A transgender clinic in Missouri that has come under fire for its alleged rush to prescribe hormone medications to children will stop the practice under a new state law.
Washington University’s Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital “will no longer prescribe puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones to minors for the purpose of gender reassignment,” the university announced Monday.
The center became a catalyst for state lawmakers in crafting the new law banning hormone therapy for minors under 18 after a whistleblower came forward in February alleging that doctors had distributed hormone medications to children who had their psychological problems have rarely been investigated.
A former caseworker at the clinic, Jamie Reed, said its practices were “morally and medically appalling” and would cause “permanent harm” to children because they failed to address the “red flags” of mental health problems, glossed over potential side effects and ignored the few that came later decided to make the transition.
The newly enacted law only provides an exception for patients who already received gender-confirming hormone medications before August 28th.
But the transgender center decided to end those services for all of its patients, new and old, because the law created a new legal right for minors who received the drugs, university officials said.
“This legal claim creates untenable liability for health care professionals and makes it untenable for us to continue to provide comprehensive transgender care for minor patients without subjecting the university and our providers to unacceptable levels of liability,” Washington University said said in a statement.
The law sets a minimum liability of $500,000.
The center will refer its current patients to other providers and said it was “disheartened” by the forced decision.
It will continue to provide education and psychological support for transgender children, as well as medical care for those over 18 years old.
Several patients at the clinic and their parents criticized Reed’s allegations, saying they did not take into account their own experiences. They added that she only worked on the administrative side and didn’t really see what was happening at doctor’s appointments.
Some of the former case manager’s allegations were later substantiated, but others were not confirmed during this investigation a New York Times investigation This included interviews with dozens of patients, parents, former employees and local health care providers, as well as more than 300 pages of documents.
The report found that the clinic often relied on outside therapists, some with little expertise in gender issues, to assess its young patients’ suitability for hormonal medications, and that the clinic did not care about its former patients such identified, little or no support was provided to transgender people.
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is investigating Reed’s claims and many Republicans in the state have seized on her whistleblower report.
The parent of a former patient at the transgender center blamed politicians for the closure of the hormone drug program.
“I hope they are very comfortable with the harm they are doing to transgender children,” said Kim Hutton, whose now-adult son received treatment. said the St. Louis Dispatch Monday. “Obviously our children are not worthy of care.”