I’ll Visit You in Prison
I’ll admit it. I’m angry. Sometimes I lay awake at night and fantasize about the possible ways retribution can be visited upon the doctor who did this to my daughter. Mind you, I won’t personally seek vengeance. I won’t break any laws. But would I object if a large piano fell on the doctor who told my mentally distressed 19-year-old daughter that she was trans because “she said she was”? No, I wouldn’t. Would I enjoy seeing the incarceration of this doctor who told me he was just following the WPATH Standards of Care when he stated her on testosterone, four months after they first met? Yes, I would. In fact, I would travel to any federal penitentiary anywhere in America to pay him a visit. Do I want my pound of flesh? Oh yes, I do.
But those are just fantasies. I am powerless to make this doctor (God, how I wish I could use his name here) suffer the way my daughter does. After four years on T, she is balding and going through menopause. Her mental health is deteriorating. But I am powerless to have this doctor even comprehend what he has done—to her, to our family and to the countless other poor families he has set on the “gender affirmation” path.
But maybe, just maybe, the tide is turning. A great man once said, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” And justice is coming for the doctors who are running medical experiments on children, who are sterilizing gay and autistic kids and young adults.
I’m referring to the recent decision by Washington University to stop providing “gender affirmation” care for minors. This is due to the whistle-blowing efforts of Jamie Reed. Not only is Washington University no longer trans-ing kids, but they are also ceasing treatment for existing patients.
Initially, Washington University conducted an internal investigation and concluded that Jamie Reed’s charges were “unsubstantiated.” Advocates of the gender affirmation attacked her. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes slammed her on X (Twitter) and implied she was lying. New York magazine wrote that her claims were “under fire.”
But, within months, Washington University reversed course. If they are so confident of the science behind the gender affirmation model, why stop? And why for children who had already begun treatment?
In a word – lawsuits. Here’s how the Missouri Independent covered the story.
Washington University in St. Louis joined University of Missouri Health as the latest provider of care to transgender minors to announce it is canceling pre-existing prescriptions for puberty blockers or hormone-replacement therapy.
A new state law restricting access to gender-affirming care bars those under 18 from beginning new treatments. But in a compromise with opponents of the ban, lawmakers grandfathered in patients who had begun a medical transition before the law went into effect on Aug. 28.
But a provision of the statute allows those who received care as a minor to bring a cause of action against their doctor 15 years after treatment or their 21st birthday, whichever is later. Typically, patients in Missouri have two years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
So, while the law permits Washington University (and other providers of gender affirmation care in MO) to grandfather in their existing patients, the clinics decline to do so. They do this because their patients are now allowed to sue up to 15 years after the treatment. When these kids grow up and discover that they can’t have sex or can’t enjoy sex or can’t find a partner to have sex with or can’t have children, they can sue the doctors who sold them these lies.
Ideology crumbles in the face of lawsuits, in the face of the extension of the statute of limitations. Up until two minutes ago, Washington University was willing to lie to these children and their parents and tell them that changing one’s sex is possible. They were comfortable having these children assume all the risks associated with this treatment. But at the whiff of lawsuits, they close up shop and leave these kids and their families in the lurch.
I’m confident that the U.S. will inevitably follow the lead of many European countries and move off the gender affirmation model. Honestly, the event I dream of most is the detransition of my daughter. In the meantime, I’ll be scanning the news looking for charges against the doctor who told her that, with enough drugs and surgery, she could become a man and this would solve her mental health issues. Maybe someday I’ll visit him in prison. A mother can dream.