by Debbie Hayton
Wednesday, 5
October 2022
Reaction
10:10

Medical authorities are censoring the trans debate

An open letter to the US Attorney General has troubling implications
by Debbie Hayton
Credit: Getty

This week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Medical Association and Children’s Hospital Association wrote to the US Attorney General in support of physicians and hospitals who have been threatened and attacked in recent months. At first glance, this is a noble and worthy aim — threats and acts of violence are to be deplored wherever they occur. But their demands are open-ended and as such should ring alarm bells in the minds of anyone who values free speech.

The context for the letter is so-called “evidence-based gender-affirming health care” for “Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children and Adolescents”. The AAP cited their own policy statement that defined gender affirmation to include puberty blockers, cross-sex-hormone therapy and “gender affirming surgeries”. These are controversial treatment protocols to say the least, and a heated debate has erupted across social media. But rather than engage with criticism, the three organisations seem to want to shut it down. In their letter they insisted:


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The attacks are rooted in an intentional campaign of disinformation, where a few high-profile users on social media share false and misleading information targeting individual physicians and hospitals.
- American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association and Children’s Hospital Association

But what is ‘disinformation’? Is it simply information that these three large organisations do not like? They are certainly very quick to make assertions of their own — the AAP talks about ‘evidence-based gender-affirming health care’ as if the efficacy of these treatments had been proven by extensive clinical trials — but they seem less keen to face questions. Dismissing contrary views as false or misleading sounds alarmingly like those Trumpian claims of fake news.

On this side of the Atlantic we do things differently. NHS England commissioned Dr Hilary Cass to review Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People. In paragraph 5.21 of her interim report, she came to a more considered conclusion:

The lack of available high-level evidence was reflected in the recent NICE review into the use of puberty blockers and feminising/masculinising hormones commissioned by NHS England, with the evidence being too inconclusive to form the basis of a policy position.
- Dr Hilary Cass

Disinformation? Or expert opinion? It’s not clear who makes the call. In a democratic society, arguments are debated and opponents are persuaded. But the letter writers take a rather different approach:

Our organizations have called on technology companies to do more to prevent this practice on digital platforms, and we now urge your office to take swift action to investigate and prosecute all organizations, individuals, and entities responsible.
- American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association and Children’s Hospital Association

This has the hallmarks of an authoritarian pincer movement — the censors on one side and the thought police on the other — to protect an industry that medically transitions children from scrutiny. If that industry gets its way, the impact on investigative journalism may be profound, while the implications for children are terrifying.  

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Brett H
Brett H
2 months ago

What sort of society is it that’s doesn’t protect its children?

Emre 0
Emre 0
2 months ago
Reply to  Brett H

What do they think is gonna happen when many of these children realise they made the wrong decision? There will be another a massive scandal that’ll put the medical establishment to the same level of distrust the financial establishment was subjected to after 2008 – and with a consequent shriek from the establishment making things even worse than they’re today.

R Wright
R Wright
2 months ago
Reply to  Brett H

A dying civilisation.

David Kingsworthy
David Kingsworthy
2 months ago
Reply to  Brett H

Our society is devolving in many ways, but in this case it’s another case of groupthink that drives institutions to turn away from reason, evidence and safety in favor of progressive rabbit-hole truisms.

Emre 0
Emre 0
2 months ago

It’s fascinating to see the swerve from science absolutism of the 20th century to postmodern relativism today severing links with reality in yet another novel way. Both are progressive machinations yet so different on the surface.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
2 months ago
Reply to  Emre 0

Yes, fascinating. I can’t help but feel there’s some underlying force at play here that we’ve yet to recognise.

Commentators talk about the decline of the West, but its not beyond the bounds of possibility that the machinations you refer to, rather than leading to decline, might confer an advantage that its impossible to divine at this juncture.

Those commentators assume a steady rise in authoritarian regimes but history tells us that authoritarianism tends to crash and burn through its own internal conflicts.

Could our current bout of hand-wringing be a sign of strength, rather than a weakness? Isn’t this what liberal democracy is supposed to be able to countenance, even to the extent of facing down those who seek to undermine it? I’m seeing an awful of facing down, as it happens.

Last edited 2 months ago by Steve Murray
N Forster
N Forster
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

“history tells us that authoritarianism tends to crash and burn through its own internal conflicts.”
That can take 50 years or more in recent history, meanwhile the CCP is doing fine, and it can take considerably longer the further you go back.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
2 months ago
Reply to  N Forster

The CCP is not doing fine. It’s crashing the Chinese economy through the combination of its property Ponzi-scheme and its ridiculous obsession with eradicating Wuhan Flu.

N Forster
N Forster
2 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

It has been in power for 70 years. Don’t expect that to change any time soon.

Emre 0
Emre 0
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

My feeling is we’re entering another long period here with this being the start. Orwell probably got the overall set up and direction right, and only the date wrong. The push back will be there, and that is a good thing, I agree.

Jason Highley
Jason Highley
2 months ago
Reply to  Brett H

Children? You mean barely self-sufficient lumps of cells stumbling around outside their gestational host? They’re just commodities now, like the rest of us.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
2 months ago

Today’s reflexive Trump-slamming: “Dismissing contrary views as false or misleading sounds alarmingly like those Trumpian claims of fake news.”
Except that at no point did Trump or his supporters call for shutting down, suppressing or censoring views they disagreed with.

Michael Daniele
Michael Daniele
2 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Lee

Agreed, also in many (most) cases Trump was correct about the false news, much of which is parroted by the left even now.
Hands up don’t shoot.
Good people on both sides
Mexico is full of rapists
etc, etc

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 months ago

Cloaked under the rainbow flag of compassion and love (all things children naturally crave) the trans rights movement is a convenient mechanism for governments to insert ever greater control between parents and their offspring. People need to speak up more about this, but unfortunately we seem to be sleepwalking our way into a new eugenics movement.

Diane Rodio
Diane Rodio
2 months ago

The idea that you cannot question this is frightening.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
2 months ago

The ‘disinformation’ that these groomer groups are concerned about appears to be another way of saying ‘correct information heard by the wrong kind of people’.

Zak Orn
Zak Orn
2 months ago

It’s time for doctors and ‘academics’ with integrity… if there’s any of those left, to start speaking up, fast. The rapid successful clamp down on open debate by authoritarians (or worse) whose fragile beliefs don’t stand up to scrutiny is really quite worrying.

Last edited 2 months ago by Zak Orn
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
2 months ago
Reply to  Zak Orn

“It’s time for doctors and ‘academics’ with integrity… if there’s any of those left, to start speaking up, fast.”
Hilary Cass did, thankfully.

Buena Vista
Buena Vista
2 months ago

This is a weak essay, demonstrating how the Overton window has been moved so very far. Involving children– in any way or form –in medical intervention to needlessly alter their sexual biology is wrong in every respect. No evidence is needed to support this claim.
One more thing, Ms. Hayton: whenever Donald Trump claimed “fake news,” he was generally correct. You should find better ways to bolster your rhetoric.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 months ago

A plea for their propaganda to have free reign unopposed by any contrary comment. As Debbie points out their propaganda is far from properly evidence based.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jeremy Bray
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 months ago

When are we going to see the litigious Americans sort this out through malpractice lawsuits?
That’ll make them change their unscientific stance since I’d expect their courts couldn’t support this nonsense as they have to rely on, y’know, actual facts and evidence.

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
2 months ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

It’s an expensive business. Any attempt by a detransitioner to crowd-fund the cost would probably be shut down.

Huw Parker
Huw Parker
2 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Sooner or later, there will be a class action. (A sex class action, in fact.) And the longer it takes, the bigger it will be. And what will be the outcome? A cohort of lawyers will be set for life. And a generation of our children will be permanently damaged, physically and psychologically.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 months ago

I do. A lot of public funding is going into a movement that I fundamentally disagree with.

Huw Parker
Huw Parker
2 months ago

“The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.”
― George Orwell, 1984

Charles Lewis
Charles Lewis
2 months ago

The American College of Paediatricians have been the sane voice for some time in this conflict. They are dismissed by the child molesters (described in this article by Debbie) as ‘conservative’.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 months ago

an industry that medically transitions children” – How did this ever happen? For some time such medical alterations were rare mainly because the numbers of people wanting such a dramatic change were minuscule. Now it’s treated like minor cosmetic surgery. Don’t doctors have more important things to attend to?
I can appreciate the article’s points but there is a much more important need to understand how we got here.

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
2 months ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Follow the money. ‘Health care’, including over-treatment, is big business in the US. It is less commercially driven in the UK because of the NHS. Questions would be asked in Parliament if taxpayers’ money was being spent on mutilating the healthy bodies of children who are, by definition, not able to give informed consent. However, taxpayers’ money is currently funding ‘gender reassignment’ treatments and surgeries for adults. These adults are entitled to life-long care and hormonal treatments, on the NHS. They will also be able to access legal aid (taxpayer money) to sue the pants off NHS Trusts (taxpayers) up and down the country if and when they realise it was all a big mistake.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
2 months ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

Sex reassignment business was approx $2 billion in the US last year and is expected to rise to $6 billion by 2030.

g v
g v
1 month ago

I agree, there is so much money being made out of the misery of children who often realise too late, that the ‘treatment’ pushed on them by the medical establishment is not reversible and often doesn’t solve their emotional conflicts or confusion. I think this treatment is tantamount child abuse and disfigurement .

Matt Sylvestre
Matt Sylvestre
2 months ago

Ms. Hayton – I am just some dude but you have my respect…

Jim M
Jim M
2 months ago

Behind every trans-aspiring child, is an ideologically-bent adult pushing their agenda onto others.

Children are aware of such concepts only after they are introduced by others in the first place.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
2 months ago

So now Dr Mengele is going after Matt Walsh.

William Brand
William Brand
2 months ago

Tean age girls are slaves to fashion and fads. Female to male sex change is fashionable but surgery can not be reversed like clothing changes as fashion changes.