One way to close debate on a contentious topic is to declare that there is no debate on the topic. Everyone, absolutely everyone, agrees with one side, so why are you even trying to argue? It is all good. The Biden administration does this on what officials call “gender-affirming care” for young people who believe themselves to be transgender. “There is no debate among health care professionals – pediatricians, pediatric endocrinologists, adolescent doctors, adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists, etc. – about the value and importance of gender-affirming care,” said the Dr. Rachel Levine, who as United States Assistant Secretary for Health is the highest-ranking transgender person in the administration, National Public Radio said. The next day, Levine made the case in a speech at the “Out for Health” conference at Texas Christian University.

A month earlier, to observe “International Transgender Visibility Day,” Levine’s agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, released a fact sheet on “gender-affirming care.” For the young. “For transgender and non-binary children and adolescents, early gender-affirming care is critical to overall health and well-being, as it allows the child or adolescent to focus on transitions social and can increase their confidence while navigating the health care system,” the department said. mentioned. The fact sheet included a chart detailing ‘gender-affirming care’. It listed four specific types of care, with a definition and commentary on whether or not they were “reversible.” The first type of care was “social affirmation”, which he defined as “the adoption of gender-affirming hairstyles, clothing, names, gender pronouns, toilets, and other facilities”. It can be done “at any age or condition,” the HHS said, and is “reversible.” Indeed, although there is some debate about the wisdom of such efforts, they are, in fact, reversible. But the department has listed three other approved treatments that are not reversible: puberty blockers, hormone therapy and “gender affirming surgeries.” The chart defined the former as “the use of certain types of hormones to interrupt pubertal development”, which it recommended “during puberty”. He called such treatment “reversible”, although there is great debate about this, and in any event it is difficult to see how delaying the age at which a child reaches puberty can be reversed, since the child will never be that age again. HHS has defined hormone therapy as “testosterone hormones for those assigned female at birth” and “estrogen hormones for those assigned male at birth,” recommended from the ” early adolescence” and labeled “partially reversible”. “Gender affirming surgeries” have been defined as “‘top’ surgery – to create a typical male chest shape or enhance breasts”, or “‘bottom’ surgery – on the genitals or reproductive organs” , or “facial feminization or other procedures.” Such measures are “typically used in adulthood or on a case-by-case basis in adolescence” and are obviously “not reversible”.

Levine says there is “no argument” about the value and importance of these treatments. But all three – puberty blockers, hormone therapy and “gender-affirming” surgeries – are controversial. Just look at some of the comments from an organization called the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine. In the group’s own words, “We are an international group of over 100 clinicians and researchers concerned about the lack of high-quality evidence for the use of hormonal and surgical interventions as first-line treatment for young people with dysphoria. gender.”

You may have seen more of the group, except that members’ opinions are sometimes censored by medical organizations. Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that the American Academy of Pediatrics banned SEGM from setting up a booth at the AAP conference. The AAP “works very hard to give the impression that everything has been decided and that there is no debate,” SEGM member Dr. Julia Mason told the Journal. That’s what the Biden administration is trying to do. Levine declared the argument among medical professionals over. The new consensus, surprisingly, agrees with Levine. The administration will move on to the next step. Since the debate is closed, since there is a scientific consensus in favor of “gender affirmative” treatment, those who still criticize do not debate the facts. They attack other human beings. “Those attacking our LGBTQI+ community are driven by an agenda that has nothing to do with medicine, with science, and nothing to do with warmth, empathy, compassion, or understanding,” Levine said. in speech at Texas Christian University. “They reject the value of supportive medicine, reject established science and reject basic human compassion. They prefer slander, bigotry and gendered hate speech.”

Who would want to do that? Who would want to risk being accused of defamation, bigotry and gender baiting – risking their reputation and livelihood – for questioning the wisdom of “gender-affirming care” for minors? Better to be silent. After all, Levine says the argument is over — at least while Levine and the Biden administration are in power.

Byron York is the Washington Examiner’s chief political correspondent.


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