Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Heritage Foundation Continues to Smear Trans Youth

Dr. David Bell
Dr. David Bell
via The Times of London
For the Heritage Foundation, Nicole Russell writes ‘Transition’ Treatment Harms Kids, Veteran Psychiatrist at UK Gender Clinic Says. Ms. Russell is obsessed with transgender people due to a religious objection to their existence. Scripture prevails in spite of Russell's effort to falsely project her objections as secular secular in nature.

Not exactly compelling:
Children “have been very seriously damaged” in receiving treatment at the United Kingdom’s premier gender identity facility, a former psychiatrist there says in a bombshell interview.

Dr. David Bell faced disciplinary action after writing an internal report in 2018 raising concerns about procedures at The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which operates the U.K.’s sole “Gender Identity Development Service.”
We have noisy crackpot doctors in this country too. Bell has published at least a dozen articles to respectable peer-reviewed academic journals. However, he has never published research regarding LGBTQ people.

At Tavistock Bell had all the subjects that one could possibly require for an investigation. Bell declined the opportunity. That leads me to conclude that his objections are not based upon science. Bell told a television interviewer:
… there were concerns of children being inappropriately pushed through to transition, where they had a lot of complex problems that really needed thinking about. The whole attitude of what’s called ‘affirmation’ instead of neutrality and inquiry caused considerable damage to the capacity of the service and clinicians to take on the full complexities of the cases they were dealing with. As a result, children have been very seriously damaged.
That is medium rare bullshit. First of all there is no incentive to “inappropriately push” children to transition. In addition, “affirmation” and “neutrality” are not independent antonyms. Also, affirmation is predicated on “inquiry.” In no way, whatsoever, does affirmation depict the absence of inquiry.
It gets worse
Newman asks the psychiatrist in the interview whether children are at risk while receiving treatments at Tavistock.

Bell replies: “They’re less at risk now because the puberty blockers have been stopped. The puberty blockers have been stopped because there is no evidence base for them at all. … By putting them on that pathway, it rather becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Bell seems to be regurgitating the same nonsense that we hear from religious conservatives. There is a mountain of evidence that puberty blockers eliminate some of the distress caused by gender dysphoria. They prevent children from developing secondary sex characteristics that are anathema for gender incongruent kids.

In 2008 an article published to the AMA Journal of Ethics concluded:
… if allowing puberty to progress appears likely to harm the child, puberty should be suspended.
It's just that simple. The same article — and again this is 13 years ago — discusses safety:
It is worthwhile to note that exogenous continuous GnRH administration is the standard of care for the treatment of precocious puberty, and its safety and efficacy have been extensively studied.
The smear
In effect Dr. Bell — through Nicole Russell — is asserting that there is something illegitimate about trans youth and even trans adults. The underlying theme is that children become transgender because they are provided with puberty blockers. The reality is the exact opposite of their contention. Adolescents are provided with puberty blockers because they are transgender.

Dr. Bell also raises the issue of informed consent. That is a reasonable concern. Yet, it is not a universal concern. If, in fact, consent is an issue then it needs to be addressed through training. Doctors need to make sure that parents and adolescents fully understand what they are consenting to.

The reason that it is not a universal concern is that clinicians have a strong objection to being sued. Therefore, it seems logical that they are doing the right thing in terms of explaining both the benefits and possible consequences of taking puberty blockers.

At the end of the day it's not litigation that motivates doctors to deliver quality care to kids. It is a genuine concern for the welfare of their patients.

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