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Bioethicist: Transgender Children Should Decide Whether to Transition

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Wesley J. Smith
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Here the bioethics journals go again — pushing transgender transitions for children.

In the current Journal of Medical Ethicswhich generally reflects mainstream bioethical thinking, a column argues that children should be able to decide for themselves whether to obtain gender-transition interventions such as puberty blocking — even if they are too immature to exercise meaningful decisional capacity.

It’s all about “subsidiary,” don’t you know. What is that? Read the subversive academic gobbledygook! From “Youth Should Decide:”

Decisional authority should devolve to the lowest level decision-maker [the child] consistent with ensuring respect of the patient’s best interests, understood in light of their gender subjectivity, values, cares, and commitments. Gender subjectivity refers to the totality of one’s phenomenological experiences of oneself as gendered, which includes gender embodiment, and forms the basis of gender identity.

Translation: Parents be damned! Our ideology holds that children with gender dysphoria should be transitioned to their “true sex.” Thus, parents need to be shoved out of the way to allow the child to get what he, she, or they — as the case may be — wants:

At the first step, youths must demonstrate minimal autonomy such that the resulting decision can be said to be theirs…We may formulate the following three criteria: (1) the patient is guided by their gender subjectivity and other values, cares, and commitments; (2) they act based on reasons prescribed by their gender subjectivity, values, cares, and commitments; (3) they are open to seeing reasons to the contrary [meaning merely that “they do not have to be open to accepting these reasons but that they are capable “of seeing them”]. These criteria are easily met, and will normally obtain in youths who have reached the age when puberty blockers are first offered.

Remember, we are talking about a biological process that normally begins in girls between eight–13 and at nine14 in boys!

What if there’s the rare case of a child so immature that they can’t even “see” the reasons for objecting to thwarting their body’s natural maturation, which can cause deleterious health consequences, such as disruption of bone mineralization? Why, based on the ideology or beliefs of transgender activists and doctor ideologues — and even though many gender-dysphoric children return to identifying with their biological sex as they mature — let kids decide anyway!

Since initiating gender-affirming care in adolescence seems reasonable to countless trans adults and medical experts, it cannot be readily assumed that higher level decision-makers [parents and judges] are better positioned to decide in the patient’s best interests. Indeed, how would we know with any certainty that the patient’s decision is not in their best interests? Accordingly, only in the rarest and most extreme of cases will the subprinciple of superiority apply. In all other cases, trans youth should be afforded decisional authority over initiating gender-affirming care.

It isn’t just transgender issues, but all “definitional care”:

Although this paper focuses on gender-affirming care, this conclusion would seemingly hold for many other forms of definitional care such as abortion.

Why does this matter? Radical and destructive public policies are pushed by radical ideologues — and then, as here, legitimized by co-believers in the “professional literature.” These articles, in turn, influence judges deciding relevant cases, government public-policy makers/bureaucrats, media, and popular culture.

And do you know who gets excluded from all of this? Non-compliant parents, who are seen as the enemy.

Why? Because they are the primary impediments to the ongoing revolution that seeks to obliterate the values of Judeo/Christian civilization, which of necessity, requires co-opting child-rearing.

Editor’s Note: This post has been emended since its original publication.