A growing number of doctors, both in the US and abroad, are questioning claims by their professional medical associations that puberty-blocking drugs are helpful in treating children who are confused about their gender.
Just last week, the Pediatric Endocrine Society released a statement saying chemical puberty suppression is a "reversible treatment that decreases the distress of having the wrong puberty."
Dr. Michael Laidlaw, an endocrinologist based in Rocklin, California, says those claims are patently false with no real scientific evidence to back them up. "What these medical societies have created is an institutionalized childhood pathway toward sterility," Laidlaw warned in an interview with The Christian Post.
According to Laidlaw, the puberty blockers are just the first step for gender-confused children in this so-called "gender-affirming" treatment. The next step is giving them opposite-sex hormones, and finally, surgery to remove or alter genitalia.
These children used to be treated with counseling.
"Until very recently, these children and adolescents were supported and cared for with counseling," endocrinologist Dr. William Malone told The Christian Post. "With counseling, or even watchful waiting, an average of 85% of these children would have a resolution of their distress by early adulthood. There are currently 10 studies in the medical literature demonstrating this."
Yet in recent years, a radical shift has occurred from counseling to what is called "gender affirmative care." In fact, the World Health Organization no longer considers gender dysphoria a "mental disorder." In May of this year, the WHO removed "gender identity disorder" from its list of diagnoses.
Dr. Laidlaw told the Post the Endocrine Society, Pediatric Endocrine Society, and the American Academy of Pediatrics have been taken over by the most radical elements of the profession.
"These radical trans activists were involved in writing the Endocrine Society guidelines in 2009 and 2017. These are low to no quality evidence guidelines, and anyone can read for themselves the poor evidence they have for these treatments for children and adolescents. There is no long-term evidence for benefits for these treatments," Laidlaw stressed.
A similar controversy over the long-term effects of hormone treatment for children is brewing in Great Britain.
In March, The Telegraph reported that Oxford University professor, Dr. Michael Biggs, accused the National Health Service's clinic for transgender children of hiding negative evidence about the effects of puberty blockers on children. Instead, Biggs claimed, the clinic is continuing experimental treatment on adolescents without solid evidence of its long-term effects.
Dr. Biggs' own research suggests that after a year of treatment "a significant increase" was found in patients who had been born female telling staff that they "deliberately try to hurt or kill myself," according to the Telegraph.
According to Biggs, evidence showed that "Puberty blockers exacerbated gender dysphoria. Yet the study has been used to justify rolling out this drug regime to several hundred children aged under 16."
Dr. Laidlaw equates the "gender affirmative" treatment with brainwashing young children. They are psychologically damaged by puberty blockers, he believes, and then made even more confused, depressed and even psychotic by cross-sex hormones, according to the CP.
"The puberty blockers are a drug-induced model of not only blocking essential aspects of development but also solidifying the belief that they must take wrong sex hormones to escape from their situation. These wrong sex hormones are very dangerous and have blood clots, cardiovascular, and cancer risks."
Dr. John McHugh, a distinguished professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University, calls this chemical treatment of minors who are uncomfortable with their birth sex "reckless and irresponsible."
CBN News previously reported about Dr. McHugh's grave concern.
"Many people are doing what amounts to an experiment on these young people without telling them it's an experiment...You need evidence for that, and this is a very serious treatment. It is comparable to doing frontal lobotomies."
McHugh believes there could be a link between feelings of transgenderism and a lack of mental wellness.
"I think their mental problems, often depression, discouragement, are the things that need treatment," he said. "I'm not positive about this. It's a hypothesis, but it is a very plausible hypothesis, and it would explain why many of the people who go on to have treatment of their body discover they are just as depressed, discouraged, and live just as problematic lives as they did before, because they did not address the primary problem."
Additionally, McHugh referenced the results of a 2018 study that would indicate a cautious approach to treatment is a better option. The study was reportedly censored by Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, after the survey's lead researcher, professor Lisa Littman, discovered a "contagion effect" when it comes to transgenderism among children.
"In on-line forums, parents have been reporting that their children are experiencing what is described here as 'rapid-onset gender dysphoria,' appearing for the first time during puberty or even after its completion," wrote Littman, an assistant professor of behavioral sciences at Brown. "The onset of gender dysphoria seemed to occur in the context of belonging to a peer group where one, multiple, or even all of the friends have become gender dysphoric and transgender-identified during the same timeframe."
Gender confusion among young people, McHugh said, is "mostly being driven by psychological and psychosocial problems these people have," which, he added, "explains the rapid onset gender dysphoria Lisa Littman has spelled out."
Dr. Malone told the CP that professional medical associations like the Endocrine Society have inexplicably adopted a scientifically unsupported, highly risky approach to treating gender dysphoric children and adolescents, with harmful consequences.
"We are beginning to see many young adults begin attempts to reverse the damage that has been done by hormonal and surgical treatments. As a result, investigations into gender clinic practices have begun in the U.K., and are being considered in Australia and Sweden," he said.
"Highly respected doctors from these countries are stating that we are in the midst of a medical scandal of unparalleled significance."