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  1. #1
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    Boston Doctor Offers Sex Change Treatments To Kids As Young As 7

    Boston’s Children’s Hospital bills itself as the hospital for children — and now it’s also the hospital for children who want a sex change, a procedure some critics are calling “barbaric.”
    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.
    more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,356592,00.html

  2. #2
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    I think ethically we are not at a point where it is acceptable to do this. I'm surprised he still has a medical license.

  3. #3
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    Wow, WR. What a fascinating story. It is interesting to me that this type of treatment has been available in Europe for w hile.

    I definitely do not believe transgendered people have a mental disorder. I have two transgendered friends (both women who were born male) and they both knew by 7 that they inhabited a body that felt all wong for them.

    Still - that is so young and I'm sure this will be very controversial. However, if I had a transgendered child, I would be willing to see what they could offer to assist my child medically.

    I recall seeing a 60 minutes story about a little boy who felt and acted like a little girl. He was about this age (7 or 8). His whole family was on the show and I was blown away by how loving and accepting the parents were of him. It was beauitiful. I cannot recall if he was having any medical treatment.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by invictus View Post
    I think ethically we are not at a point where it is acceptable to do this. I'm surprised he still has a medical license.
    Welcome, invictus!

    What are the problematic ethics from your point of view? Do they mainly rest in the fact that children could receive this treatment? Do you think there are ethical consideratiosn when an adult has sex change procedures?

  5. #5
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    Here's an interesting article about the perspective of a transgendered child and her family.

    http://www.gaylesbiantimes.com/?id=10795

  6. #6
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    I'm also surprised he has a medical license still. I don't think he should.

    I can accept that this is a real issue (although the one real life case I know about, it took very little time after the surgery he'd waited his whole life to get, to find out it was a mistake) - but to go on the word of a 7 year old - what do you do if they grow out of it? How do you know that everything won't change when puberty hits?

    This is too big of a deal to be done on the word and opinion - even if totally honest, even if held for a few years - of a child. I think it should be mandatory to wait until 18. Maybe a little before, if they've been sure for a very long time - but this is no small decision. A child who feels this way can dress crossgender and behave that way, and take a new name - but surgery - no. I don't think it's ethically right.

  7. #7
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    My concern would be that a parent would or could abuse this.
    Like one who wanted a girl but got a boy.

    I had a transgender friend and he recalls how his mother use to dress him in girl clothes when he was a child.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Details View Post
    I'm also surprised he has a medical license still. I don't think he should.

    I can accept that this is a real issue (although the one real life case I know about, it took very little time after the surgery he'd waited his whole life to get, to find out it was a mistake) - but to go on the word of a 7 year old - what do you do if they grow out of it? How do you know that everything won't change when puberty hits?

    This is too big of a deal to be done on the word and opinion - even if totally honest, even if held for a few years - of a child. I think it should be mandatory to wait until 18. Maybe a little before, if they've been sure for a very long time - but this is no small decision. A child who feels this way can dress crossgender and behave that way, and take a new name - but surgery - no. I don't think it's ethically right.
    Yikes! Yes - the age thing is the hard part. In the other link I posted about the family with the 11-year-old they do get into some detail about why they want to start homrone therapy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by southcitymom View Post
    Wow, WR. What a fascinating story. It is interesting to me that this type of treatment has been available in Europe for w hile.

    I definitely do not believe transgendered people have a mental disorder. I have two transgendered friends (both women who were born male) and they both knew by 7 that they inhabited a body that felt all wong for them.

    Still - that is so young and I'm sure this will be very controversial. However, if I had a transgendered child, I would be willing to see what they could offer to assist my child medically.

    I recall seeing a 60 minutes story about a little boy who felt and acted like a little girl. He was about this age (7 or 8). His whole family was on the show and I was blown away by how loving and accepting the parents were of him. It was beauitiful. I cannot recall if he was having any medical treatment.
    I too know a transgender person... and she is very happy now that she's changed. But! She is an adult and had time to think this change through, to get counciling, advice, etc.

    A child cannot nor should not make this decision especially one as young as 7 years old... maybe if they're in their teens... but I support more an ADULT making this kind of choice.

    “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.

  10. #10
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    I have no problems with transgenders but I think this should not be an option for anyone under the age of 18.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by southcitymom View Post
    Welcome, invictus!

    What are the problematic ethics from your point of view? Do they mainly rest in the fact that children could receive this treatment? Do you think there are ethical consideratiosn when an adult has sex change procedures?
    When made this comment I was speaking societally and not for myself.

    To be quite honest I am torn about children receiving sex changes. I can easily see both sides and I am of the mind that you are either born a girl or a boy emotionally and sometimes the body does not follow suit. You can change the body but you can't change the fundamental emotions that lie behind believing you are female or male. I also believe there is that even though a child may believe that they should have been born of the opposite sex there may be a way for a child to grow to love exactly how they were born and accept themselves for being different. Allowing for a sex change before this is able to happen is where I find the grey area. Who is to say what is the right age? I certainly would not even attempt.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by invictus View Post
    When made this comment I was speaking societally and not for myself.

    To be quite honest I am torn about children receiving sex changes. I can easily see both sides and I am of the mind that you are either born a girl or a boy emotionally and sometimes the body does not follow suit. You can change the body but you can't change the fundamental emotions that lie behind believing you are female or male. I also believe there is that even though a child may believe that they should have been born of the opposite sex there may be a way for a child to grow to love exactly how they were born and accept themselves for being different. Allowing for a sex change before this is able to happen is where I find the grey area. Who is to say what is the right age? I certainly would not even attempt.

    Thanks. That's a great post and you and I are very much of a like mind regarding the issue. I mean I have a 7-year-old and I do not consider him anywhere near able to make such a decision as this. If a child gets sex change procedures at a very young age, it will always be the parents making the decision for the child. And that would be a big decision to be wrong on.

  13. #13
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    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.
    more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,356592,00.html
    This seems a rational approach in some cases. Counseling would indeed have to precede any medical treatment.

    Unless the article mentions to the contrary, he is not advocating early decision-making nor sex changes...just an option to delay the onset of puberty to give the child more time to come into hir own as well as to avoid future obstacles should s/he choose change surgery later in life.

  14. #14
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    That is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard, he should lose his license. A child is not old enough, does not have the knowledge at that age to make such a life altering decision. If they can wait until they are at least 18, then that's another story. Regardless of how well a child may know or feel like the opposite gender they are, it is best they wait until they are an adult to make that decision.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeoW333 View Post
    That is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard, he should lose his license. A child is not old enough, does not have the knowledge at that age to make such a life altering decision. If they can wait until they are at least 18, then that's another story. Regardless of how well a child may know or feel like the opposite gender they are, it is best they wait until they are an adult to make that decision.
    I agree....
    A child might have feelings at 7, 8, 9 or more...but as one poster put it, how do we know they WON'T grow out of it?

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