Medical treatment

Govt. Abbott, reconsider your position on the medical treatment of transgender children

I am a physician who has always had a keen interest in the field of genetics and birth defects. In medical school, I was amazed and touched by the magnificence of creating a human being. From a single egg and a single sperm, a human being with all the potential in the world would come into existence.

I was also impressed and touched by the fortune that most of us as parents and individuals enjoy when all goes well with this magnificent development. I have seen how devastating and painful it can be when that genetic dice roll that God gives to each parent at the time of conception does not follow the usual embryology.

I met Amber (pseudonym) in my fifth year of practice. It was 1996. She was 18 and born with genetic mosaicism. She had two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome, and was born with ambiguous genitalia. This means that her external and internal gender parts were not representative of either gender. When she was 2 years old, she underwent gender reassignment surgery. As was the practice at the time, she was transformed into a woman because it was technically easier, in her specific case, to surgically create the female appearance of the external genitalia and internal organs.

But Amber had been disowned by her family. Since the age of 7, she knew she was in the wrong body. She identified with all the activities and interests of boys her age and was not interested in the “typical” behaviors of girls her age. It only got worse with puberty. She came to me in tears, just asking me to listen to her story – because no one wanted to listen to her. He was told to visit a priest and ask for forgiveness. She was frequently beaten when she went out. There were no resources to help her.

So began my career studying gender dysphoria. I studied and attended medical conferences. What I say is not politically motivated but motivated by a desire to communicate the deep pain that these human beings and their families are suffering. His story is not as rare as Gov. Greg Abbott’s “opinion” would suggest.

Each person’s story is unique, nuanced, and does not lend itself to a statewide policy that attempts to punish any parent, teacher, or caregiver of any kind who may be active in daily life. of a human being with gender dysphoria.

You cannot wish for this. You cannot legislate against that. As we learn more about the Human Genome Project and discover the devastating impact that even a single molecule on a single strand of transposed DNA can affect human development, I am absolutely certain that with over time, the genetic sources of gender dysphoria be elucidated. Indeed, active research in the field of neurobiology identifies the places in our brain where gender identification is located.

I’m not a lawyer, but it appears that an Attorney General’s “advice” is not the same as “the law,” as Abbott states in his letter.

This decision is politically motivated. The intense care and caution that all of us who deal with people and their families with gender dysphoria issues strive for is not. It’s hard enough for all involved without the burden of government overreach.

When is enough, enough? When do government excesses so widely condemned by political parties become a liability in an election?

Governor, I have always admired your remarkable grace and courage never to mention your injury or its impact on your life as a burden but as a challenge to be overcome. Through your leadership, you have created a huge breakthrough in the cause of spinal cord injuries. Please use this grace and leadership to reconsider your position and rescind this missive. These human beings received a set of genetic material that impacted the rest of their lives, just as your accident impacted yours. God bless you for being a role model.

Dr. Timothy C. Hlavinka practices urology in San Antonio.