"Disturbing": Doctors Call For Withdrawal Of Psychiatry Textbook Promoting 'Gender-Affirming' Care

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jan 05, 2024 - 10:00 AM

Authored by Darlene McCormick Sanchez via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Nearly 170 health professionals have signed an open letter to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) condemning its new “gender-affirming” care textbook as “unacceptable, unethical and unsafe.”

Detransitioners and their supporteres gather outside of the annual conference of the Pediatric Endocrine Society in San Diego, Calif., on May 6, 2023. (John Fredicks/The Epoch Times)

Their open letter to the organization appears on the website of the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism, a free speech and civil liberties watchdog group. The signatories demand that the APA “explain why it glaringly ignored many scientific developments in gender-related care and to consider its responsibility to promote and protect patients’ safety, mental and physical health.”

The letter calls for the APA to suspend publication of the textbook, “Gender-Affirming Psychiatric Care,” released on Nov. 8. The textbook is intended to be used as a teaching tool for doctors in training.

We seek an unbiased scientific investigation and discussion of the harms and benefits of all types of care offered to those with gender-related distress,” the letter states. “Until those concerns are addressed and the textbook’s errors corrected, we call on the APA for its withdrawal.”

Within 24 hours, more than 700 additional names had been added to the list of signatories.

The APA did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Epoch Times.

Study Findings In Question

The tome’s foreword declares it to be “the first textbook dedicated to providing affirming, intersectional, and evidence-informed psychiatric care for transgender, non-binary, and/or gender-expansive (TNG) people.”

Its 26 chapters are written by 56 authors, 50 of whom either identify as transgender or don’t identify as male or female, according to the foreword.

But other health professionals are questioning the wisdom of relying on the authors’ personal experiences, just because of their gender identities.

They also object to backing up those testimonies with limited scientific studies, some with heartily disputed results.

The textbook also presents neo-Marxist critical theories focused on calling out the so-called oppression of particular identity groups, critics point out.

Yet the textbook will be seen as a gold standard of care because it comes with the considerable clout of the APA behind it, concerned doctors told The Epoch Times.

That’s despite the fact that the textbook presents as evidence some studies that have come under fire for being flawed.

Those include the famous Dutch protocol study that became the basis for recommending puberty suppression, the use of cross-sex hormones, and other “gender-affirmative” procedures for people who identify as the opposite sex.

Transgender activists say puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgery can save the lives of gender-confused adults and children who may feel suicidal.

Others dispute that idea. And new research backs up that way of thinking.

A recent Finnish study found that mental health issues for people who medically “transition” continue despite receiving “gender-affirming” care. An analysis of data showed the need for psychiatric care was greater for people with gender dysphoria, both before and after medical transitioning, when compared to a control group.

Millions of Children at Risk

The signature of Dr. Lauren Schwartz, a psychiatrist in Oklahoma, appears first on the letter. She worries that using the textbook to train doctors could lead to harming millions of children, she told The Epoch Times.

She and fellow professionals hope their letter will raise awareness among parents and providers on “how radically the American Psychiatric Association has shifted away from medicine and science in the publication of this book,” she said.

“There are so many false, harmful statements—ones rooted not in medicine or science, but in an inconceivable ideological foundation and medical misinformation, both of which will harm patients and their families,” she wrote in a text message.

Other professionals who signed the letter include psychiatrists Miriam Grossman and Az Hakeem. Both have written books denouncing transgender ideology.

Dr. Grossman, a childhood and adolescent psychiatrist, wrote “Lost in Trans Nation: A Child Psychiatrist’s Guide Out of the Madness.” Her book excoriates gender ideology as a repudiation of reality and a mockery of basic male and female biology. She has been outspoken against transitioning children.

Dr. Hakeem, a London psychiatrist, formerly worked at the Tavistock gender clinic. He is the author of “Detrans: When Transition is Not the Solution,” which argues that no one is born in the “wrong body.”

He maintains that transitioning becomes a “false solution to a different problem” at a time of increasing pressure to affirm a person’s belief that he or she was born the wrong sex.

The idea of affirming gender confusion and medically altering a person’s body to fit a new gender identity is under scrutiny from clinicians and scientists worldwide.

Yet, those methods are recommended by the book’s authors.

Critics of the textbook argue in their letter that reviews of gender-affirming care in Sweden and England also did not support the idea that transitioning improves the mental health of patients.

They point out that the textbook relies on“evidence-informed” information, instead of the scientific standard that typically requires evidence-based information.

And they question why the textbook dismisses the idea of scientific neutrality and depends, instead, on the “lived experiences” and “community impact” of authors who identify as transgender.

A new textbook published by the American Psychiatric Association. (Courtesy of Dr. Lauren Schwartz)

Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, board chairman of the Do No Harm organization, said he signed the letter because his organization is concerned about potential harm to children.

New evidence out of Europe indicates that medically “transitioning” children to help them try to resemble the opposite sex is doing more harm than good, he told The Epoch Times.

We don’t have any study that shows that this is long-term beneficial,” he said.

And the Dutch studies finding that “gender-affirming” care helped people with gender dysphoria or confusion were not successfully duplicated by researchers in England, Dr. Goldfarb said.

The newest studies coming out of Europe suggest that what’s best for children with gender dysphoria is intensive, long-term psychiatric care before any medical intervention, he said.

The lack of acknowledgment of the latest scientific research in the textbook is, he said, “quite extraordinary.”

Dangerous Decisions

While adults can make their own decisions, children lack the maturity to make life-altering changes to their bodies, Dr. Goldfarb said. And the risk of harm for children taking puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones is real and serious.

Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, board chairman of Do No Harm. (Courtesy of Do No Harm)

Puberty blockers stop the development of the sexual reproductive system, meaning children who don’t go through puberty would never fully develop sexuality. They’re also likely to lose the ability to have children, he said.

It sort of depends on how far into puberty they are before they start blocking its progression,” he said. “It depends on how many hormones they take and for how long they take it.”

Dr. Goldfarb and other health professionals objecting to the textbook take issue with the authors’ assertion that puberty blockers for children are “fully reversible.”

And the textbook is “disturbingly nonchalant,” the letter states, about the high rate of mental and behavioral health issues simultaneously affecting people with gender dysphoria. Autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and suicidal thoughts often coincide with gender dysphoria in youths.

The textbook is “disturbing,” said Alan Hopewell, a prescribing neuropsychologist in Texas with experience treating transgender-identifying patients.

He told The Epoch Times, “This is nonsensical gibberish which has no foundation whatsoever in science.”