The transgender mania infecting the country is seeping into our courtrooms.
The teen, who identifies as male, wants to begin a regimen of hormone therapy and medication. His parents vehemently disagree with the treatment and are seeking the court’s authority to bolster their right to forbid it.
A parent usually has a right to determine if her underage child is subjected to elective medical treatments. However, because of the current dialogue surrounding LGBT issues, the court is questioning if that’s still true.
The medical team caring for the teen, whose identity has been withheld by the court, testified that it was potentially a life or death situation. They argue that denying his right to choose his own gender could lead to suicidal feelings.
He currently lives with his grandparents. The Hamilton County Job and Family Services agency has temporary legal custody. He was taken out of his parents home in 2016 after being hospitalized for depression. He told the medical staff caring him that he felt unsafe living with his parents.
“We think the grandparents are the ones who have an open mind and will … make this sort of decision best for the child,” said attorney Paul Hunt, the child’s court-appointed guardian.
“The parents have clearly indicated that they’re not open to it.”
Hunt told the court that the teen’s parents refused to refer to him by his preferred pronouns and dismissed his feelings of gender dysmorphia.
“It does not appear that this child is even close to being able to make such a life-altering decision at this time,” Karen Brinkman, the lawyer representing the parents, said in response.
“If the maternal grandparents were to be given custody, it would simply be a way for the child to circumvent the necessity of parents’ consent… [The] Parents believe custody of the child should be restored to them, so they can make the medical decisions they believe are in their child’s best interest until [the child] turns 18 years of age.”
Culture has advanced rapidly in just a few years. A decade ago it would have been unheard for such a case to make it to trial. Of course, people would have argued, parents have the right to make medical decisions for their children.
The Ohio case is clouded by religious belief. Hamilton County prosecutor Donald Clancy argued that the real reason the parents want to block their child from receiving hormone therapy has nothing to do with the treatment itself. Their actions, he claims, is motivated by religion.
“Father testified that any kind of transition at all would go against his core beliefs and allowing the child to transition would be akin to him taking his heart out of his chest and placing it on the table,” Clancy said in court.
He also complained that that family took the child to see a “Christian” therapist rather than the one recommended by the hospital.
Religious motivation isn’t enough to block a child from receiving medical treatment. However, the parents argue that while they have religious reasons to oppose their child’s transition, they also have medical ones.
Brinkman said in court that they “have done their due diligence contacting medical professionals, collecting thousands of hours of research and relying on … their observation of their own child … that led them to the conclusion that this is not in their child’s best interest.”
Allowing the child to live with his grandparents would be akin to admitting that parents no longer have the final say when it comes to hormone therapy. Parental consent for the treatment will no longer be required.
Liberals and LGBT activists are convinced that this is a good a thing. Transgender youths at any age should be celebrated, they argue.
Others aren’t convinced. Puberty is already a tricky stage, and dosing a child with hormones while they go through it might not be the best idea. A lot of medical professionals believe that most transgender youths will grow out of their feelings. Yet hormone therapy produces permanent changes.
The judge said that she will issue a ruling Friday.