Claire Dirks has a genetic neurodegenerative disease. Two years ago, her father, suffering from the same disease, chose euthanasia. In a webinar, Claire testifies about the impact of euthanasia on relatives. She describes her successive shocks: the announcement of her father’s choice, the speed of the procedure (1 month), the procedure itself (her father had 3 interviews with a psychologist via skype). Claire understands there are caregivers who defend life but deplores that very often the medical profession does not offer alternative options and at times even encourages the process. Euthanasia is not an alternative to suffering, which is part of life. Claire defends the audacity to live. Being ready to help and support remains a duty in our individualized society.
Established in 1989, Gender Identity Development Services of Tavistock Clinic had to close down in April 2022. Their services prescribed puberty blockers to more than 1000 children, many under 16 years of age, questioning their gender identity. A book written by Hannah Barnes, examines how the clinic shifted from examining distressed teenagers, using therapy to work out how best to help them, to becoming a conveyor belt to puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and drastic surgery. The book is a cautionary tale about the dangers of institutions putting profit over patient welfare and the importance of collecting and scrutinizing evidence. It also exposes the nervousness of clinicians in speaking up, despite growing concerns about the clinic’s direction, and the wilful failure to safeguard the wellbeing of children seeking help.
A proposed bill in Oregon would allow children of any age to obtain abortion, contraception, sterilization, and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases without parental consent. Oregon HB 2002 defines “reproductive health care” to include family planning, contraception, pregnancy termination services, fertility care, sterilization services, treatments for sexually transmitted infections and reproductive cancers, and any other health care and medical services related to reproductive health. Children, 15 or older, can also consent to gender-affirming treatment, including facial feminization surgery, which would be paid for by the Oregon Health Authority. Parents of children under 15 may be notified, but such communication would not be required. This bill is considered a blatant cultural imperialism and may lead to secession movements in some conservative eastern counties of Oregon.
Rapid onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) is a controversial term used to describe a sudden and intense desire to transition gender during adolescence or young adulthood, without any prior history of gender dysphoria or other indicators of a gender identity issue. In the survey, the results show that many of the children had pre-existing mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and autism spectrum disorder. Parents felt pressurised by therapists and medical professionals to affirm their child’s gender dysphoria. The article highlights the controversy surrounding the concept of ROGD. The medical community should approach the treatment of gender dysphoria with caution and not rush to affirm a child’s gender identity without fully understanding the underlying cause of their dysphoria. The mental health of the child and the concerns of their parents need to be taken into account in further research.
The World Medical Association, an international confederation of medical associations representing physicians, has voiced its support for conscientious objection including in cases of abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide. The General Assembly of the Association has unanimously approved an addendum to its respected International Code of Medical Ethics. Its code now recognises the right to conscientious objection so long as the patient’s health is not endangered.
According to the Journal of the National Medical Association opioid mortality trends in the United States, a world leader in both opioid mortality and cannabis use disorder, do not support the hypothesis that marijuana availability reduces opioid mortality. During the past decade, the country’s opioid mortality trends in marijuana legalising and non-legalising jurisdictions suggest the opposite. The United States opioid mortality rate was compared in states and District of Columbia that had implemented marijuana legalisation with states that had not. Instead of supporting the marijuana protection hypothesis, ecologic associations at the national level suggest that marijuana legalisation has contributed to the U.S.’s opioid epidemic.
Researchers analysing 17 years of comprehensive Medicaid claims data, in a first of its kind research from Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) found that women whose first pregnancy ended in abortion had on average :
- 53% more miscarriages than women whose pregnancy ended in live birth.
- 35% more pregnancies over their reproductive lifetime
- More than 4 times as many abortions
- Only half the number of live births
Separate peer reviewed research finds that women exposed to multiple induced abortions are at an increased risk of:
- Extremely preterm (premature) birth in future pregnancies based on an analysis of more than 400 000 pregnancies in Finland.
- Low birth weight in future pregnancies based on a review of 37 studies.
- Poor mental health, based on an analysis of data from the “National Longitudinal Study Of Adolescent To Adult Health”, finding that each abortion increased the risk of mental health problems by 23%.
- Premature death, based on an analysis of the pregnancy and mortality records of more than one million women, finding that the risk of death increased with each successive abortion.
Tessa Longbons, CLI’s senior research associate and co-author of the new peer reviewed study, said:
- A woman’s first pregnancy shapes the course of her life. That’s my key takeaway from 17 years of data.
In the first 10 months of 2022 the number of reported assisted deaths exceeded all of last year, from 3102 to 3213 according to the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario. 13,011 assisted deaths in Ontario have been reported since euthanasia was legalised. According to the Third Annual report, from legalisation until December 31, 2021, the number of assisted deaths increased by 32.4% representing 3.3% of all deaths in Canada. Canada’s Federal Government established a committee to discuss further expansions of euthanasia for incompetent people, for children and for people with mental illness alone. Bill C-7 already approved euthanasia for mental illness. A recent presentation by the Quebec College of Physicians urged the Federal Government to permit infant euthanasia.
Dr Lisa Littmann mentions Gender Dysphoria (GD) “has become a catch-all explanation” for any psychological problem and the promoted treatment is transitioning.
The fact is, however, that years of professional research confirms that 85% of children, suffering from GD, over time become comfortable with their birth-given bodies. In a study conducted in Finland in 2015, results show up to 75% of individuals who claim to have GD are also receiving other psychiatric treatment. In a study done in 2018, 62% of the parents of the affected children, suffer from psychiatric or neuro-developmental disorders prior to GD. In the same year, a study searched 8.8 million electronic medical records and found that there were high rates of psychiatric disorders and suicidal ideation and behaviour in youth six months prior to any sign of gender incongruence.
In a study conducted in Sweden in 2011, after a 30 year follow up, 324 gender reassigned patients showed a suicide rate 1900% higher than the constant population. Nonetheless, both parents and physicians are increasingly bullied and pushed into accepting the transition affirming therapy as they are being confronted with shaming questions like: “Do you want a dead son or a live daughter?”
“Consider the ethics of permanently medicalising a minor for a thought process with an over 85 percent rate of desistance by adulthood and doing so based on a self-diagnosis”. Children being given the right to make life changing decisions at an age where they cannot be expected to grasp the consequences thereof, is not scientifically based and opposes the fundamental base of medical practice.
Surrogacy pregnancies have an increased risk for adverse obstetric outcomes. In a study done among American woman, compared to non-surrogate pregnancies, surrogate mothers reported more complications during their surrogacy pregnancies such as hypertension, preeclampsia/eclampsia, and haemorrhaging. After the pregnancy they reported complications such as a degenerated disc, embolism, and postpartum depression. The chance of having a caesarean-section was 300% higher with a surrogate pregnancy. The percentage of caesarean-sections in non-surrogate mothers was 12.2%, compared to 35.5% in surrogate pregnancies. Most surrogate mothers felt they bonded with the babies they carried and many women stay in contact with the baby and their intended parents.