Boy, 12, Given Questionable Sex-Change Therapy after “Diagnosed” as Transsexual
By Gudrun Schultz
VIENNA, Austria, January 29, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A boy of 12 began receiving radical hormone treatment to stop the natural development of male puberty and prepare his body for a sex-change operation, after doctors and psychiatrists diagnosed him as transsexual.
The boy, now 14—called Kim instead of his original name of Tim—convinced his parents and medical professionals that he was “in the wrong body” and needed to receive treatment to prevent him from developing into an adult male, the UK Telegraph reported earlier today. His parents said they initially assumed their son’s desire to be a girl was a temporary phase, but after psychiatrists supported the child’s request for therapy, they accepted the decision to pursue physical treatment for a desire they said had been expressed by their son since he was a toddler.
Dr. Bern Meyenburg, head of a clinic for child and adolescent identity problems at Frankfurt University, diagnosed the boy as genuinely transsexual, writing, “Kim is a mentally well-developed child who appears happy and balanced. There is no doubt of the determined wish, that was already detectable since early childhood. It would have been very wrong to let Kim grow up to be a man. It is rare to have such a clear-cut case.”
Dr. Achim Wuesthof, the doctor in charge of the boy’s hormone therapy at a clinic in Hamburg, said he and his colleagues, who evaluated the boy, thought it was best to start treatment as soon as possible, even though it is illegal to perform sex-change therapy on children under 16 in most European countries.
“To the best of my knowledge, Kim is the youngest sex change patient in the world. According to German law, two independent psychiatrists must confirm that the child is indeed transsexual and approve the sex change. Once that has been done, it is best to start as early as possible…[transsexuals] are not freaks, nor do they suffer mental illness. They are simply trapped in the wrong bodies. That is why it is best to help them as early as possible and reduce the trauma for them and their families."
The doctors acknowledged that it is extremely difficult to distinguish a “genuine” transsexual personality from a gender identity crisis deemed temporary. Dr. Meyenburg referred to a previous case where a 15-year-old girl requested a sex-change operation, but during counseling revealed that her desire to become a male stemmed from the brutal sexual abuse she had suffered from her father.
A leading US psychiatrist who conducted an in-depth investigation into the results of sex-change therapy concluded that the psychiatric community was cooperating with mental illness by diagnosing transsexualism as a legitimate physical condition. “We psychiatrists… would do better to concentrate on trying to fix their minds and not their genitalia,” Dr. Paul McHugh, University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University wrote in First Things, 2004.
“I have witnessed a great deal of damage from sex-reassignment,” wrote Dr. McHugh, in an article titled ‘Surgical Sex. “The children transformed from their male constitution into female roles suffered prolonged distress and misery as they sensed their natural attitudes. Their parents usually lived with guilt over their decisions—second-guessing themselves and somewhat ashamed of the fabrication, both surgical and social, they had imposed on their sons.”
“As for the adults who came to us claiming to have discovered their ‘true’ sexual identity and to have heard about sex-change operations, we psychiatrists have been distracted from studying the causes and natures of their mental misdirections by preparing them for surgery and for a life in the other sex. We have wasted scientific and technical resources and damaged our professional credibility by collaborating with madness rather than trying to study, cure, and ultimately prevent it.”
Legally, the final stage of the procedure to remove the male genitalia using cosmetic surgery cannot take place until the boy turns 18. If he should change his mind prior to the surgery, the effects of the hormone treatment could still be reversed, although the risks involved—both in treatment and reversal—are not well know for such a young patient.
Read Dr. McHugh’s Surgical Sex in First Things:
See related LifeSiteNews coverage:
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VATICAN RULES ‘SEX-CHANGE’ OPERATION NOT VALID
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