] want to change genders.” Children seek to affirm — not change — their gender and they customarily do so without help from others. The only expert that a parent would consult is the specialist recommended by their pediatrician. Parents do not solicit medical advice from their child's school principal.
There does not exist some massive and sinister conspiracy to mislead parents through fear.
The supposed expert do-it-or-else quote is more bullshit. The agenda of people like Keffler is to convince parents not to consult with experts. They do so because they do not approve of transgender people for religious reasons.

The truth is that a child experiencing distress needs to be evaluated by a qualified professional. A diagnosis of gender dysphoria requires meeting six of eight criteria. The psychiatrist or qualified pediatrician must also assess the severity of the condition. No clinician is telling parents that their child “will likely commit suicide.”
Nothing about that guidance is supported by research, data, or long-understood principles of child development, but this emotional manipulation coerces parents like the thumbscrews of a torture device, terrorizing them with the idea that unless they capitulate to the transgender industry’s demands, they will inevitably lose their child.
There is a veritable mountain of evidence (see cites above) that children with severe gender dysphoria do best when they are permitted to transition. The idea that people with a sinister agenda are manipulating and coercing parents is preposterous.
A shared conspiracy theory
So far this woman is claiming that she is being attacked to send a message to others and that the medical profession has a vested interest in being dishonest with parents. Why would medical professionals want to deceive parents?
To quote my colleague at the Arlington Parent Coalition, “The gatekeepers have failed parents.” In no other medical, psychological, or educational field does a one-size, simplistic answer fit all.
That colleague is one Kristen Allen. Presumably she is as qualified as Ms. Keffler. According to Ms. Allen, transgender activists have intimidated the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association. It's a familiar pattern. Don't like the science? Blame mythical activists.
Transgender people are part of the conspiracy
The transgender lobby has been clever at getting its preferred guidance — with little-to-no research or empirical evidence backing it up — accepted and promulgated by the American Pediatric Society, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, and the National Education Association.
“American Pediatric Society?” Does this idiot mean the American Academy of Pediatrics? More importantly she is claiming that transgender people are conspiring to affect medical treatment in a way that is not in their best interests. And she wonders why she is criticized.
Oh, it's all about money.
One frequently finds, as is the case with the 37-person group who wrote (without input from the other 67,000 member doctors) the American Pediatric Society’s [sic] transgender guidance document cited above, that the team leads have financial ties to some of the gender clinics that have sprung up like dandelions around the country over the last few years. While I’m sure some in the LGBT lobby believe, as do the parents of trans kids, that their pushes for trans ideology are in the best interests of children, other players face perverse incentives, such as in education, health care, and entertainment.
Keffler offers no evidence whatsoever that anyone involved in forming the AAP's clinical practice guidelines has a financial conflict of interest. “Trans ideology?” That is direct from the Catholic Church which has reached conclusions about LGBTQ people based on religious doctrine in contrast to medical science.
Parents Are Coerced into Transgender Ideology

It’s hard to swim against the flow of a powerful river. It’s even harder when there’s so little real scholarship out there about what’s actually going on with this burgeoning population of kids who claim a transgender identity. This is still a relatively new phenomenon, and the research hasn’t begun to catch up.
Why are medical professionals supposedly coercing parents? There is a substantial amount of scholarship regarding gender-diverse children and it is not a relatively new phenomenon. As Dr. Jack Turban explained in the New York Times in April of 2017:
[Ten years ago] The hope was that early treatment would “diminish the risk of a continuation of gender identity disorder into adulthood” — in other words, make children stop being transgender. Transgender youth during this time suffered high rates of depression and anxiety. By young adulthood, nearly half had attempted suicide.
The bullshit is one thing but Ms. Keffler acts like we are all idiots
If these parents have any doubts or hesitations about the right pathway for their kids, they are not allowed to express them. If they do, they risk being socially and publicly ousted, roasted, and devoured by the same community that applauds, defends, and gushes over how stunning and brave trans kids and their parents are.
Parents often have doubts. Parents would much prefer to have cisgender children. Those doubts are not expressed in a forum but are explored through second and third medical opinions. This supposed coalition of people who devote all this time and attention to debasing others does not exist except in Keffler's imaginary (and expanding) conspiracy.

The intent of this diatribe is to steer parents away from medical experts. Why is Ms. Keffler intent on doing that? Surely no one believes that this is out of her concern for gender-diverse kids. This is a woman who started making all this noise when her school district accommodated trans kids.
Speak the Truth with Love

My heart breaks for these families, and it’s for that reason that I try to keep the door open. I desperately hope a parent will seek help from one of the many organizations like mine that are working to save kids from this destructive ideology. I hope that just one parent will remember that my offer to go for coffee is still on the table, and call me.
My best guess is that, for Keffler, truth is defined by the teachings of the Church. Who is she to offer help to anyone regarding a medical condition? Apparently parents should prevent all children from ever transitioning. Making kids miserable for the sanctity of ancient texts doesn't make much sense to me.

“Call me?” Why would any parent want to discuss their child's medical condition with Keffler? Unless, of course, that offer of coffee provides an opportunity to turn that cup of coffee on to Keffler's lap. “Some cream and sugar dear?”

Maria Keffler is claiming that the medical community is trying to scare parents into making bad medical choices for their kids for no apparent reason. The reality is that Keffler is trying to scare parents into making bad choices.

The effort is sophomoric and dishonest. It is also painfully transparent.

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