The director of the Belgian Center for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBAM) says performing sex changes on children is an experiment without any scientific evidence to support it, and that the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) guidelines belong “in the bin.”
According to the Society for Evidence-based Medicine (SEGM), Dr. Patrik Vankrunkelsven made the comments during a television program investigating the exponential growth of teenagers being referred to gender clinics in Belgium, and the international debate surrounding how best to treat them.
“What you are doing is a pure experiment on children, without any scientific evidence for it,” said Vankrunkelsven.
Vankrunkelsven explains that studies into the use of puberty blockers were not conducted in the way scientific research is typically carried out, with a control group.
“People have never, as we traditionally do in medicine, strictly compared these children with a group that did not receive this treatment,” adding that also many children disappeared from the follow-up studies, meaning long term conclusions could not be drawn about the extended effects of puberty suppression.
On the topic of the WPATH guidelines, which are followed by doctors in gender clinics all over the world, Vankrunkelsven believes the recommendation for puberty blockers is not evidence-based.
“If we had to review [the WPATH guidelines] at CEBAM, we would actually toss them in the bin,” he said.
CEBAM is an independent, multidisciplinary medical scientific institute that promotes the preparation, maintenance, and dissemination of Systematic Reviews. It also validates clinical practice guidelines and provides methodological support to guideline developers.
Late last year, Sweden broke ranks with WPATH with the announcement that gender clinics will no longer be attempting to perform medical sex changes on under-18s outside of a strict clinical trial setting, and will instead offer psychological support “to help youth live with the healthy body they were born with.”
Dr. Mats Reimer also called the evidence base for puberty blockers “extremely weak” and stated that WPATH’s decision to include “eunuch” in its latest Standards of Care as an innate gender identity even children can possess is a sign that WPATH is not a scientific organisation but instead an activist group.
“Had this been published anywhere other than in a supposedly scientific article, it would have been thought that it was satire,” said Reimer. “The fact that [Sweden’s] National Board of Health and Welfare’s updated guidelines should no longer be based on such an obviously activist organisation as WPATH is of course welcome.”
The group Beyond WPATH formed following the release of WPATH’s Standards of Care 8 arguing that the internationally respected organisation has discredited itself with its inclusion of eunuch as a gender identity, as well as its promotion of the affirmative model of care and the removal of almost all lower age limits for medical and surgical interventions.
“For these and other reasons, we believe WPATH can no longer be viewed as a trustworthy source of clinical guidance in this field. Despite its claim to be a ‘World Professional Association,’ WPATH and its Standards are actually outliers on the international stage, and deaf to the alarms being sounded within the scientific community concerning the use of experimental treatments on children,” say the group.
A recent paper argued that the experiment of using puberty blockers to perform medical sex changes on children “escaped the lab” while it was still in its innovative phase, and spread across the world before there was any proof that it was either safe or beneficial.
Drs. E. Abbruzzese, Julia W. Mason, and Stephen B. Levine argue that there is an ethical requirement for innovative practices to be tested in high-quality research settings prior to becoming widespread medical practice, in order to prevent “runaway diffusion,” the phenomenon in which the medical world mistakes a small innovative experiment as proven practice and a potentially harmful treatment “escapes the lab” and spreads rapidly in the general medical setting.
Abbruzzese et al. say that runaway diffusion is exactly what happened with pediatric gender medicine. They state that the original Dutch studies upon which the entire experiment is based "suffer from such profound limitations that they never should have been used as justification for propelling these interventions into general medical practice.
The paper explains that the speed of runaway diffusion accelerated in the mid-2010s when the number of young people identifying as transgender dramatically surged. Evidence is mounting that this sudden explosion of young people believing themselves to be members of the opposite sex is due to social contagion.
When the experiment of blocking the puberty of gender-confused children was first conceived, the drugs were intended to be a fully reversible pause to give the child more time to think about whether or not they really were born in the wrong body.
But it was soon observed that almost all children put on the drugs were going on to take cross-sex hormones, when in the past, on-average 80 percent would desist and accept their birth sex. This means that puberty blockers are better thought of as a start switch for further medical transition. One explanation for this is that it is the cognitive development that occurs during puberty that is the remedy for adolescent gender dysphoria. Therefore, by blocking the puberty, doctors are blocking the natural cure.
Sweden, Finland, England, France, and numerous US states have recently pivoted away from offering medical intervention to the vulnerable young people suffering from a poorly defined psychiatric disorder and have reverted back to a more cautious psychotherapeutic approach. However, Democrat states and all of Canada remain steadfastly committed to the medical experiment that one pediatric neurosurgeon recently called “an extraordinary medical atrocity."