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Less than two months ago, officials at Children’s Medical Center Dallas TelledA local website informed me that their program providing mental health services and hormone treatment to transgender children was essential for young people suffering from gender dysphoria.
Officials at the hospitals said that the program provides multi-level care for children and is considered the best in the country. First of its kind in SouthwestThis helped to reduce the “significant suffering and extraordinarily high suicide”Rates among transgender kids
Last week, the GENder Care, Interdisciplinary Support program was officially dissolved.
GENECIS, also known as the program, has been criticised by activists in recent weeks. They organized protests against hospital board members and accused them of child abuse.
The activists’ allegations echo broad claims Republican Texas officials and political candidates have made this year about the gender-affirming health care that transgender children receive — assertions that medical experts say are false because doctors are not allowing children to go through with irreversible medical treatments.
Healthcare providers have been subject to harassment “trying to uphold their Hippocratic oath to save lives”Is “heartbreaking,”Ricardo Martinez is the CEO of Equality Texas.
“Accessing healthcare can be a courageous act for many LGBTQ+ people because of how difficult it is to find providers who are knowledgeable about our needs and the poor treatment we have experienced by insurers and/or providers in the past,”Martinez made the statement in a statement.
Officials at the children’s hospital and UT Southwestern Medical Center, which jointly operated the program, declined Friday to say what prompted them to stop GENECIS, other than to say it would benefit the patients and their families for privacy reasons. In a statement, they stated that current patients will continue to receive hormones and mental healthcare treatments they received before the program ended.
“Pediatric endocrinology, psychiatry and adolescent and young adult care coordinated through this program are now managed and coordinated through each specialty department,”According to the statement. “We do not anticipate any interruption of care or services for our existing patients who already receive care with these specialty teams.”
Unlike the public fanfare that accompanied the program’s opening in 2015, last Friday’s closure of the program as it has operated came with no official announcement.
“The choice to remove branding for this care offers a more private, insulated experience for patients and their families,”The joint statement.
References to the GENECIS program, which was under the umbrella of endocrinology at the children’s hospital, have been removed from the facility’s website.
Officials from the hospital stated in the statement that they will see new patients. “appropriate specialty departments”Counseling and mental health services are also offered.
“We accept new patients for diagnosis, including evaluation of gender dysphoria, but will not initiate patients on hormone or puberty suppression therapy for only this diagnosis,”According to the statement.
The program was criticised amid anti-transgender sentiments in Texas. Transgender student athletes were prohibited from participating in school sports teams that are compatible with their gender identity by lawmakers this year. After unsuccessful legislative attempts to ban GENECIS treatments and define child abuse as such, the new law was passed.
These portrayals have been resisted by medical experts. Leading Texas health care organizations have stated that gender-affirming care is the best method to provide care for transgender children. Puberty blockers are a medical treatment that slows down puberty and can be reversed. This treatment has been approved for children since decades.
Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Texas Department of Family Protective Services earlier this year to determine if some gender confirmation surgeries for transgender kids are child abuse. But medical experts say the surgeries Abbott cited — orchiectomies, hysterectomies and mastectomies — rarely, if ever, are part of gender affirming care for transgender children.
That request came after former state Sen. Don Huffines, who will challenge Abbott in next year’s Republican primary, criticized the governor for not doing enough to protect Texas children from “mutilation.”
GENECIS provided services to families through referrals from psychologists and pediatricians, as well as families contacting them directly.
After a thorough screening process, the clinic offered hormone replacement therapy to older kids. It also provided counseling and mental health services without any medical intervention.
The clinic did not offer any surgical options or gender confirmation surgery for children or adults.
The Texas Tribune reached out and reached out to several program managers and employees. They did not respond to our requests for comment.
In September, hospital officials The Dallas ExpressIn an email, the program was mentioned as being needed in the local community.
“With a suicide attempt rate of up to 41% for children and adolescents with gender dysphoria, there is a need for comprehensive care for these youth,”The email was quoted as stating. “Given the significant suffering and extraordinarily high suicide rate in these children, offering a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach is needed to help treat this medical problem.”
Areana Quiñones, executive director for the Texas nonprofit organization Doctors For Change, has defined gender-affirming care as judgment-free, individualized care oriented toward understanding and appreciating a person’s gender.
Counselors and family members often work with providers to ensure they have all they need to navigate health care.
The gender-affirming model allows for more time to allow children to socially transition rather than focusing solely on medical treatment. A social transformation is the process by which a child affirms their identity. A social transition could be the granting of a child who was born a male to wear clothing, grow hair, or use another name that better suits their identity.
Sometimes, the child needs more medical support. To give transgender kids time to decide what permanent treatment they want, hormone blockers or puberty are used.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates among transgender youth are three times higher than those of their cisgender counterparts. recent studiesU.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
LGBTQ advocates claimed that the mere thought that some of the GOP bills pushed through the Legislature this session could become law caused mental health problems for transgender individuals. Transgender Texans spent their nights and early mornings urging legislators, rallying parents and lobbying them.
This report was written by James Pollard, a staff writer.
Disclosure: Equality Texas, UT Southwestern Medical Center, and Equality Texas have been financial supporters for The Texas Tribune. This non-partisan, non-partisan news organization is partially funded by donations from members, foundations, and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters are not involved in the Tribune’s journalism. Here is a complete listing.