‘Sex change’ for 10-year-old boy ok says Australian judge
SYDNEY, Tue Apr 19, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Family Court Justice Linda Dessau, who has a history of approving “sex change” procedures for gender-confused youngsters in Australia, has issued an order approving the procedures for a 10-year-old boy.
The court was told that the boy, known only as Jamie, had been dressed as a girl for the past two years, had been allowed to use the girls’ toilet at school and was “presenting as a very attractive young girl with long, blonde hair.”
A medical expert said when he first saw Jamie in February 2009, the boy “looked convincingly female in every way,” except his genitals.
Jamie’s parents and doctors said they feared that early onset of puberty could lead to self-harm or suicide and supported an urgent application for the child to receive a sex change.
Judge Dessau agreed to immediately approve the procedure when the court was told the 10-year-old was experiencing accelerated puberty and had already reached the development of a 14-year-old boy.
“The rapid onset of her male puberty has demanded some urgent decisions,” the judge said in her decision published April 15.
“The medical practitioners are united . . . Were (Jamie) to become a girl with a deep voice, facial hair, a growing penis, body hair and the large limbs of a male, she would be fundamentally distressed by those developments, being so drastically at odds with her self-image and her presentation, and would face very significant risks of behavioural issues and self-harm.”
Judge Dessau also ordered that the court reconvene to examine Jamie’s “feminization” when he is 16, before “stage-two” estrogen therapy begins.
In December last year, Judge Dessau approved another “emergency application” by a 16-year-old boy’s parents to begin drug treatment to try to turn him into a girl.
Justice Dessau said that the boy, “O”, was mature enough to know what he wanted and was backed by his parents, six specialists, and the boy’s independent lawyer, according to a Herald Sun report.
In 2005, the same court “sparked outrage when it allowed a 13-year-old girl ‘Alex,’ from a troubled family, to begin hormone treatment to try to become a male. Last year Alex, age 17, was given permission to have a double mastectomy,” the Herald reported, adding, “In another case a girl, 12, was also allowed to take hormones” to begin her “gender reassignment.”
Australian Christian Lobby managing director Jim Wallace says he is “aghast” at Justice Dessau’s decision to order sex change therapy for Jamie, who would become the youngest Australian child ever to be subjected to the procedure, reports the Australian.
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, doctors said, although the risks involved — both in treatment and reversal — are not well know for someone so young.
One leading U.S. psychiatrist who conducted an in-depth investigation into the results of sex-change therapy has 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.”
The full text of Dr. McHugh’s article, “Surgical Sex” is available here.