Bailey on Feb. 10 directed a letter to Trish Lollo, president of St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and Andrew Martin, chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis, urging the institutions to place a moratorium on prescribing puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones to new patients at the Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital until the completion of the investigations. The clinic refused to do so, saying a moratorium would “deny critical, standards-based care to current and new patients.”
The clinic’s practices also prompted a lengthy investigative piece by the New York Times, which described the clinic as “buckling under an unrelenting surge in demand” and corroborated a number of Reed’s allegations while being unable to corroborate others.
Bailey applauded the clinic’s Sept. 11 announcement, calling it in an X post a “big win for Missouri’s kids and a step in the right direction to properly addressing gender dysphoria and taking woke ideology out of health care.”
The Republican Hawley also praised the decision in a Sept. 11 post on X, saying: “Good news for parents and children and basic common sense — but we still need answers about what happened at WashU and why university officials won’t cooperate with investigators.”
A Feb. 14 statement from Washington University said the university is “committed to providing lifesaving, evidence-based care that aligns with the standards set by the American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP].” AAP’s standards, as well as those of the U.S.-based Endocrine Society and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, have come under scrutiny recently for failing to cite compelling evidence for their claims.
An article from the British Medical Journal criticized AAP’s guidance on pediatric gender dysphoria, which was drafted primarily by a single doctor, Jason Rafferty, and released in 2018. The document, which recommends against pediatric transgender surgery except on a “case-by-case basis,” has been described by its author as a “policy statement … not meant to be a protocol or guidelines in and of themselves.” The AAP told the British Medical Journal that all its policy statements are reviewed after five years and so a “revision is underway,” based on its experts’ own “robust evidence review.”
Several other countries, such as Britain, Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands, have begun in recent years to restrict the use of puberty blockers for minors, citing insufficient evidence of their efficacy outweighed by evidence of harm. In addition, Finland and Sweden reserve transgender surgery for adults.