By Jonathon Van Maren
By far the most terrifying aspect of the transgender phenomenon is the spectre of government intervening to force parents to allow their children to “transition.” As young people increasingly inhabit digital communities populated exclusively by their peers and impervious to adults, transgenderism is becoming a social phenomenon. I have spoken to many parents who have been stunned and devastated when one of their children comes out as transgender (in some cases, the parents were totally unaware of the fact that their children were consuming transgender content online or being taught gender ideology at schools—in one case, a mother had two transgender children.) This has led to inevitable face-offs between parents desperate to prevent their children from permanently mutilating or altering their bodies, and trans activists and their judicial and political allies.
In British Columbia, one prominent case has a father being forced to refer to his child by the gender of their choice, rather than the pronouns that reflect his child’s biological sex. Besides the compelled speech issue, it is grim to consider that the courts are willing to intervene on behalf of the gender ideologues rather than the parents. In that context, a recent article from the Journal of Medical Ethics titled “Medically assisted gender affirmation: when children and parents disagree” is particularly concerning. Authored by Samuel Dublin, Megan Lane, Shane Morrison, Asa Radix, Uri Belkind, Christian Vercler, and David Inwards-Breland, the article lays out how and why parents should be cut out of the equation if they appear resistant to pursuing “transition.” From the abstract:
Institutional guidelines for transgender children and adolescent minors fail to adequately address a critical juncture of care of this population: how to proceed if a minor and their parents have disagreements concerning their gender-affirming medical care. Through arguments based on ethical, paediatric, adolescent and transgender health research, we illustrate ethical dilemmas that may arise in treating transgender and gender diverse youth. We discuss three potential avenues for providing gender-affirming care over parental disagreement: legal carve-outs to parental consent, the mature minor doctrine and state intervention for neglect. Our discussion approaches this parent–child disagreement in a manner that prioritises the developing autonomy of transgender youth in the decision-making process surrounding medically assisted gender affirmation. We base our arguments in the literature surrounding the risks and benefits of gender-affirming therapy in transgender children and the existing legal basis for recognising minors’ decision-making authority in certain medical situations.
Got that? The authors don’t even consider the fact that the parents might know their children well enough to have reasonable objections to proposed “treatments”, and accept at face value the unproven and dangerous claims of transgender activists (who, incidentally, work to destroy the academic careers of anyone who questions anything they have to say.) Instead, they suggest that parental consent be nullified in situations where it is most needed, that we claim children who are not old enough to vote or smoke or drive are “mature” enough to permanently alter their bodies, or that—and this one is the most terrifying—the state be given the power to intervene and take children away from their parents for “neglect.”
This might seem crazy, but pay attention. The Journal of Medical Ethics is not some small activist blog—we are now seeing people lay out the case for why the government should be allowed to remove children from Christian homes at the behest of the LGBT movement and their increasingly radical claims. If the last decade has taught us anything, it should be that we must be paying very careful attention when the LGBT movement announces that it plans to do something.