The state of Alabama, despite some silly policies (blue laws, mask mandates) is still a wonderful place that sometimes gets it right. Last week the Alabama Senate voted to make the hormonal or surgical treatment of underage so-called “transgender” patients a felony.
When it comes to adults seeking hormonal or surgical mutilation, I’m conflicted insofar as I don’t want the state interfering with an individual’s choices to the maximum extent possible; but also consider that any physician engaging in “transition” therapies/surgeries is grossly unethical and should lose his license for causing physical harm to a patient suffering from a legitimate psychiatric disorder.
The question becomes a little easier when dealing with minors, who as a group do not have the clarity of thought or life experience to make such permanent, likely devastating decisions. Awash in hormones and insecurities, it would be easier to argue against letting them drive or vote, than in favor of switching their external sexual characteristics. It’s odd that the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act would extend up to the age of 19, and it’s inconsistent in a society that awards certain, but not all, recognitions of adult status at age 18.
Predictably, the usual suspects are lining up to oppose the bill, hiding behind false screens of “saving lives” and “the consensus of major medical associations and the overwhelming evidence …”
Not buying it. Until such time as these groups come out in favor of full anorexia/bulimia acceptance, recognizing that body dysmorphic condition as just another healthy alternative, then they are recruiting and rationalizing to bolster their own self-perceived fragilities and hunger for political power, and they are full of it.
Physicians are obligated to do what is best for their patients, which includes a dispassionate appraisal of available facts. It ought not be a political stance to refuse to buy into a patient’s transient delusion, thereby corrupting one’s own clinical judgment. While it’s laudable that Alabama passed this law, they should never have had to. If physicians uniformly stuck to the standards of our rhetoric, this would not have been an issue.