A recent report by the New York Times has confirmed some of the claims made earlier this year by Jamie Reed, a former case manager at the Washington University Transgender Center in St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
In February, Reed published an article in the Free Press detailing her experience with what she described as “hastily prescribed hormones” being given to children, something she deemed “morally and medically appalling.”
As a self-proclaimed queer woman who identifies as politically left of Bernie Sanders, Reed decided to leave her position at the clinic due to ethical concerns.
The findings from the NY Times now suggest that while hormone treatments are not always necessary for all transgender patients, they are being administered too quickly and without sufficient oversight at clinics like these across America.
Reed’s allegations of unethical practices at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital have raised serious concerns in the eyes of Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R).
According to Reed, the clinic was hastily prescribing cross-sex hormones to patients with “many comorbidities”, sparking an ongoing investigation into their practices.
Critics of Reed have argued that her accusations are lies, however, St. Louis Children’s Hospital has since released a statement confirming that they take these allegations very seriously and have already begun investigating them.
On Wednesday, the New York Times released an article titled “How a Small Gender Clinic Landed in a Political Storm” in which some of Reed’s claims were corroborated.
“The reality was more complex than what was portrayed by either side of the political battle, according to interviews with dozens of patients, parents, former employees and local health providers, as well as more than 300 pages of documents shared by Ms. Reed,” the Times stated.
It noted that some of Reed’s accusations “could not be confirmed, and at least one included factual inaccuracies.”
A recent investigation by The Times revealed that a gender transition clinic was relying on external therapists, some of whom had minimal related experience. Furthermore, the clinic had no system to track patients and failed to assist those who wished to de-transition.
To begin the process, individuals needed to identify as the opposite sex for six months and obtain parental consent and a letter of support from a therapist.
The clinic’s lack of oversight was highlighted when Reed and a colleague discovered there were 60 patients on a “red flag list” which included adolescents with psychiatric issues such as schizophrenia, hallucinations, or inpatient psychiatric care for five months
According to emails obtained by the Times, Reed’s colleague expressed alarm that patients were required to continue seeing a therapist while taking hormones.
She noted that “no one is ever told no.” Patient Alex reported that at 15 years old, she was prescribed testosterone by the clinic and eventually de-transitioned a few years later.
Alex claims that when she expressed a desire to stop taking the hormones, the nurse at the clinic was dismissive and informed her there was no longer a need for follow-up appointments.
“Overall, there was a major lack of care and consideration for me,” Alex stated.