transgender, Adolescents, American College of Pediatricians

American College Of Pediatricians Urges Halt on Transgender Operations For Adolescents

American College of Pediatricians urges a halt to transgender care for adolescents, highlighting health risks and advocating for adherence to European standards.

The American College of Pediatricians (ACP) is calling on medical professionals to stop promoting transgender operations for adolescents. 

A recently published declaration by the ACP has urged mainstream American medical associations, notably the American Academy of Pediatrics, to abandon its efforts to prop up “so-called gender-affirming care for transgender youths.” Other allied groups that go by “Doctors Protecting Children” are also backing the group’s call to action, Fox News reports.

“As physicians, together with nurses, psychotherapists, behavioral health clinicians, other health professionals, scientists, researchers, and public health and policy professionals, we have serious concerns about the physical and mental health effects of the current protocols promoted for the care of children and adolescents in the United States who express discomfort with their biological sex,” the declaration reads.

According to the American Medical Association’s (AMA) website, “improving access to gender-affirming care is an important means of improving health outcomes for the transgender population.”

The declaration, however, warns that this viewpoint can have adverse effects. Instead, they have affirmed that sex is a biological characteristic. Thus, medical decisions “should not be based upon an individual’s thoughts and feelings.” This includes one’s self-professed “gender identity.” At this time, the ACP and Doctors Protecting Children say that the current practices in place for gender dysphoria can be more harmful than good to patients.

On the opposite end of the argument, organizations like the AMA and the American Academy of Pediatrics believe that gender is a social construct versus an inborn biological reality. They also believe that “validation and affirmation of a person’s internal self-identity are in their best interest.”

“Receipt of gender-affirming care has been linked to dramatically reduced rates of suicide attempts, decreased rates of depression and anxiety, decreased substance use, improved HIV medication adherence, and reduced rates of harmful self-prescribed hormone use,” the APA claims.

Other entities like the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have also backed transgender medical procedures for children and adolescents, noting that it is a “supportive form of health care that may include medical, surgery, mental health and non-medical services for transgender and non-binary people.

The Office of Population Affairs once said, “Research demonstrates that gender-affirming care improves the mental health and overall well-being of gender-diverse children and adolescents.”

On the contrary, European countries like the United Kingdom, Norway, France, Sweden, and others are fighting against claims like the above by pushing back on the use of puberty blockers as well as sex reassignment surgery for children and adolescents.

Moreover, last year, the U.K. announced that it would limit the use of hormone treatments exclusively for clinical trials, according to the outlet.

To back its claims, Doctors Protecting Children cites several studies, including a controversial independent report led by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service documenting practices and care for children reporting gender identity disorders known as the Cass Review. They also argue that allowing children to socially transition before hitting puberty does not lead to a more positive outlook on mental health.

“It is time that these American medical institutions follow the science and the lead of our European professional colleagues and cease to promote protocols that harm children, including the promotion of social affirmation, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries for children and adolescents who experience distress over their biological sex,” said Dr. Jill Simons, pediatrician and executive director of the American College of Pediatricians.

At this time, over a dozen Republican-led states like Texas have already put laws in place to limit the use of puberty blockers on minors or ban them altogether. 

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