Well, He Says He’s a Jackalope by Pat Conrad MD

One of the very worst parts of medicine is that the profession is a constant conduit for social commentary and fashion, leaving the physicians forever in the arena of conflict.  Every damn day you go to work, every patient you see, is an opportunity for a fight.  It’s exhausting.

So here is a physician, by all appearances an unassuming, regular guy, who has been fired from his contract as a medical evaluator for having a controversial opinion.  This longtime British doctor for the National Health Service was to have been hired as a disability assessor for the Department for Work and Pensions.  55 year-old Dr. David Mackereth was let go because of his stated belief that gender is determined at birth.

Yep, this fly in the social justice, rainbow-hued ointment is so bigoted and insensitive as to believe that we are born boys or – not and – girls, and supports his experienced medical observation with his religious faith.  In a nation and society famously making a great many allowances for one particular – ahem – religion, Dr. Mackereth is being told “that any report or contact with clients should refer to them in their chosen sex otherwise it ‘could be considered to be harassment as defined by the 2010 Equality Act’.”

Over the weekend I shared a few beers with a buddy from residency who works in a college setting.  Already the EMR’s at college are being updated to include idiotic “preferred pronouns”, and the other ze-, zur-, and WTF designations so that everyone can feel comfortable in forcing their doctors into further enabling their public delusions.

But no, I’m not writing here about freedom of religion, or even the ridiculous demands for transgender embrace.

The real point is what happens under government-run health care.  “A DWP spokeswoman said the Equality Act states that it is unlawful to discriminate directly or indirectly against a person on grounds of a ‘protected characteristic’, such as gender reassignment.

She added: ‘Dr Mackereth made it clear during his training that he would refuse to use pronouns which did not match his own view of a person’s biological gender.'”

So a qualified, experienced physician is fired for refusing to lie about his own objective clinical observations.  Let that sink in, and try to tell me that couldn’t happen here.

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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  10 comments for “Well, He Says He’s a Jackalope by Pat Conrad MD

  1. Moshe Rose
    August 1, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    I’m not sure I can agree with you on this one. As a psychiatrist treating many patients with gender identity issues has taught me that gender really is biological. You can call a boy a girl, and put him in a dress, but he’s still going to act like and feel like a boy. And there are some biological girls who feel just as much a boy (and visa versa). But just like with sexual orientation, there really is something biological there that we don’t yet understand.

    Even if it’s just a lifestyle choice (which for some people, it really is), it’s disrespectful to call someone by a title that they don’t want. Some people want to be called by their first name, some by their last, some by Dr., Pastor, etc.

    They’re not asking to let a biological male compete on the girls’ weight lifting team, or say that they’re biologically female. They’re asking us to acknowledge their identity. Not to agree with it, but acknowledge it.

    I have very conservative religious beliefs myself, but we can’t judge our patients by our beliefs. I don’t want anyone to impose their beliefs on me (say, by making me perform an abortion), nor should we impose our beliefs on others.

    • Sir Lance-a-lot
      August 1, 2018 at 4:59 pm

      “They’re not asking to let a biological male compete on the girls’ weight lifting team, or say that they’re biologically female.”

      But they are asking to be admitted to all-female institutions, such as Wellesley (and being allowed in).

      And what is wrong with saying “I am a woman, but I feel like a man” instead of “I am an actual man who is trapped in a woman’s body”?

      I am an actual doctor, but I feel more like a craftsman or a mechanic. I repair and build all sorts of things, and I always feel weird when people call me “Doctor.” Is this “occupational dysphoria” and should I seek treatment?

      Like I said, I don’t care if you’re a man who wears dresses or a woman who wears a suit and tie, but don’t tell me that you’re one sex, and then surprise me when you’ve got your feet in the stirrups. I can tell the difference from that angle.

      Fifty years ago, it was considered “wrong” for a woman to want to be a fireman or a construction worker or a cop or an astronaut, and it was “wrong” for a man to want to sew clothing or stay home with the kids. Now it’s not. These things are perfectly normal. So why does one need to claim to be a different sex (and even get his/her birth certificate changed), when s/he can do whatever s/he wants for a living, dress however s/he wants, and shack up with whomever s/he wants? It’s a bizarre and malignant form of narcissism if you ask me, and the fact that the rest of society seems to be falling for it is, frankly, scary.

      • Moshe Rose
        August 1, 2018 at 5:12 pm

        You make a good point. I’ll occasionally see a teenager who one day wakes up and says they want to identify as the opposite sex. And until they get over it several weeks later, feels that anyone who shows any hesitation is a bigot.

        But there are people who grew up happy and well adjusted, but could never get over feeling like they’re male (or female). We don’t think about our gender much. But when you go through adolescence not being able to conform to what society expects, it can really effect a person’s sense of identity.

        I suspect that in the future, any doctor who objects to taking part in a sex change will be accused of a civil rights violation. But that’s not what this is about, it’s about providing basic care while calling someone by the title they want.

        • Sir Lance-a-lot
          August 1, 2018 at 5:40 pm

          The thing I don’t understand is why someone has to say that s/he IS a particular sex, when that person can do whatever stereotypical activities that that sex does, without stigma, and when it would be just as easy (and cheaper) to say that s/he FEELS like a member of the other sex.

          As far as forms of address, like I say, I avoid them, but I will admit to being in an awkward position regarding this, as I consistently use “Ms” to address women under the age of about 80, and I can recall when people would aggressively address women as “Miss” or “Mrs” in spite of their stated preference for the less specific honorific.

          My objection comes to each person selecting pronouns and honorifics of his/her own, and expecting me to customize my own language usage for him personally; if in the future it becomes popular to call everyone “Mx” (and how, exactly do you pronounce that?), then I think that would be ideal, as stratifying people by sex during professional interactions is as pointless as stratifying women by marital status. In English-speaking countries, our own title, Doctor, is gender-universal, and I think we see the value in that.

          The pronoun thing is another story, though. While one can reasonably request to be addressed using a reasonable and common honorific (Ms., Mr., Dr., Professor, etc., but not “Exalted Lord High Excellency” or “Superlinator”), pronouns are the property of the language as a whole, and not of one particular person, and I do not believe in making up new ones. If a patient wants to be referred to as “it,” I have no problem with that.

          • Moshe Rose
            August 1, 2018 at 6:18 pm

            If one day everyone decided I’m really a woman, started calling me Ms. and made me use the girl’s room, I think I’d get over it pretty quickly. But I’m an adult, and have already formed a sense of who I am as a person (Identity vs Role Confusion, according to Erik Erikson).

            If a baby isn’t shown love, it’ll always be less secure loving others. A child made to feel incompetent will grow up with lower self esteem, and need more encouragement. Similarly, a teenager with a sense of self that cannot conform to society’s expectations will grow up needing more affirmation for that sense of self.

            I’m not talking about the teenager who decides to try on another identity for a few weeks and expects everyone around them to embrace the idea unquestioningly. I’m talking about people who grew up their entire lives knowing that they cannot be what others expect.

          • Sir Lance-a-lot
            August 1, 2018 at 9:54 pm

            “… a teenager with a sense of self that cannot conform to society’s expectations will grow up needing more affirmation for that sense of self.”

            Yes, but this is just the typical run of the mill gay teenager experience, and, nowadays at least, gay kids as a rule grow up pretty darned healthy and well adjusted, after their period of adolescent angst (which is a universal experience).
            How come they come out of adolescence fine, while trans people come out of adolescence thinking that they are literally (not figuratively) the wrong sex (and that everybody else has to cater to their delusion)?

            Once again, I don’t care what they wear, what they do , or where they urinate.
            I just see the belief that one is the wrong sex as being as obviously delusional as the belief that one is Jesus Christ or Napoleon, and I was always told never to cater to a patient’s delusions, but to try to lead them out of them.

    • chris
      August 3, 2018 at 4:10 pm

      How far does this go? If a patient insists on me referring to them as “The Emperor” or “Your Excellency” or “Maestro” (that last one for you Seinfeld fans) am I required to do so? And if gender is so fluid and has no connection to a persons physical/genetic sex then I ask you why transgenders are so offended if you refer to them by the wrong pronoun or that you insist on them using the locker room or bathroom of their physical sex?

      My personal belief is that transgenderism is a form of psychosis and we as physicians do patients harm by playing along with their psychosis. I mean, if I were a dentist I would not agree to extract a schizophrenics teeth because they believed there to be a transmitter planted there by the government. That transgenders want the government to force us to go along with their insanity is nothing short of evil.

  2. Rick M Singel
    August 1, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Sometimes I think my outrage has peaked regarding our societal nonsense, then this…

    I recently purchased something from a website. In registering, I was asked my sex, and here were the choices:


    You mean, “custom” doesn’t cover all the various possibilities?? We are in trouble as a society and a culture, friends. THIS is why I love this newsletter–it keeps me apprised of the complete nonsense coming at us daily. If we don’t fight it, we will be swallowed up by the vocal, loud, aggressive perversion activists.

  3. Sir Lance-a-lot
    August 1, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Hey, we’ve all got our own problems, and I am not one to judge my fellow (wo)man, but if you think you’re not the sex that you are, then you’ve got a problem (and I believe that with the passage of time, the medical world will realize this).

    I am honestly fine with people wearing whatever they want, tattooing whatever they want, piercing whatever they want, screwing whomever they want, and marrying whomever they want, but you can do all of these things without claiming, falsely, that you are actually a member of the opposite sex, and without mutilating your naughty area.

    On the rare occasions when I need to treat someone who is, you know, “non-conforming,” I tie myself in knots avoiding the use of any personal pronouns, because, on the one hand, I don’t want to hurt their feelings, but on the other, I will not participate in this verbal idiocy.

  4. PW
    August 1, 2018 at 8:10 am

    The absurdity continues…

Comments are closed.