Bioethicist: Block Transgender Puberty Even If Parents Say No

Children play on a giant rainbow flag as they take part in a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride parade in Taipei, Taiwan, October 28, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu – RC1844E08460

I am posting an essay in National Review by Wesley Smith in full: The American Journal of Bioethics is a mainstream professional publication with wide distribution among members of the bioethics movement and within the medical intelligentsia. If advocacy appears in AJOB, it is considered respectable; it is considered defendable; it is considered justifiable.Which is why the article I am about to describe should alarm the hell out of everyone. A bioethicist named Maura Priest, from Arizona State University, argues that children with gender dysphoria have the right to have their puberty blocked medically — and that if parents don’t consent, the state should push them aside and do it anyway. From, “Transgender Children and the Right to Transition:”

Her argument runs as follows:

1. The state has a duty to protect minors from serious harm inflicted by their caretakers.
2. Harm that leads to suicide is a serious harm.
3. Transgender youth with non-supportive parents are at a high risk of psychological harm leading to suicidal tendencies.
4. Therefore, the state should pay special attention to, and has a duty to protect, transgender minors from psychological harm inflicted via their caretakers.

Notice that the concept of “harm” is turned on its head:  Parents are harming their children who identify as the other sex for refusing to permit radical, body-altering transitioning interventions wanted by the child before puberty, i.e., long before children have decision-making capacity. Why, refusing to block puberty promotes suicide! This is utterly nuts. Parents can love and support their gender-dysphoric children in many ways beyond yielding powerlessly to a child’s desires. A gender dysphoric kid’s suffering and despair can be compassionately addressed while refusing to allow their child to be injected with strong drugs and hormones.

Besides, blocking puberty is itself a harm. It should be seen as unethical human experimentation, the long-term health consequences of which cannot be known given that it has only been clinically applied for the last few years. Preventing the natural development of secondary sex characteristics and normal maturation can also cause immediate deleterious side effects, such as a loss of bone density. And guess what: Some dysphoric children move past their other-sex gender identification and go on to live happily as the sex they were born biologically.

That could happen less if Priest gets her way. Rather than treating the condition, she would reinforce gender dysphoria in those so afflicted.Which is why Priest argues that the state should propagandize dysphoric children to want this radical intervention, and moreover, to strip objecting parents of their right to decide:

Her strategy for defending the formal argument above revolves around arguing in favor of two normative claims:
1. “Transgender youth should have access to treatment that is not dependent upon parental approval.
2. There should be state-sponsored, publicly available information regarding gender dysphoria, transgender identification, and means of appropriate treatment. More specifically, Priest argues that schools should propagandize for transgenderism and provide medical and psychological interventions without parental consent: “Implementing this policy only is half the battle. Transgender youth without supportive parents are not helped unless they access health care clinics and counseling that will help with the transition. Hence, there is an additional duty of the state to help facilitate sharing this information with vulnerable youths. I argued that one of the first places this should be done is in public schools. In addition, information should be available at publicly funded health clinics.”

Eventually, as you knew she would, the ironically named Priest shouts her bigotry against traditional faith values: “One objection to my proposal is simply a concern about the intrusion it imposes on the autonomy of the family. Imagine that parents have religious values against children expressing transgender dress and behavior. Are not parents allowed to raise their kids according to their own religious values? And if so, how can I argue that parents must be forced not only to accept, but to facilitate, transition?The mistake here is in thinking that parents have rights to raise their children according to their religious values, full stop. Like nearly all rights, the right of parents to raise children according to their own values is not absolute. Rather, parents have such authority up to and until the point at which a given decision or practice threatens serious harm. According to some religious sects, after all, girls who are raped should be put to death. Obviously, parents have no right to do this regardless of whether doing so accords with their religion.”

Good grief. Refusing to allow your child to be the subject of experimental interventions is equivalent morally and should be legally, she says, to killing a child who was raped? That’s just flat-out nuts. Don’t just roll your eyes and say this will never happen. Bioethics radicals intend to impose their views in law, medical ethics, and public policy. And as I wrote above, AJOB isn’t a fringe publication. By publishing Priest’s piece as a “target” article, accompanied by shorter commentaries supporting or disagreeing with her advocacy, the editors are declaring that advocacy to push parents of children with gender dysphoria aside in deciding how to care for and treat their disturbed children is a respectable argument.

Bioethics is growing increasingly radical. Its most visible advocacy organs increasingly promote hard, ideologically leftwing and authoritarian policies — such as urging that doctors be forced to perform abortions — not to mention, as in Priest’s piece, advocacy that is stridently insane. We follow these so-called “experts” at society’s peril.

Racism of self-driving cars. What next?

An article by Tyler Huckabee in Relevant Magazine starts with the subheading: “A recent study suggests humanity’s old issues with racial bias won’t just disappear with new technology. It’s easy to start fretting about the coming robo-takeover and all its attendant Terminator and I, Robot-esque predictions about how artificial intelligence is coming for humanity. But for the moment, the real concerns about new technology aren’t so different from the old concerns: systemic bias against people of color.

Researchers recognize that people of color have a 5 percent greater chance of being struck by a self-driving car than a white person, but the problem is in the technology not in the latent racism of the developers. To be fair, Huckabee does toss in the caveat that the designers of self-driving cars aren’t meaning to be racist, but “their own implicit biases work their way into the algorithms they create.” What exactly is the issue with the algorithms? The cars have more trouble distinguishing dark objects against the background, especially at night, than lighter objects. No shit Sherlock, as duffers like me used to say when stating the obvious to the oblivious. This is “systemic bias against people of color?” That it’s harder for an inanimate sensor to see something dark against a dark background than something lighter against a dark background??? Michael Jackson must have realized that a long time ago.

Once you try to extend an issue into all kinds of irrelevant situations, like baptizing a matter of physics with the language of racial grievance, you end up trivializing the issue. In more direct language, when you start talking systemic bias against people of color when sensors are limited by laws of physics, you begin to lose people who would have been sympathetic to the problem. That may be the crux of why people like me simply turn off my attention when I see or hear claims of racism: Oversaturation, the boy who cried wolf syndrome. If you want to say, “aha, you’re a racist looking for an excuse to ignore racism”, go ahead. Nothing I have ever said or done meets any definition of racism, but just to be sure, you go ahead and define racism.

Here are some common definitions: prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior; the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. The operant phrase is based on the belief. Belief is the operant word. How do you know what someone else believes, short of their stating beliefs in words, oral or written? You don’t! Race grievance hustlers, including the Mediated Reality establishment, would no doubt say they can infer what you believe by your actions and words they deem racist, but it’s their inference, not proof of anything.

Now that self driving cars are racist, what isn’t? Inference was never so easy!

Turning good citizens bad through education.

first generation citizens

I am leaving the words of Dennis Prager unadulterated: Almost every immigrant is another vote for the Democratic Party. The only exceptions are some Europeans who crave individual liberty, and people fleeing socialist and communist dictatorships, such as those of the Soviet Union, Cuba and Venezuela. First-generation Cubans became a bedrock of the Republican Party in Florida. So, too, first-generation immigrants from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe formed a strong conservative block. And today, one suspects most Venezuelans allowed to immigrate to the United States would find American millennials’ love affair with socialism ludicrous.

However, in every case, the words “first-generation” are operative. Once the children of first-generation immigrants from left-wing tyrannies attend American colleges (or, increasingly, American high schools), they are likely to become left-wing Democrats. Their parents’ horrific experience with big government — nearly always meaning left-wing government — becomes irrelevant to them. Take, for example, Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google. Brin, about the 10th-richest man in the world, with an estimated net worth of $50 billion, was born in the Soviet Union, which he and his family fled, immigrating to the United States when he was 6 years old. Yet he is a man of the left who now censors PragerU videos and other conservative content and plays a major role in making Silicon Valley the closed left-wing world it is. Though his family fled the Soviet state, Soviet values have apparently influenced Brin more than American values have.

The problem with mass immigration into America has nothing to do with ethnicity or race; it is entirely about values. The proof is this: The problem is the same with “internal” immigration. New Yorkers immigrating to Florida and Californians immigrating to Texas and Arizona do to those states what Latin Americans do to America: They bring different values — specifically, left-wing values, starting with belief in big government. Next time someone labels your opposition to mass immigration “racist” or “xenophobic,” tell them you are equally opposed to New Yorkers immigrating to Florida and Californians immigrating to Arizona. And for the same reason: They bring with them the very values that caused them to flee. The only difference is Latin Americans are largely unaware of what they are doing; New Yorkers, Californians and other leftists who move to conservative states know exactly what they’re doing: voting for the government policies from which they fled.