Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sex reassignment surgery on children in Boston

I read on another blog that Fox news reported that a doctor at Children's Hospital in performed sex reassignment surgery on a 7 year old boy. The sad thing? This blogger believed the story! So did her readers. I mean, you gotta wonder just how much thought was put into this story that people fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

First, um... illegal in MA.
Second... who the hell is paying for said surgery? No insurance company would do it.
Third... before sex reassignment surgery is performed there is a whole litany of things the patient has to do, including living as a person of the opposite gender for a year, taking hormones, dealing with therapists, etc. When did a 7 year old have TIME for this?
Fourth... Since the 'patient' hadn't even hit pre-puberty yet, the surgery couldn't possibly be done because the hormones required couldn't be given yet.

In searching for the "story" I couldn't find it on Google. I did find a story from Fox about a 12 year old boy that became a 14 year old girl. Gee, do you think he lives on the island on Lost with the time displacement problems? Oh, and it happened in Germany, not Boston.

Now, what IS true is that Boston Children's Hospital has a new center dealing with gender management. This clinic helps kids that feel that they might be the wrong gender to use hormones to change their growth rate. The example given is a boy who wanted gender reassignment that was supposed to grow to 6'4", but with the growth hormone therapy his growth was stopped at 5'11", still very tall for a girl, but not unmanageable.

This is a FAR CRY from gender reassignment surgery.

But let's look at how Fox news covered this story, which is about a new medical facility opening up.

Dr. Norman Spack, a pediatric specialist at the hospital, has launched a clinic for transgendered kids — boys who feel like girls, girls who want to be boys — and he’s opening his doors to patients as young as 7.

Spack offers his younger patients counseling and drugs that delay the onset of puberty. The drugs stop the natural flood of hormones that would make it difficult to have a sex alteration later in life, allowing patients more time to decide whether they want to make the change.

Spack also offers some teenagers hormone therapy, a drastic step that changes the way they grow and develop. While the effects of drug treatments can be stopped, long-term hormone therapy can be irreversible, causing permanent infertility in both sexes.


McHugh said gender reassignment for children harkens back to the dark ages, when choir boys were castrated to retain their high-pitched voices. "It’s barbaric,” he said.

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a legal charity affiliated with the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, says that transgender disorder is a mental disorder, not a medical one, and that it should be treated with behavior modification, not hormones or surgery.

“Just as you don’t give liposuction to an anorexic, you don’t do sexual reassignment surgery on men who think that they are women and vice versa,” Staver said.

“At some point in childhood," McHugh said, "many children role play as the opposite sex, but it is a social, not a medical issue.”

Wow, isn't that neutral? Heh. The implications are that what Dr. Spack is doing is wrong and against humanity. But really? The gender management center is just doing what many other doctors around the world do, help kids deal with their feelings about gender mistakes. It's not unusual, in fact even Oprah has done a story or two about gender mistakes.

Let's get back to the initial blog. The blogger misread or misheard the report. There was no 7 year old child. When I commented that perhaps the blogger might check the sources, her response that was that I was "anti-Bush" (and who isn't these days?) so my opinion was negated. Oy. What can one say about that? But what bothered me is that she had a bunch of commenters that believed this story. Really? How? It was so obviously fishy. And, of course, consider the source! Fox News... we lie often to always!

When I went to Google to check out just where this story came from, imagine my shock and surprise to find all the links were from dubious, disreputable sources. Or Christian sources. Or sources with an agenda of bitching and moaning that society is going to hell in a handbag and it's all the fault of the LIBERALS. Because us liberals do nothing all day long but think up ways to screw up society.

I just wish people would not pass along urban rumors as fact. This story isn't fact. Calling Children's Hospital and asking would have quelled the rumors. But this blogger didn't do that. She believed Fox freaking "news".

I'm so dismayed.

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Blogger ~Jess said...

It's amazing how willing people are to believe anything?! Still rather a disturbing thought, that children (who don't really know themselves yet) are given such life changing options.

22/5/08 11:09 AM  
Blogger PinksandBluesGirls said...

Can you believe what people will actually think is real!? It's a little sad... you know what I mean? Thanks for posting about this... I'm going to make sure my sister reads this today... we love your blog!

22/5/08 12:02 PM  
Blogger Karen_thrifty said...

Kelly, the author of the article, wasn't the one that made the comment about you being a Bush-hater. It was me. I saw the comment that you made on TM and I thought it was rude, so I checked out your blog and read this:

"My love for Keith Olbermann continues to grow. Goodness me, he is the man of my dreams. Smart, funny, and the kind of Bush hater that I most admire: one that can make Bush seem even smaller, stupider, and more insignificant as a human being than we already think he is."

I've seen plenty of information on CNN, CBS, as well as other networks that I know was not true. My point was that none of us can believe everything we hear on the news, just as we can't believe everything we hear about George Bush and the war.

23/5/08 10:45 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Margalit, I am so glad you are reading our blog. Yours is quite interesting. JFTR,

1: What is illegal in MA? There is a lot done in the name of research. I am glad that kids are getting h elp but I think allowing gender change of any kind before the age of adulthood should be done with extreme caution and "opening his door" to patients as young as 7 should be looked at more closely if he is considering the process.

2:Parents would have to pay for he surgery since it is more than likely not covered by any insurance plan. So it is ultimately up to the parents and doctor as to whether the surgery would take place.

3:I totally agree! A 7 yr old doesn't have the time nor mental capacity to understand the ramifications.

4:That would be the doctor's call. He was the one who works with patients that young. My question would be how young does he consider to be too young?

As for the sources you found on Google, "duboius, disreputable sources" is an opinion and entirely inflamatory. That you lump "or Christian" in with that does not further your cause in a manor which implies impartiality.

As far as who isn't "Anit-Bush". well I could give you close to a million individual names if you would like to have them as to the service men and women who are proud to serve under our current commander in Chief. As a matter of fact. I will work on getting you that list so that you can hear personally from those who are proud to be Americans today under his presidency.

And just for the record, I do not agree with him on everything. He has done some things that I do not agree with but I will gladly pray for him and his leadership which I stand behind. I shiver to think what would have happened to our country had he not been the president on Sept 11th.

23/5/08 9:53 PM  

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