A Minnesota Hospital Director claims gender-affirming care is just as important as treating asthma or diabetes in children.
Gender-Affirming Treatment is “No Different” Than Treating Diabetes
Dr. Angela Goepferd, the director of the sex change clinic for kids at Children’s Minnesota, has drawn criticism for claiming that treating gender dysphoria is no different from offering medical care for conditions like asthma or diabetes. Children’s Minnesota treats children struggling with gender dysphoria as young as six years old and offers hormones to kids as young as 14.
According to a sample gender support plan, the hospital will offer puberty blockers at the first signs of sexual development called Tanner Stage 2.
However, researchers at a top Swedish medical school have concluded that the use of these medications in kids with dysphoria should be considered “experimental” medicine due to the potential to permanently cause bone mineral loss in children.
Puberty Suppression Medication Long Term Effects Unknown
The medication suppresses pubertal development by continually stimulating the pituitary gland, causing sex hormone production to stop. The long-term effects on other multiple body systems for kids with gender dysphoria are currently unknown.
Last year, the FDA identified six cases of children taking GnRH agonists, which presented “a plausible association” to causing increased pressure around the brain which can eventually lead the organ to swell.
Dr. Goepferd defended the hospital’s practices, stating that “certainly surgeries and other medical procedures can be things that transgender people have as a part of their care. But that’s not how we start this care with kids.”
She argues that children deserve specialized and tailored healthcare for their needs, regardless of their medical conditions.
Dr. Geopferd “Plenty of Possibilities of Gender for Children”
Dr. Goepferd uses a gender identity-gingerbread person to illustrate the concepts of gender and sexuality to children as well as hospital staff. She explains that there are plenty of possibilities of gender and that children should have the freedom to express themselves.
Dr. Goepferd believes that “we all know who we are from a very young age, including the truest expression of our gender identity.”
While some may disagree with Dr. Goepferd’s approach to gender-affirming care, she believes that it is important for children to receive specialized healthcare for their gender dysphoria.
As the conversation around gender and sexuality continues to evolve, Dr. Goepferd hopes that children will have more options and support to express themselves authentically.
In February of this year a detransitioner, Chloe Cole, is suing medical professionals and her hospital for administering a sex change surgery procedure as a child. She says that she now regrets the surgery and says medical professionals made no attempts to treat her mental health issues or understand what led her become transgender.
Cole struggled with anxiety, depression, speech difficulties, autism spectrum symptoms, body image issues and confusion about her gender, according to the complaint. She adopted a transgender identity after watching transgender influencers on social media, and when her parents brought her to Kaiser, medical professionals made no attempts to treat her coexisting mental health issues or understand what had led her to identify as transgender, but instead put her on the immediate path to gender transition, the complaint alleges.
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