Canadian doctors challenge Alberta Medical Association’s stance on treating “trans kids”

Two Canadian physicians have voiced significant opposition to medically treating minors with gender dysphoria, and claim that many doctors agree with them but are afraid of “career harm.”  

Dr. J. Edward Les, a Calgary pediatrician, and Dr. Roy Eappen, a Montreal physician, voiced their concerns in a special to the National Post, where they state there is “no medical consensus on transgender medical interventions for minors.”

Their concerns emerge amid a backdrop of policies introduced by Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, including restrictions on hormone therapy and puberty blockers for individuals under 16, which the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) subsequently criticized. 

Dr. Eappen and Dr. Les argue that the AMA and the Canadian Pediatric Society’s support for gender transition procedures in minors does not represent the unanimous opinion of the medical community. 

Many doctors, they claim, remain silent on their apprehensions due to fears of professional backlash and the potential damage to their careers.

The doctors assert that a significant, though largely silent, segment of the medical community shares their skepticism about the efficacy and safety of gender transition procedures in youth.

Addressing the claim: “But trans kids will kill themselves if they can’t access treatment” 

Referencing recent studies, the doctors challenge the narrative that denying “gender-affirming care” to so-called transgender youth increases their risk of committing suicide. 

“There is no evidence for increased suicidality in kids with gender dysphoria once one corrects for psychiatric co-morbidities,” they state, pointing to a recent Finnish study that found no such correlation. 

Moreover, they raise alarms over the potential irreversible impacts of puberty blockers on neurological, sexual, and bone development. 

Dr. Eappen and Dr. Les further note another study suggesting that 95% of youth with gender dysphoria who don’t receive puberty blockers or hormone therapy later realize they were simply confused about their identity and are not, in fact, transgender. 

“All of this flies directly in the face of the professed certainty of [AMA President] Dr. Wong and the AMA that the benefits of youth gender transition outweigh the harms.”

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