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DOCTOR OFFERS SEX CHANGES FOR KIDS

May 20, 2008

Critics Slam Boston Doctor Who Offers Sex Change Treatment to Kids

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dr. Norman Spack, a pediatric specialist at Children’s Hospital Boston, has been criticized for offering sex change treatments for children.

Boston’s Children’s Hospital bills itself as the hospital for children — and now it’s also the hospital for children who want a sex change, a procedure some critics are calling “barbaric.”

transgender

Dr. Norman Spack, a pediatric specialist at the hospital, has launched a clinic for transgendered kids — boys who feel like girls, girls who want to be boys — and he’s opening his doors to patients as young as 7.

Spack offers his younger patients counseling and drugs that delay the onset of puberty. The drugs stop the natural flood of hormones that would make it difficult to have a sex alteration later in life, allowing patients more time to decide whether they want to make the change.

Spack also offers some teenagers hormone therapy, a drastic step that changes the way they grow and develop. While the effects of drug treatments can be stopped, long-term hormone therapy can be irreversible, causing permanent infertility in both sexes.

For some, that trade-off is worth it. Transgendered children are deeply troubled and have a “high level of suicide attempts,” Spack told the Boston Globe. “I’ve never seen any patient make [a suicide attempt] after they’ve started hormonal treatment,” he said.

Spack would not grant an interview to FOXNews.com and the Boston’s Children’s Hospital declined to respond.

But not all doctors are convinced, and some say the treatments do much more harm than good.

“Treating these children with hormones does considerable harm and it compounds their confusion,” said Dr. Paul McHugh, University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at John Hopkins University. “Trying to delay puberty or change someone’s gender is a rejection of the lawfulness of nature.”

McHugh said gender reassignment for children harkens back to the dark ages, when choir boys were castrated to retain their high-pitched voices. “It’s barbaric,” he said.

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a legal charity affiliated with the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, says that transgender disorder is a mental disorder, not a medical one, and that it should be treated with behavior modification, not hormones or surgery.

“Just as you don’t give liposuction to an anorexic, you don’t do sexual reassignment surgery on men who think that they are women and vice versa,” Staver said.

“At some point in childhood,” McHugh said, “many children role play as the opposite sex, but it is a social, not a medical issue.”

But other doctors say there is a transgender “gene.”

Dr. Irene Sills, an physician and Senior Professor of Pediatrics at the State University of New York, has treated 15 transgender children in the last 6 years, and considers the condition innate as a result of her study.

“We have had a case of identical twins that seems to disprove [other] theories,” she told FOXNews.com. “The twin girls were brought up in exactly the same environment, but by the age of 3, one of them kept insisting that she was a boy and kept mimicking masculine dress and behavior.”

Sills reported that her patients and their families have all been pleased with her therapy and support. She said she never asks families to sign a waiver before treating their children. “I trust our procedures and I trust my patients,” she said in an interview.

But some experts expect legal challenges to mount in the face of further treatment. According to Austin Nimocks, senior legal counsel for the conservative Alliance Defense, parents and doctors may not be safe from litigation if children are made sterile due to hormonal treatments — even if they do sign waivers.

“We will eventually start to see such parents and doctors sued and possibly arrested for what is essentially child abuse,” Nimocks told FOXNews.com.

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Still, some think transgender medical therapies for children, which have been used for many years in Europe, Asia and Australia, may soon gain more acceptance in the U.S.

“Most medical professionals know very little about transgender treatments for children, so I do grand rounds at hospitals to educate them,” said Stephanie Brill, co-author of “The Transgender Child,” which will be published in June. “The doctors are very receptive, so I believe that we will see transgender medicine become much more prevalent over the next decade.”

Yet even as such procedures are introduced to a wider public and offered to younger patients, it remains to be seen whether proponents of the procedure will find much support.

“Just because modern medicine can accomplish certain things does not mean that these procedures should be done,” said Nimocks. “That’s the mindset of a Dr. Kevorkian, and he wound up in jail.”

10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2008 1:47 am

    really can’t judge some things unless you have lived some things, i tip my hat off to this doctor and thank you for posting it!

  2. May 20, 2008 10:59 am

    i agree with Vicki, i think its great that this doctor is helping these kids be who they are
    http://www.queersunited.blogspot.com

  3. May 20, 2008 12:32 pm

    You’ve got to be shitting me!! 7 year old kids want to change their gender?! I can understand when they’re maybe a bit older, but seriously! Dude…. But after a bit more research, Dr. Norman Spack is legit.

    I still can’t get over the fact that parents allow this… not that I’m against it or anything.

  4. Nine permalink
    May 20, 2008 5:08 pm

    I am glad somebody is doing something about this. I heard about this story on the radio this morning. I watched a documentary a while ago about transgendered people and I really had to put myself in their shoes. I am a woman, and I feel like a woman. If I woke up everyday and looked in the mirror and saw a man, when I feel like a woman on the inside, it would definitely drive me crazy. Most of the gay/transgender people I know have know that they were gay/transgendered for quite some time. I agree that 7 years old may be a little young for a sex change, but at least he can give them something until they are old enough to decide.

  5. May 27, 2008 5:18 pm

    I have an uncle who committed suicide a couple years ago whom I loved very much. He was like a father figure to me when my own father was not around. He struggled his entire life with being gay until the very end because of the pressures placed on him in society and growing up in a Cuban household with a machismo father. I love my grandfather too, but he was incredibly homophobic, incredibly racist and incredibly sexist and I always saw that as wrong because I knew that I wouldn’t want comments like that made of me.

    If my child, having lived through the experience I’ve lived through with my uncle and grandfather, told me and kept insisting that they felt they were of the other sex, I would want to do as much as possible to help them out so that they would feel comfortable in their own skin and not have self-esteem issues, and all the other issues that come from feeling the way these kids feel. I have to wonder if people who are against this would want kids who are physically and emotionally healthy or a kid who they and society consider “normal” even if it goes against everything they believe or feel.

  6. May 27, 2008 5:37 pm

    I have not had any experience with this notion, not in my house or family. For some reason, I think there are some man-made prompts that cause people to feel such a way at such a young age. I could very well be wrong based on my lack of knowledge on this, but 7 is a very young age to start getting transgendered counseling. It doesn’t sound right to me.

  7. Nick Diamond permalink
    May 28, 2008 5:38 am

    Im wit my dude illseed. This is definitely one of the signs that the world is coming to an end! Soon!

  8. QUIANA permalink
    July 19, 2008 2:28 am

    THIS IS FUC$ING INSANE…….A CHILD CANNOT REGISTER FOR SCHOOL ALONE AT AGE OF 7, NOR DRIVE A CAR, NOR BUY CIGARETTES, NOR, BUT ALCOHOL, NOR EVEN BEING AT THE AGE AT OF DEVELOPMENT. NO TYPE OF PARTS HAVE BEGUN TO DEVELOPE YET . CANNOT SWIN ALONE. NEEDS A PERMISSION SLIP SIGNED FOR EVERYHING…..STILL GETS A CHILDS DISCOUNT…STILL UNDER CHILD PROTECTIVE LAWS…ISN’T EVEN WRITING WITH INK YET….REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS RE NOT HARDLY DEVELOPED YET…WHY THE HELL WOULDA CHILD BE ALLOWED TO CHANGE A GENDER..THEY DON’T EVEN WANT TO CHANGE THEIR UNDERWEAR. I WOULD KILL SOME BODY FOR EVEN SUGGESTING SUCH TO MY CHILD.. REAL TALK..THIS MAN IS A SICK INDIVIDUAL..PROBABLY ON OF THOSE PERVERTS THATS SA A CHILD HAS THE “CHOICE” TO HAVE “SEX” WITH N ADULT…..HAVE TO BE..GOD HELP US

  9. catacronic permalink
    February 10, 2009 7:54 pm

    what right does anyone have to judge their own body? You did not conceive its design and cannot fathom it’s complex workings. Rather than celebrate the miracle, the gift of life by your creator, you would instead pervert yourself selfishly… besides children don’t rights, I was one once and that sucked enough. gimme back my foreskin!

  10. April 19, 2010 10:43 am

    I would just like to point out that because the majority disagree does not mean the author is incorrect. Make up your own mind. This article about the driving test might change your opinion

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