21 Physicians Speak Out Against 'Transgender' Health Practices

Jul 31, 2023

‘Gender-affirming care’ is not the answer to suicide

Doctors don’t often publicly disagree with respected health authorities, especially over the prevailing narrative. But a group of physicians from nine countries issued an open letter in July that runs contrary to the Endocrine Society’s opinion on “gender-affirming care.”

The group of 21 medical professionals released the statement to the Wall Street Journal after new Endocrine Society President Stephen Hammes voiced his support for gender-affirming care. Experts from Finland, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Switzerland, South Africa, and the United States signed on to the following letter:

“As experienced professionals involved in direct care for the rapidly growing numbers of gender-diverse youth, the evaluation of medical evidence or both, we were surprised by the Endocrine Society’s claims about the state of evidence for gender-affirming care for youth (Letters, July 5). Stephen Hammes, president of the Endocrine Society, writes, ‘More than 2,000 studies published since 1975 form a clear picture: Gender-affirming care improves the well-being of transgender and gender-diverse people and reduces the risk of suicide.’ This claim is not supported by the best available evidence. Every systematic review of evidence to date, including one published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, has found the evidence for mental-health benefits of hormonal interventions for minors to be of low or very low certainty. By contrast, the risks are significant and include sterility, lifelong dependence on medication and the anguish of regret.

“For this reason, more and more European countries and international professional organizations now recommend psychotherapy rather than hormones and surgeries as the first line of treatment for gender-dysphoric youth. Dr. Hammes’s claim that gender transition reduces suicides is contradicted by every systematic review, including the review published by the Endocrine Society, which states, ‘We could not draw any conclusions about death by suicide.’ There is no reliable evidence to suggest that hormonal transition is an effective suicide-prevention measure. The politicization of transgender healthcare in the U.S. is unfortunate. The way to combat it is for medical societies to align their recommendations with the best available evidence—rather than exaggerating the benefits and minimizing the risks” [emphasis added].

The letter cites three risks to hormonal intervention for children under 18: “sterility, lifelong dependence on medication and the anguish of regret.” These significant risks are increasingly coming to the forefront in some media reporting.

Individuals who believe they are transgender and undergo puberty blocker and other life-altering treatments sometimes regret their choice, and with good reason.

One Twitter user described his experience as “Frankensteinen butchery on healthy body parts.” Previously healthy, he tweeted on July 9, 2023: “I just can’t anymore. They’ve been butchering us for far too long. And we all passively agreed that somehow, this was better than what we had before?”

Such prescribed drugs and surgical procedures to remove or add unnatural body parts often leave these patients disappointed with the way they look and feel. Some say their gender dysphoria continues despite turning their lives upside down to address the issue, not to mention the financial cost. Sadly, these procedures are often irreversible. Once they're done, they're done.

Walt Heyer is one who regretted his decision to transition at age 42 to become a transgender woman and lived that way eight years. Now that he has his own ministry and website (sexchangeregret.com), he hears from people all the time who regret their transgender life, including the use of sex-change hormone therapy and radical surgeries.

When Corinna Cohn entered puberty, she was not prepared for the physical urgency she felt. At 19, she chose sex reassignment surgery, which she now regrets. She reflected on her experience in an April 11, 2022, op-ed in The Washington Post:

“Surgery unshackled me from my body’s urges, but the destruction of my gonads introduced a different type of bondage. From the day of my surgery, I became a medical patient and will remain one for the rest of my life," writes Cohn, who wanted to share with individuals facing the tough choices brought about by gender confusion and societal pressures.

In the face of such regrets, it’s amazing that medical societies often support changing the body rather than changing the mind.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also encourages the medical community to adopt a gender-affirming care model. The AAP process for TGD (“transgender and gender diverse”) care follows this progression (see Table 2): social affirmation, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormone therapy, gender-affirming surgeries, and legal affirmation. 

Although AAP acknowledges there are problems when individuals attempt to change their gender while young, the pediatrics group still expresses what it perceives as benefits of early pubertal suppression

“It reduces the need for later surgery because physical changes that are otherwise irreversible (protrusion of the Adam’s apple, male pattern baldness, voice change, breast growth, etc) are prevented. The available data reveal that pubertal suppression in children who identify as TGD generally leads to improved psychological functioning in adolescence and young adulthood.”

AAP urges transgender and gender diverse care in a “safe and inclusive clinical space” and encourages its physicians to advocate for these young people.

One aspect of that safe space comes when the AAP encourages medical professionals to hide the reproductive health treatment children are receiving. When the parents of a “trans” child pay the child’s medical bills, they may not even know what they’re paying for or what type of consultation their child had. In AAP’s “Transition Plan for Healthy Children,” it seeks to protect adolescents’ confidential access to reproductive health services by “developing and implementing unique billing and claims strategies.” Is this the kind of safe space “transgender” children and teens need? 

So, why the rush to help gender-dysphoric minors change their bodies instead of accepting themselves? Why not help them acknowledge that they may be confused during puberty, but understand that this, too, shall pass? They can, in fact, live a well-adjusted life in the future.

Manhattan Institute fellow Leor Sapir analyzes a certain view of puberty that’s driving the trans treatment industry.

“The notion that no human should ever have to experience any discomfort associated with male or female embodiment, including during the turbulent period of puberty, is the utopian promise fueling much of the gender transition industry,” Sapir writes in a recent Tablet Magazine article. “There has been a growing movement among gender activists to frame puberty as something that the autonomous, disembodied, self should have a ‘right’ to choose.”

Ultimately, dysphoria has no place in the divine order. People who experience gender dysphoria need compassionate mental health counseling. 

But medical authorities like the Endocrine Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics and many health care providers have a lot to answer for in the way they treat gender confusion and the suicidal ideation that sometimes come with it.

May God help us preserve future generations that honor His created order. “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:27). 


Benson, Guy. International experts admit what U.S. experts won’t about youth gender transition, July 14, 2023. https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2023/07/14/international-experts-youth-gender-transition-pushed-without-evidence-n2625720.

Crandall, Jake. “Opinion | Youth Gender Transition Is Pushed without Evidence.” The Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2023. www.wsj.com/articles/trans-gender-affirming-care-transition-hormone-surgery-evidence-c1961e27.

Hathaway, Candace. “‘Risks Are Significant’: 21 International Doctors Warn against ‘gender-Affirming’ Hormones, Surgeries for Youth.” The Blaze, July 18, 2023. www.theblaze.com/news/risks-are-significant-21-international-doctors-warn-against-gender-affirming-hormones-surgeries-for-youth.

Heyer, Walt. “Hormones, Surgery, Regret: I Was a Transgender Woman for 8 Years - Time I Can’t Get Back.” USA Today, February 11, 2019. www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2019/02/11/transgender-debate-transitioning-sex-gender-column/1894076002/.

LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness. Accessed July 28, 2023. www.aap.org/en/patient-care/lgbtq-health-and-wellness/.

Sapir, Leor. “Finland Takes Another Look at Youth Gender Medicine.” Tablet Magazine, February 21, 2023. www.tabletmag.com/sections/science/articles/finland-youth-gender-medicine.

Transition Plan for Healthy Children: Reproductive Health. Accessed July 28, 2023. www.aap.org/en/advocacy/transition-plan-2020/healthy-children/reproductive-health/.

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