Reply To: Moving Beyond Psychiatric Gatekeeping for Gender-Affirming Surgery

DeeAnn Hopings

For 2 reasons, I believe this approach has some flaws.


From the Fenway Health link:

“If there is concern that uncontrolled mental health problems in patients may interfere with a patient’s capacity to consent to surgery, the surgeon should require evaluation by a mental health provider prior to surgery.”

Doctors enter the field of surgery in order to become surgeons. Developing some useful degree of mental health expertise is not what they signed up for.

I agree that statistically the number of people who regret transitioning is low. There are some anti-trans activists who would like you to believe that it is much higher than what it is, but it simply isn’t true. However, without some degree of gate-keeping, I suspect the numbers will rise. The downside to that it that is give anti-trans activists more ammunition.

It used to be that some places required that a person live as their target gender for a year. Exclusive of any therapy, if you were not reasonably successful during that year, you probably shouldn’t go any further. In effect, it’s similar to doing an internship. If therapists can be fooled in there evaluations of trans people (Walt Heyer, for example), I would think that anyone else would be less effective.

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