Doctors Criticize Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s Statements on Transgender Youth Care and Gender Reassignment Surgery

Doctors Criticize Alberta Premier’s Stance on Transgender Youth Care

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is facing criticism from doctors for her statements regarding transgender youth care and gender reassignment surgery. Doctors argue that her plan poses a risk to vulnerable transgender youth and is based on medically inaccurate information.

In a video posted on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, Smith announced that the province will ban puberty blockers and hormone therapy for children aged 15 and younger, with the exception of those who have already started these treatments. Individuals aged 16 and 17 can begin hormone treatment if they are deemed mature enough and have the approval of their parents, physician, and psychologist.

Furthermore, the premier stated that top and bottom surgeries will not be permitted for individuals aged 17 and under.

Smith’s comments have drawn criticism from doctors, who argue that she lacks the medical expertise to make decisions about gender-affirming care. Dr. Tehseen Ladha, a pediatrician in Edmonton, emphasized that the therapies offered to individuals under the age of 18 are reversible and have been beneficial for young people dealing with gender identity issues.

Critics argue that Smith’s statements are stoking fears and are not based on scientific evidence. They also express concern about the potential long-term effects of these policies, particularly on transgender youth who already face higher rates of suicide.

The policies announced by Smith are part of a broader range of regulations that include a requirement for parental consent for students aged 15 and under who want to change their names or pronouns at school.

Doctors are upset that their views were not considered before the policies were announced. They question whether the policies are based on ideology rather than evidence from the medical field.

Dr. Sam Wong, medical director of the Canadian Paediatric Society, stated that Smith’s policies have raised concerns among his colleagues across the country. He expressed sadness, anger, and disappointment, noting that transgender youth have already faced significant mental health issues and should not be denied treatment by the government.

It is important to note that no trans youth have traveled to other provinces for bottom surgery, as it is generally prohibited for pediatric patients across Canada.

The Canadian Press health coverage, which provided this report, is supported through a partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. The report was first published on February 2, 2024.

This incident took place in Alberta, a province in Canada known for its natural beauty and vibrant cities such as Calgary and Edmonton. Alberta is also home to the famous Rocky Mountains, which attract tourists from around the world..

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