Doctors urge U.S. medical groups to ‘immediately stop’ transgender treatments on children

Jill Simons, Mario Dickerson on ENN Jill Simons, the executive director of the American College of Pediatricians (left) and Catholic Medical Association Executive Director Mario Dickerson (center) talk with “EWTN News Nightly” anchor Tracy Sabol on June 6, 2024. | Credit: “EWTN News Nightly”/YouTube

Top medical groups and physicians have signed a “Doctors Protecting Children” declaration that expresses “serious concerns” about the treatment of minors who are uncomfortable with their biological sex, one advocate told EWTN News this week. 

Jill Simons, the executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, told “EWTN News Nightly” anchor Tracy Sabol on Thursday that the medical group has been “sounding the alarm” after the recently leaked files from the World Professional Association of Transgender Health in which transgender advocates admitted that children who receive permanently life-changing transgender procedures are too young to be capable of giving informed consent.  

Also raising alarm bells has been the release of England’s Cass Review, which found no  comprehensive evidence to support the routine prescription of transgender drugs to minors with gender dysphoria. 

Those revelations “had the overwhelming evidence that these so-called gender-affirming care treatments should not continue,” Simons said.

“We thought that our colleagues here in the U.S. would take heed and also do the same and put a pause, [but] they’ve continued,” Simons said. “We just came together as a coalition of medical doctors, organizations, and said, ‘Enough.’”

Eighteen health policy and medical organizations have co-signed the “Doctors Protecting Children” declaration, including the Catholic Medical Association (CMA), along with close to 100 doctors and health leaders. 

The declaration affirms that sex is an “innate trait” that “is not altered by drugs or surgical interventions.” It critiques gender ideology for not being based on “the reality of these innate sex differences,” and it further clarifies that medical decisions should “respect biological reality and the dignity of the person.” 

CMA executive director Mario Dickerson told Sabol on Thursday that his organization signed on to the declaration to protect children.

“At the heart of it is protecting children. That’s first and foremost,” he said. “There’s a study that [transgenderism] affects 1% of the children in the United States. [There are] 72 million children in the United States, so that’s 720,000 children … We’re really advocating for the children is the primary reason.”

Dickerson noted that 16% of hospitals in the U.S. are Catholic. 

“We would certainly encourage them to sign this declaration and reassure their patients that they are standing on the side of not doing any harm to their children and make a public statement,” he said.

“If the Catholic hospitals and health care systems were to sign on to this document, I think it would make a tremendous impact in health care in general in the United States.”

The physicians noted in the declaration that most gender confusion in adolescence “will resolve those mental incongruencies after experiencing the normal developmental process of puberty.”

“Responsible informed consent is not possible in light of extremely limited long-term follow-up studies of interventions, and the immature, often impulsive, nature of the adolescent brain,” the declaration said.

“The adolescent brain’s prefrontal cortex is immature and is limited in its ability to strategize, problem-solve, and make emotionally laden decisions that have lifelong consequences.”

The physicians also emphasized that there are “serious long-term risks associated with the use of social transition, puberty blockers, masculinizing or feminizing hormones, and surgeries, not the least of which is potential sterility.”

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“Evidence-based medical research now demonstrates there is little to no benefit from any or all suggested ‘gender affirming’ interventions for adolescents experiencing gender dysphoria,” the declaration says.

The statement adds that the “first line of treatment” should instead be psychotherapy for underlying mental health issues including depression, anxiety, autism, and prior emotional trauma. 

When asked about what she hopes comes from the declaration, Simons told Sabol she’s “very optimistic.”

“I have faith in my colleagues, pediatricians and physicians around the country, that we’re going to do the right thing,” she said. 

“I think a lot of people either are afraid or are just not paying attention, and this declaration is to get the message out there loud and clear,” Simons said. “I remain very optimistic that this is going to turn around.”

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