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“Gender Specialist” Prescribes Puberty Blocking Drugs to Minor in One Half Hour Visit

At the suggestion of our family physician and my daughter’s former therapist, I made an appointment with a “gender specialist” at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. I thought we would be talking with someone who could help my daughter sort out her confusing feelings about gender and the discomfort she felt with her body. I was blindsided when we met with a pediatric endocrinologist who quickly affirmed my daughter’s self-diagnosis of gender dysphoria and offered to prescribe the puberty blocking drug, Lupron after a half hour conversation! All that was required was the approval of one parent. As I recall, I don’t even believe a note from a therapist was needed. There was no discussion of underlying mental health issues or trauma that might have been causing my daughter’s distress. She assured me that Lupron is perfectly safe and reversible and that my daughter was at risk for suicide if her gender dysphoria was not medically treated. I was in tears. I felt like I was being misled and emotionally manipulated. It was very irresponsible of this doctor to bring up the dubious suicide risk right in front of my daughter. We did not return to the clinic and I am happy to report that at age 17, my daughter’s gender dysphoria is starting to lift. Watchful waiting was the right course of action. It cost nothing and there were no side effects other than the discomfort of puberty. But isn’t that just an unavoidable, yet important part of the human experience?

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