Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy is the picture of what happens when a physician values political advocacy…
Deeper investigation into the pioneering transgender-“affirming” pediatrician Dr. Johanna Olson-
Kennedy uncovers troubling information. Olson-Kennedy is the picture of what happens when a physician values political advocacy to the detriment of medical ethics and professionalism.
Numerous physicians (see here and here) have cautioned against administering extraordinary medical treatments to patients who suffer from “gender dysphoria.” These doctors recognize that an individual who is confused about his or her sex has a psychological problem that will not be resolved, and may be exacerbated, by so-called “gender-affirming treatment” (GAT)—drugs, hormones, and surgery to mimic the appearance of the opposite sex.
Olson-Kennedy disagrees. As medical director for The Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, she channels young patients onto the lifelong GAT express without requiring that they first undergo psychotherapy to explore the source of the gender confusion. “I don’t send someone to therapy when I’m going to start them on insulin,” she says.
Could it be that Olson-Kennedy’s patients (except for rejecting their biological sex and therefore their very essence) seem perfectly normal with no obvious signs of mental disorder? In fact, a presentation she made at a “Gender Infinity” conference in 2015 shows exactly the opposite, and raises troubling questions about how a physician can ethically herd these young patients into radical and potentially life-destroying medical treatment.
I Lost 40 Percent of My Patients, But They’re Fine
At that conference Olson-Kennedy described the mental-health struggles of her cohort of patients. “Thirty percent of my sample had moderate to severe depression symptoms. Thought about suicide, 49 percent. . . . Attempted suicide, over 30 percent. . . . A lot of drug use . . . A lot of kids were sexually active, and a not insignificant number of my kids have actually done . . . sex work [prostitution].” Many patients, she reported, have been homeless or in foster care.