The U.S. Healthcare Community Takes a Stand on Puberty Blockers
The U.S. healthcare community is rapidly isolating itself from its Western counterparts in its insistence that puberty blockers for children should be approved.
Finland, France, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have altered their perspective on the issue, now taking the position that caution should be used before allowing minors to use puberty blockers. The U.K.’s National Health Service for England now curtails the use of puberty blockers, limiting their use to clinical trials in most cases.
“These countries have done systematic reviews of evidence,” Leor Sapir of the Manhattan Institute think tank, told The Wall Street Journal. “They’ve found that the studies cited to support these medical interventions are too unreliable, and the risks are too serious.”
Canada, Spain, and Australia still allow puberty blockers for children, although pushback is growing.
“It’s beneficial to see European countries coming to their senses,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) stated, adding of Republicans, “This is the issue of our time. This is a hill we’re gonna die on.”
Supporting the Child’s Exploration of Gender Identity
At the annual meeting of the American Medical Association, delegates approved a resolution that was co-sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology that stated, “When young children experience feelings that their gender identity does not match the sex recorded at birth, the first course of action is to support the child in exploring their gender identity …”
Crenshaw authored a bill titled “The Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act” that would block federal funding for children’s hospitals that provide transgender treatments or procedures to minors.
“There is no other human rights atrocity in America that is so quickly gaining momentum and validation within the very institutions that should know better,” he stated. “One of these institutions is children’s hospitals. In a place where ‘do no harm’ is the ultimate guiding principle, there is no excuse to ever perform these treatments that permanently alter a child’s physiology.”
Last week, Crenshaw grilled Yale School of Medicine assistant professor Meredithe McNamara, who had accused Crenshaw of having “cherry-picked” data.
“It is very unscientific and flawed to pick a single study or a single statistic and discuss it in isolation,” McNamara declared. “Medical experts are able to talk about all of the evidence as a whole.”
“Totally agree,” Crenshaw responded. “It’s good to look at systematic reviews, right? That’s the gold standard of evidence when you’re trying to understand whether something works or it doesn’t. So the British Journal of Medicine looked at 61 systematic reviews with the conclusion that,” ‘There is great uncertainty about the effects of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries in young people.’ The Journal of the Endocrine Society came up with the same conclusion, even the American Academy of Pediatrics. They all cite the lack of evidence.”
“If you’re doing a therapy, and it’s temporary, fine, whatever, maybe let’s try it and see if it works,” he continued. “But when you’re talking about permanent physiological changes, do you not agree, just from an ethical standpoint, that you might want extremely strong evidence of the benefits? There is no systematic review that states that there is strong evidence of benefits.”
“Sir, are you aware of how the quality evidence grading system works and how it’s applied?” McNamara said archly.
“Yeah. Yeah, we’ve read through it,’ Crenshaw replied. “That’s why I’m citing these journals. So which journal says something different? We should have that debate. Tell me a journal that has done systematic reviews that cites different evidence, that cites strong evidence of benefits for these therapies.”
“The standards of care were developed based on extensive—” McNamara began.
“You’re not telling me any journal; You’re not telling me any study, don’t say ‘standards of care,’” Crenshaw interrupted. “Tell me one.”
“So, um, the standards of care,” McNamara repeated.
“That’s not a journal, that’s not a study. That’s not an organization. That’s not an institution. You’re just saying words. Name one study,’ Crenshaw fired as his time ran out.
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