A Canadian doctor spoke out regarding Canada’s uptick in transgender surgeries for youth, suggesting we ‘slow down’ surgeries.
“Let’s slow down and make sense of what is going on,” said Dr. Joey Bonifacio, who treats patients with gender identity issues at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
“All of these decisions … concerning social, medical or surgical transitions, these are big decisions, and they deserve the time, they deserve the respect that’s needed.”
Canada has limited statistics on gender dysphoria-related surgeries, but the National Post notes that a trans-friendly research project indicates they’ve increased exponentially over the past 20 years.
Other western countries have seen similar trends, and the fall-out is only just starting to be realized.
Recently, a review found the Tavistock gender clinic in the UK was reckless in prescribing puberty blockers to vulnerable teenagers, prompting the government to shut it down for good.
“I do have the same concerns the Tavistock clinic faced,” Bonifacio conceded.
To this point, a class-action lawsuit is mounting against the UK clinic, which is reportedly expected to consist of over 1000 former patients who regret their irreversible treatment.
“I think this is going to be one of the largest medical negligence scandals of all time,” said lawyer Thomas Goodhead, who leads the class-action lawsuit.
Back in Canada, not all doctors share Bonifacio’s concerns. For example, Dr. Margaret Lawson from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario claims that medical decisions only occur after a cautious approach with youth and their parents.
However, a recently leaked letter sent by the Gender Pathways Services department at the Children’s Hospital in London, Ontario, suggests otherwise. In the letter, family doctors are encouraged to start their patients on hormone therapy before their first appointment with a specialist, citing extended wait times as a reason for the guidance.
Many politicians are too scared to touch on this topic, so doctors like Bonifacio speaking out is an important step towards better protecting vulnerable youth in Canada.