‘Appalling’: Unearthed Documents Reveal How Hospital Pushes Medical Transitions On Children
Seattle Children’s Hospital encourages doctors to use biomedical interventions to treat young patients who have gender identity issues even if parents are sceptical. The hospital also avoids recommending any mental health services for gender dysphoric children.
The hospital has published a series of guides for medical professionals to help them make decisions about “gender affirming care” for young people. The guides recommend menstrual suppressants and puberty blocking drugs to young patients. They do not mention mental health screenings before medication is administered, and they indicate that external mental health treatment can be sought.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported that Dr. Stanley Goldfarb is the current chair of Do No Harm and former associate dean of curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The idea that these children who are often anxious, depressed and even autistic are not given those services is appalling.
Children with autism are vastly overrepresented in the population of transgender-identified youth, and mental health problems including anxiety and depression are common among this demographic.
Seattle Children’s Hospital’s guide, “Algorithm – Gender Affirming Care for Youth”, listed the only qualification required for puberty hormones and blockers to be given out. The guide lists different biomedical interventions, but mentions mental health treatments as “additional resources” only for patients who do not want to use hormones, blockers or surgery.
According to the document, if the parent is unsure but the patient wants cross-sex treatment, the practitioner should take the “yes” route. This means they should provide puberty blocks, refer the child a gender clinic, and give advice on binding and pulling. The Daily Caller News Foundation was told by a spokesperson from the hospital that parental consent is needed for “gender affirming medical care” of minors. She did not reply to a question about the contradiction between the claim and the guidelines.
Please note: Gender Clinic does not provide long-term mental health therapy. If you have any concerns or want to continue gender exploration, please consult a mental healthcare therapist. Please note that Gender Clinic doesn’t provide long-term therapy for mental health,” says the guide in a section intended for those who don’t want to undergo transgender medical treatments.
These algorithms are intended to reduce clinic time so that only those patients who are interested in so-called gender affirming services will show up at the clinic. These algorithms are a guide for primary care doctors to start patients on this path. “There is no room in these algorithms for mental health assessments of the patient,” Goldfarb stated.
According to the guide, children who have not yet reached puberty but are interested in receiving cross-sex treatment should be examined every six months for signs of puberty. They should also receive instructions on how to “tuck” and “bind” their chests. Early puberty is when blockers are available. Patients aged 13.5 or older who want to take cross-sex hormonal treatments can go to gender clinics.
A November 2021 hospital guide titled “Algorithm for Menstrual Supression for Gender Diverse Youth”, only mentions mental services when it comes to patients who don’t want to suppress their menstruation. In this case, the guide tells doctors to “consider referral to mental health therapists if there is any concern for depression or anxiety or for continued gender exploring.”
Discuss options for menstrual suppression with the patient if they are distressed. It says that menstrual suppression may help to alleviate dysphoria in many patients. Documents recommending menstrual suppression only require that patients are interested.
According to hospital protocols, “gender affirming hormones” have a range of side effects. The last update was in February. According to protocols, puberty blockers may cause menopausal effects, decreased bone density and growth, including limited height, when combined with cross-sex hormonal treatments.
According to protocols, puberty locks can also limit the options of patients, should they decide to have cross-sex surgery. Male patients with natural blocked puberty may not be able to have penile inversion vaginoplasty and instead may have to use intestinal tissues to construct a new neovagina. According to the same document, cross-sex hormonal therapy can lead to thromboembolic diseases, strokes, breast cancer, and fertility issues.
Seattle Children’s Hospital was previously under fire in September when online activists brought attention to the “Surgical Gender Affirmation program,” which, according to its website, “treats teenagers and young adults through complex procedures, including face-and-neck surgery, top surgery for breast/chest, bottom surgery for genitals, and body contouring.” The program boasts that it offers “gender affirming surgery for both young and adult people”; the hospital has a variety of cross-sex procedures, but does not perform genital surgeries on minors.
In summer 2022, the hospital conspired with University of Washington to cover up their tracks after falsely claiming that their study found that cross-sex hormonal treatments and puberty blocking agents improved mental health in transgender youths. Researchers claimed that their study showed hormonal treatments improved the mental health of transgender youths. However, those who took hormones and puberty blocks saw no difference in depression or suicide risk.
Internal emails reveal that staff acknowledged their press release as inaccurate. However, they agreed to not correct any inaccurate articles based on the initial release and to ignore all questions from conservative outlets, such as The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Seattle Children’s spokeswoman told DCNF that “gender-affirming” care was provided according to the WPATH/Endocrine Society’s evidence-based standards of care for adolescents. “For