WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) produces standards of care that are considered the gold standard for transgender care. Colleges, universities, the media, and even churches adopted WPATH’s approach, whether or not they realized where it came from. Recent revelations have shown that not all that glitters is gold.

More than 100 pages of WPATH files were leaked by whistleblowers about a month ago to Michael Shellenberger. Below Shellenberger discusses his findings with The Hill. The revelations are what most of us thought all along: These treatments are cures for diseases that do not exist.

(For a more extensive discussion, see this article by Shellenberger’s colleague, Mia Hughes: The WPATH Files: Pseudoscientific Surgical and Hormonal Experiments on Children, Adolescents, and Vulnerable Adults.)

The Hippocratic Oath’s premiere charge — primium non nocere (first do no harm) — has often been observed by medical practitioners proudly in the breach rather than in the rule, but their hubris betrays them. From lobotomies to apotemnophilia (body identity disorder) to the Tuskegee experiments to electroconvulsive therapy, physicians have not always practiced what they preached on doing no harm.

At the turn of the last century, lobotomies were thought to be the best treatment for the severely mentally ill, but the experimental procedure often left patients with conditions like epilepsy, severe apathy, and dementia. Body Identity Disorder (BID) treatments defy belief that they ever occurred at all, even if only for a brief time. BID patients are confident they will be better off without healthy limbs, such as arms and legs. At least one physician amputated the healthy legs of two men before being stripped of his medical license and removing his NIH funding as recently as the 1990s-2000s.

I raise the BID issue because the language justifying it is remarkably similar to those demanding transgender surgery: They are not at home in their bodies; they are convinced the bodies they have are not the ones they need or want.

So, here we are today, 2024, granting children, teens, and vulnerable adults what amounts to the desecration of their bodies because these patients “feel” they are in the wrong ones. What the WPATH leaked files reveal is the utter whistling-in-the-dark fantasy that physicians are using to grope their way to a disfiguring treatment from which the victims cannot recover.

As Hughes said in her report, we allow children to make decisions about their bodies, and they haven’t even had a high school biology class. Informed consent, anyone? This is not, as WPATH has led us to believe, “gender-affirming healthcare” but gender-disfiguring medical malpractice, all billed publicly as the loving thing to do. As Oscar Wilde once said, “Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motive.”

I urge readers to surf over to the link above and read the agonizing discussions of patients with an inability to orgasm, with fleshy makeshift penises carved out of thighs or other appurtenances but with little or no feeling in them. Patients only later learn they are permanently infertile, are in constant or near-constant pain, and are returning to their surgeons for corrective procedures. While there are doubtless some positive stories to be found, the overwhelming weight of these leaked files is a medical nightmare that reads like pages from “The Island of Doctor Moreau,” where human experimentation is taken to ghastly extremes. Moreau is fiction; the WPATH leaked files are painfully too real.

The claim that transition prevents suicide is also shown to be baseless. If anything, when infertility and longevity issues are finally understood, and ham-fisted reversal procedures fully explained in their gory and painful detail, suicide rates begin to rise again. 

Marci Bowers, president-elect of WPATH and responsible for more than 2,200 such surgeries, a record in this country, should be called to the carpet to answer these questions and more. Duke, now a mecca of transgender “care,” should also be made to come forward and give an account of these new revelations. Other North Carolina institutions, like UNC Health and ECU Health, that appear to have gone all-in on WPATH’s standards, also need to held to account.

Meanwhile, the detransitioner movement is gaining steam. Prisha Mosley, whose suit against her doctors has its first significant hearing on Friday in Charlotte, is a prime example. As a minor girl in Gastonia, she experienced a number of psychiatric disorders connected to childhood abuse and trauma. But rather than address these, the doctors set her irreversibly down the wrong path, which was presented to her as the best practices. She is now in constant pain and has many permanent conditions connected with the interventions. Prisha is a leader in a growing detransitioner movement of those who see their treatments as doing more harm than good.

European nations, like France, Finland, UK, Sweden, and Norway are shutting down their transgender care for children, as are a growing number of American states, North Carolina among them. Recently the Vatican also denounced gender-affirming surgeries as disfiguring and grave violations of human dignity. Even Amsterdam, where transgender treatments largely began, is having second thoughts when it comes to children. It will come as no surprise to readers of this journal that California and New York are seeking haven status for transgender youth who flee to jurisdiction.

The WPATH leaked files show incontestably that any sort of gender-variance care for anyone under 21 should be prohibited. Further, protections for those who are vulnerable, for the autistic, for the mentally distressed, and for others like them must be forthcoming. Teachers in elementary, middle, and high schools should be prohibited from having any conversations with children about transgenderism but refer them back to their parents and guardians for the best treatment options through mental health professionals, who should not longer lean on recommendations from WPATH.

It is time to put an end to this madness. It is some comfort that in August of last year, the North Carolina legislature passed, and then overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of, a bill banning youth sex transitions. The Biden administration has since sued North Carolina over that bill, and the case is ongoing, but the bill is currently in effect. Legislators should stand strong and not allow Biden officials or state health systems to keep this medical malpractice going on in North Carolina any longer.