Two die from suicide during taxpayer-funded NIH sex change study, 11 others have suicidal ideation– GOP lawmakers demand answers

“It is sickening that the federal government is preying on young people and using our taxpayer dollars to advance its radical gender ideology."

Mia Ashton Montreal QC

Republican lawmakers are demanding answers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) after a study of youth undergoing experimental medical sex changes revealed two committed suicide and a further 11 experienced suicidal ideation.

According to The Daily Signal, the NIH gave $477,444 in funding to Boston Children’s Hospital, the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), and the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for the study titled “Psychosocial Functioning in Transgender Youth after 2 Years of Hormones.”

The study was led by Dr. Diane Chen of Lurie Children’s Hospital and among the co-authors is Dr. Diane Ehrensaft, who believes non-verbal autistic children can signal their transgender identities through drawing; and Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, who advocates for teenage girls to get mastectomies and once famously quipped that if they want breasts later, they can just go and get them.

Congressman Josh Brecheen and Senator Tedd Budd (R-NC) sent a letter to the NIH asking why the study wasn’t shut down after the two suicides, highlighting the fact that many of the researchers involved are “outspoken advocates for conducting gender transition interventions on children.” The letter was co-signed by a further 13 Republican lawmakers.

“It is sickening that the federal government is preying on young people and using our taxpayer dollars to advance its radical gender ideology,” said Brecheen in a press release. “We are rightfully demanding answers from NIH and we are committed to holding those responsible accountable for this tragic loss of life.” 

The two-year study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in January, followed 315 participants aged between 12 and 20 who identified as transgender or non-binary. 190 participants (60.3%) were female, and 25 (7.9%) had been on experimental puberty blockers. All were given cross-sex hormones.

“During the study period, appearance congruence, positive affect, and life satisfaction increased, and depression and anxiety symptoms decreased. Increases in appearance congruence were associated with concurrent increases in positive affect and life satisfaction and decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms,” reads a summary of the results.

“The most common adverse event was suicidal ideation (in 11 participants [3.5%]); death by suicide occurred in 2 participants.”

Despite the tragic outcome of two young people taking their own lives, the conclusion of the study is “[gender-affirming hormones] improved appearance congruence and psychosocial functioning.”

“During this study, two young people died by suicide and eleven reported suicidal ideation. Rather than shutting the study down after such serious adverse events, the researchers published their paper, concluding that the study was a success because cross-sex hormones had altered subjects’ physical appearance and improved psychosocial functioning,” reads the letter to Dr. Lawrence Tabak, acting director of the NIH.

Citing “glaring shortfalls,” such as the lack of a control group, the lawmakers state that this federally funded research is “already being used to further the fallacy that chemically transitioning children is safe and effective.

“It is alarming that vulnerable young people died by suicide while participating in a taxpayer-funded study that will almost certainly inflict devastating physical harm on those who participated,” they added.

The letter went on to point out that the 24 study participants who had their puberty suppressed prior to taking cross-sex hormones are likely “sterile as a result,” and all are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, blood clotting, and a host of other complications.

“Despite overwhelming evidence that chemically transitioning children is not safe, the NIH plans to give more than $10.6 million to experiment on children and adolescents through 2026,” the letter continues. “We are deeply concerned about your agency’s use of taxpayer dollars to advance experiments on children who will be irreversibly harmed by radical gender ideology.”

Presenting negative results in a positive light is a common occurrence in the field of gender medicine. An oft-cited 2022 study by Tordoff et al. found that puberty blockers did not improve the mental health of participants, but then the researchers published results saying the opposite.

In the recent European Professional Association for Transgender Health (EPATH) conference in Ireland, a team of Dutch researchers presented an update on a study of autistic patients who had undergone experimental sex changes at the Amsterdam gender clinic.

According to Eliza Mondegreen who attended the conference, of the 30 patients eligible to participate in the 17-year follow-up study, two had detransitioned, one expressed serious regrets about vaginoplasty, and two had “passed away.” Only at the end of the presentation did the researchers admit that the two had committed suicide.

The linchpin Dutch study upon which the entire experiment of child sex changes is based also resulted in the death of one of its participants. A medical article published in 2016 documents the case of an 18-year-old trans-identified male whose puberty was blocked by the Dutch researchers at a very early stage, meaning there wasn’t enough penile tissue for surgeons to use to create a “neo-vagina.” Therefore, a more risky procedure using a section of the patient’s bowel was necessary, which resulted in fatal necrotizing fasciitis.

The letter to the NIH concludes with 14 questions and a request for a response by June 9, 2023. The questions seek information about the two young people who died by suicide, as well as details about the impact on fertility of participants and information regarding the six participants who dropped out of the study.

Co-signers of the letter include: Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rand Paul (R-KY), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Representatives Mary Miller (R-IL), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Eli Crane (R-AZ), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Randy Weber (R-TX), Chip Roy (R-TX), Ronny Jackson(R-TX), and Michael Cloud (R-TX).


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