If you are violating one of the principles of human medicine – first do no harm – it may be wise to reconsider your position on ‘gender-affirming treatment’ regardless of how lucrative it is.

“Children are being harmed. Young people are being harmed. 

In many ways, this story is not new. From snake oil to thalidomide, from lobotomies to opioids, medicine has a long history of fake cures and terrible practices.  In his 2022 book The Skeptical Professional’s Guide to Rational Prescribing: The Impact of Scientific Fraud and Misconduct, Dr. Charles Dean writes that in modern times the challenges facing medicine include  “untoward ties with drug companies, the power of the pharmaceutical industry to co-opt physicians and institutions, the failure of peer review, the use of fraudulent data, and the failure of institutions to monitor their investigators…other topics are also in need of review, including publication bias, spinning poor or questionable results into positive outcomes, omitting or changing the primary outcomes of studies after the data fail to deliver the expected results…” Certainly, many parents see all this in play in the unfolding gender medical scandal. 

However, what is new is the Gordian knot of confused cultural ideas about gender and sex, along with a tangle of transgender activism, tribal politics, and medical lobbying that have ultimately allowed malpractice to continue. Those who can see some of the problems with the current protocol–otherwise ethical professionals–make calls for randomized trials, better research, and the restriction of these drugs and surgeries to “some” children. But they forget the most basic principle of medicine: primum non nocere: first do no harm. Decades of research have made clear that there is no good evidence that any of these medications or surgeries help anyone; there is good evidence that they harm. So what type of medical ethics is a clinician practicing when she begins the first stage of sterilizing a trans-identifying child, even a highly distressed one? 

For those doctors, therapists, politicians, journalists, and educators who have grasped what’s going on, there is a tremendous urgency to raise awareness in order to change the current medical guidelines and stop the horrendous mistreatment of gender-diverse kids.”