Transgender Center at St. Louis Children's Hospital Under Investigation After Whistleblower Allegations
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Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has announced that his office has launched a multi-agency investigation into the Washington University Pediatric Transgender Center at St. Louis Children's Hospital.
The investigation comes after a former employee went public and accused the hospital of lying to parents about the risks and repercussions of puberty blockers and irreversible genital surgeries on children.
Bailey's office confirmed Thursday the receipt of a sworn affidavit from the whistleblower, Jamie Reed, and other documents that support her allegations. The Missouri Department of Social Services and the Division of Professional Registration are also assisting in the investigation.
"As Attorney General, I want Missouri to be the safest state in the nation for children," Bailey said in a statement. "We have received disturbing allegations that individuals at the Transgender Center at St. Louis Children's Hospital have been harming hundreds of children each year, including by using experimental drugs on them. We take this evidence seriously and are thoroughly investigating to make sure children are not harmed by individuals who may be more concerned with a radical social agenda than the health of children."
In an op-ed published by The Free Press on Feb. 9, Reed wrote she worked at the Washington University Transgender Center and was responsible for patient intake between 2018 and November 2022.
Reed is not a conservative activist by any means. Instead, she describes herself as a progressive who believes in trans rights, but she says what she encountered at the clinic shouldn't be allowed to happen to children. She writes that "the safety of children should not be a matter for our culture wars."
Reed explained she took the job with the intention of helping gender-confused children, but now she believes what is happening amounts to "permanent harm" on young, vulnerable kids.
"During the four years I worked at the clinic as a case manager—I was responsible for patient intake and oversight—around a thousand distressed young people came through our doors," Reed wrote. "The majority of them received hormone prescriptions that can have life-altering consequences—including sterility. I left the clinic in November of last year because I could no longer participate in what was happening there."
"By the time I departed, I was certain that the way the American medical system is treating these patients is the opposite of the promise we make to 'do no harm.' Instead, we are permanently harming the vulnerable patients in our care," she continued.
"Almost everyone in my life advised me to keep my head down. But I cannot in good conscience do so," Reed explained. "Because what is happening to scores of children is far more important than my comfort. And what is happening to them is morally and medically appalling."
Soon after her arrival at the Transgender Center, Reed wrote she was shocked by the lack of formal protocols for treatment and the physician co-directors were essentially the sole authorities.
According to Liberty Counsel, Reed noted that many of the girls who came to the Center were dealing with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, or neurological issues like ADHD and autism. But she says the Center aimed to make it efficient for the therapists to recommend "transition", offering them a template for how to write a letter in support of transgender treatments.
"To begin transitioning, the girls needed a letter of support from a therapist—usually one we recommended—who they had to see only once or twice for the green light," she wrote in the op-ed. "The next stop was a single visit to the endocrinologist for a testosterone prescription."
"That's all it took," Reed added.
In her sworn affidavit for the Missouri Attorney General's office, Reed alleges that individuals at the Center are using experimental drugs on children, distributing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones without individualized assessment, and even without parental consent.
For example, Bicalutamide is a medication used to treat metastatic prostate cancer, and one of its side effects is that it feminizes the bodies of men who take it, including the appearance of breasts. The Center prescribed this cancer drug as a puberty blocker and feminizing agent for boys. As with most cancer drugs, bicalutamide has a long list of side effects including liver toxicity. There also are no clinical studies for using this drug for gender confusion, and there are reportedly no established standards of care for using it in this manner.
The investigation will also assess the evidence provided by Reed that alleges the Center has been unlawfully billing state taxpayers to fund these controversial practices.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, "What is happening to children in these so-called gender clinics is criminal. States must protect minors from irreversible and unnecessary medications and mutilating surgeries. Our children are not guinea pigs to pad the pockets of others."
Other allegations in Reed's affidavit include:
- "On several occasions, the doctors have continued prescribing medical transition even when a parent stated that they were revoking consent."
- "The Center does not require children to continue with mental health care after they prescribe cross-sex hormones or puberty blockers and even continues those medications when the patients directly report worsening mental health after initiating those medications."
- "I have seen puberty blockers worsen the mental health outcomes of children. Children who have not contemplated suicide before being put on puberty blockers have attempted suicide after."
- "It is my belief that the Center does not track these outcomes because they do not want to have to report them to new patients and because they do not want to discontinue cross-sex hormone prescriptions. The Center never discontinues cross-sex hormones, no matter the outcome."
- "During my time at the Center, I personally witnessed Center healthcare providers lie to the public and to parents of patients about the treatment, or lack of treatment, and the effects of treatment provided to children at the Center."
- "Doctors at the Center also have publicly claimed that they do not do any gender transition surgeries on minors. … The Center regularly refers minors for gender transition surgery. The Center routinely gives out the names and contact information of surgeons to those under the age of 18. At least one gender transition surgery was performed by Dr. Allison Snyder-Warwick at St. Louis Children's Hospital in the last few years."
CBN News has reached out to the Washington University Pediatric Transgender Center at St. Louis Children's Hospital for comment. We will post it here when we hear back.
Washington University did issue a public statement saying it was alarmed by the allegations.
"We are alarmed by the claims in the article published by The Free Press describing practices and behavior observed by the author while employed at the university's transgender center," the statement said. "We take this matter very seriously and have already begun investigating the situation to establish the facts. As always, our top priority is the health and well-being of our patients... and we hold our physicians to the highest professional and ethical standards."
42,000 US Children and Teens Received a Diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria Over 4-Year Period
In statistics provided to Reuters by Komodo Health Inc., in 2021, about 42,000 children and teens across the United States received a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, nearly triple the number in 2017. The analysis found that at least 121,882 children ages 6 to 17 were diagnosed with gender dysphoria from 2017 through 2021.
The number of gender clinics treating children in the United States has grown from zero to more than 100 in the past 15 years, according to Liberty Counsel.
The legal group reports that clinics are giving testosterone to gender-confused girls as young as eight years old and teen girls as young as 13 are having their breasts removed via mastectomy procedures. Boys, the age of 17 can have penises the developmental age of a nine-year-old's or lose sexual sensation altogether due to hormone blockers.
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