Doctor Dipshit continues his religious crusade to eradicate transgender people.
Michael K. Laidlaw
Michael K. Laidlaw

via YouTube

Tuesday Dr. Michael K. Laidlaw — Defender of the Faith™ — is railing against puberty blockers. Laidlaw practices endocrinology but he is not a board-certified endocrinologist. His board-certification was essentially revoked, presumably for failing to meet maintenance of certification (continuing education) requirements.

Laidlaw writes: The Pediatric Endocrine Society’s Statement on Puberty Blockers Isn’t Just Deceptive. It’s Dangerous. Medical science begins with an hypothesis which is subjected to rigorous testing. The results of those tests — the presence or absence of evidence — determine whether or not the hypothesis is correct.

Dr. Laidlaw’s approach is quite the opposite. He begins with a conclusion based on religious dogma. Then, using selective observation, he supports his conclusions with opinion.

According to St. Laidlaw:

The Pediatric Endocrine Society recently issued a statement claiming that the effects of puberty-blocking medications on normal puberty are reversible. Has the FDA determined that there is scientific evidence to validate this claim? Have there been any rigorous long-term studies addressing this question? Is social transition truly harmless? Is it ethical to continue this experiment on children? The answer to all of those questions is no.

It is not within the scope of the FDA to validate the effects of puberty blockers which are prescribed off label. Roughly one-fourth of American prescriptions are off-label which is perfectly legal. The FDA has determined that puberty blockers are safe and effective. The prescribers are experts in this field. Dr. Laidlaw is not.

Allowing a child to socially transition is essential for that child’s health if he or she is in severe distress. Numerous studies demonstrate that transitioning reduces the anxiety and depression associated with acute gender dysphoria which, in turn, dramatically reduces the potential for self-harm.

Laidlaw wants his audience to assume that this is experimental. It is not. The key component for the mental health of transgender kids is parental support of their identities.

The statement of the Pediatric Endocrine Society (for which Laidlaw does not provide a link) represents a reaction to the bullshit being spread by people like Laidlaw, specifically in regards to the recent case in Texas where daddy (Jeffrey D. Younger) was quite busy spreading misinformation. The statement is titled:

Pediatric Endocrine Society Statement Against Public Discourse that Risks the Well-being of
Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth and their Families.

Dr. Laidlaw is not deterred:

A recent high-profile custody case in Texas—in which a mom is advocating the transitioning of her seven-year-old son James into a girl named Luna, against the wishes of his father—has brought the issue of child transition and puberty blockers to the attention of everyday Americans, elected officials, and people around the world. What has gone less noticed is the backing of the medical establishment. Professional societies are now promoting these untested treatments as solid, evidence-based science.

Once again, Laidlaw is full of crap. That case has nothing to do with puberty blockers since the child is all of seven years old. She has another five years to go before puberty blockers are an issue. Luna’s mother, Dr. Anne Georgulas, is a board-certified pediatrician who has terrible taste in husbands. Younger is a pathological liar according to court records and their marriage was annulled as a result.

Furthermore, Dr. Georgulas wasn’t “advocating” for anything other than allowing the child to explore her sexual identity.

According to a July, 2019 paper:

In 2006, this “Dutch Model” was published outlining this new approach to the care of transgender youth. Adolescents aged 12 years and older with gender dysphoria are administered GnRHa [puberty blockers] to minimize further development of undesired secondary sexual characteristics. To induce feminization or masculinization, appropriate gender-affirming hormones (estrogen or testosterone, respectively) are added to the regimen when youth reach the age of 16 years. A recent follow-up study from the Dutch team showed alleviation of gender dysphoria and steady improvement of psychological functioning among 55 transgender young adults whose medical gender transition consisted of puberty suppression, followed by gender-affirming hormones and eventually, gender-affirmation surgery.
In 2009, using the best available evidence, but largely based on expert opinion, the Endocrine Society incorporated the Dutch model into the clinical guidelines “Endocrine Treatment of Transsexual Persons,” which includes recommendations for the treatment of transgender youth. Using the Dutch model as a springboard, the Endocrine Society recommended starting treatment with GnRHa for puberty suppression based on sexual development (Tanner staging) rather than chronological age.

Laidlaw drones on:

Approximately two weeks after James’s plight garnered international attention in late October, the Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES) issued a statement regarding medical therapy for children who are uncomfortable with their sexed bodies. In that document, the organization states that the effects of puberty-blocking medications are reversible. Other organizations such as the American Medical Association are leading kids toward these harmful drugs by supporting bans on therapies that aid children in becoming comfortable in their natural bodies.

Laidlaw does not link to the statement but to one of his tweets. How terribly authoritative. Note that Laidlaw is advocating for conversion therapy. We know from research out of Harvard Medical School just how damaging and toxic that is. We have many years of data and research regarding puberty blockers and no research confirming the safety and effectiveness of gender conversion therapy.

Laidlaw goes on at considerable length about the dangers of puberty blockers without considering the benefits. Dr. Laidlaw has no experience treating gender diverse children. Moreover, Laidlaw is not a behavioral health clinician. Every prescription for every condition has known negative consequences. Hell, aspirin can cause ulcers. Puberty blockers are prescribed in concert with the child, their parents and the referring physician (typically a psychiatrist).

In the 2015 PBS documentary, Growing Up Trans, a trans boy is absolutely horrified by the prospect of developing breast tissue. Puberty blockers relieve that distress.

Laidlaw arrives at the junction of Bullshit Lane and Batshit Avenue:

It Begins with Social Transition

What exactly is known about the limited number of adolescents who have undergone this experimental therapy? How many kids actually decide to stop these medications and “unpause” puberty?

Very few, it seems. In a Dutch study that included seventy adolescents who went on puberty blockers, all seventy decided to go on to further medicalizing by using hormones of the opposite sex. In a follow-up study, the majority went on to have “sex reassignment surgery” by either vaginoplasty for males or hysterectomy with ovariectomy for females, sterilizing them. One patient even tragically died of necrotizing fasciitis—otherwise known as the flesh-eating bacteria—due to the surgery. None of these seventy children actually paused puberty and then reversed course. Rather, they went full speed ahead into hormones and surgeries, each with a new set of dangers.

What Laidlaw is trying to do is to assert that not allowing a child to transition will prevent them from eventually having gender confirmation surgery. Allow me (again) to quote Dr. Jack Turban at Harvard Medical School who really is an expert in these matters (at the time of the quote he was with Yale):

[Ten years ago] The hope was that early treatment would “diminish the risk of a continuation of gender identity disorder into adulthood” — in other words, make children stop being transgender. Transgender youth during this time suffered high rates of depression and anxiety. By young adulthood, nearly half had attempted suicide.

Which is the greater risk, Dr. Laidlaw? Puberty blockers or not supporting children in their gender identity? Again, Laidlaw’s diatribe exists only in an attempt to validate religious views.

As for the Dutch study, the children who received puberty blockers were in severe distress. What it proves (among other things) is that the persistence of gender dysphoria correlates to its severity.

Laidlaw goes back to Texas and the same lies:

In some cases, like James’s, one parent has aggressively pushed for the therapy. In many other cases, both parents are desperate for help for their child and are pressured or duped into the affirmative pathway by doctors, therapists, and school officials. Concerns about harms are minimized, and questions are seen as obstructive. Parents may even be threatened by the legal system and have their child removed from the home.

There is no “therapy” for a seven-year-old. Laidlaw is claiming, in effect, that the prepubescent kid’s mother wants to inject her with puberty blockers. It is nonsense and Laidlaw knows it. The source of the supposedly “duped” parents is an anonymous post at an anonymous blog that I have speculated is really Laidlaw’s enterprise. The threatened parents weren’t really threatened. Daddy is a religious whack job. Mommy supported custody of a teen in terrible distress going to maternal grandparents who would support the kid’s gender identity.

More kakah-del-toro:

Children and adolescents suffering from confusion about their sexed bodies require compassionate care. We know that the vast majority of diagnosed children have been shown to desist or grow out of this condition if parents simply wait, rather than rushing to intervene. We should also recognize that a high percentage of adolescents with discomfort about their sex have underlying mental health disorders or neurodevelopmental conditions. Some smaller percentage may have suffered sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. These conditions need to be given first priority in diagnosis and treatment.

The above is misleading. Keep in mind that, a) this is not Laidlaw’s field and; b) Laidlaw is making this case out of religious duty at an ultra-conservative Catholic outlet with an Opus Dei numerary in charge.

It is true that most children do grow out of gender dysphoria because the severity of the condition in most children is not creating significant distress. Those kids do not transition because they do not feel compelled to do so to get relief. However, when a child is severely depressed and anxious due to the condition “wait and see” is a good way to kill kids.

Gender dysphoria seems to show up at around six to eight years of age. Puberty blockers are administered based on sexual development (Tanner staging) rather than chronological age but a reasonable generalization is 12 to 13 years of age. In other words, before receiving puberty blockers a child would be experiencing gender dysphoria for five or six years. If the condition is that persistent and if it is causing distress then it seems reasonable to conclude that the administration of puberty blockers is essential.

The reversibility of puberty blockers is not really an important issue. Children who suffer from acute gender dysphoria are highly unlikely to desist as they get older as they have already experienced the condition for a number of years.

I would encourage everyone to read the full statement from the Pediatric Endocrine Society. They know a hell of a lot more than I do and I would trust their judgment over Laidlaw’s without further thought.

Dr. Michael K. Laidlaw is on a religious crusade to eradicate transgender people because their existence conflicts with scripture. Just how fucking stupid is that?

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.