Doctors back inquiry on kids trans care

The Australian 24 September 2019
Family First Comment:“World-renowned child and adolescent psychiatrist Christopher Gillberg says he thinks unproven treatment of trans-identifying children is “possibly one of the greatest scandal­s in medical history”. Professor Gillberg’s neuro­psychiatry group at Sweden’s Gothen­burg University — which has research hubs in Britain, France and Japan — has called for an immediate moratorium on the use of puberty blocker drugs because of their unknown long-term effects. He said the situation in Swed­en was “absolutely horrendous”, with hundreds of children a year given “experimental” puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, risking infertility, “in the face of their parents’ doubts”.”
Is anybody listening in NZ?

More than 200 doctors in three days have added their names to a medicos’ petition urging Health Minister Greg Hunt to call a wide-ranging parliamentary ­inquiry into risky medical treatment of young people who believe they were born in the wrong body.

Nine child psychiatrists, nine paediatricians, and 14 university professors and associate professors are among the signatories to the doctors’ letter launched online on Sunday. They support a 16-page inquiry brief sent to Mr Hunt earlier this month by Western Sydney University professor of paediatrics John Whitehall.

Last month, Mr Hunt referred concerns to the Royal Australas­ian College of Physicians but Dr Whitehall and supporters do not believe the college is capable of running the comprehensive and independent inquiry needed.

Meanwhile, world-renowned child and adolescent psychiatrist Christopher Gillberg says he thinks unproven treatment of trans-identifying children is “possibly one of the greatest scandal­s in medical history”.

Professor Gillberg’s neuro­psychiatry group at Sweden’s Gothen­burg University — which has research hubs in Britain, France and Japan — has called for an immediate moratorium on the use of puberty blocker drugs because of their unknown long-term effects.

He said the situation in Swed­en was “absolutely horrendous”, with hundreds of children a year given “experimental” puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, risking infertility, “in the face of their parents’ doubts”.

Dr Whitehall and Oxford University professor of evidence-based medicine Carl Heneghan have also claimed that lack of solid, long-term evidence makes trans medical treatment of children “experimental”.

The Australian sought comm­ent from Melbourne’s Royal Chil­d­ren’s Hos­pital, home of the na­tion’s biggest child gender clinic.

The spokesman for the doctors’ letter, Rob Pollnitz, a retired paediatrician with 50 years’ experience, said he believed gender confusion in children and adolescents was chiefly a psychological issue, not biological.

“Before we give them unproven treatments with hormones and surgery, we ought to do our very best to sort out their psychological issues,” he said.

Critics of the pro-trans “affirm­ation model”, spearheaded in Australia by the RCH, say they believe it focuses on “gender dysphoria” (conflict between identity and biological sex) at the expense of multiple other issues — such as autism, anorexia, family trauma or depression — in need of treatment.

Professor Gillberg said the vast majority of new diagnoses of gender dysphoria in Sweden were teenage girls who, unlike more familiar early-onset cases involving males, “did not show any trans tendencies before the age of 10 years”.

“Many of the Swedish (late-onset) cases have autism or an­orexia nervosa,” he said. He added it was very common for these young people “to have even more identity problems in pub­erty — who am I? How should I behave? What will become of me? Am I hetero? — than average.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/doctors-back-inquiry-on-kids-trans-care/news-story/6f352bc99da430b194620a2605e8a50d  (behind a paywall)

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