The Catholic Weekly 21 June 2020

$2 PARENTS AND medical prac- titioners are urging state and federal health ministers to ex- ercise deep caution on irre- versible treatments for youth reporting gender dysphoria. Dr John Whitehall, a pro- fessor of paediatrics and child health, has submitted an al- ternative model of care for gender-confused minors to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt and members of the Australian Health Minister’s Advisory Council ahead of a meeting next week to dis- cuss the issue. The Council is made up of Mr Hunt and state health ministers. Dr Whitehall said that he and other signatories to his submission offer a conserv- ative model “that has been shown to work” and involves counselling, psychiatric treat- ment and the addressing of associated co-morbidities. “For doctors, the first issue is the Hippocratic principal of ‘Do no harm’ and while there is no evidence for effect there is evidence for harm [in the af- firmative approach],” said Dr Whitehall. “Research shows that the vast majority of these children will identify with their natural chromosomes as they come through puberty. “We’re just saying have confidence in those statistics and help the child to come through it.” Dr Eamonn Mathieson of the Australian Catholic Medical Association, which supports Dr Whitehall’s sub- mission, said that there also needs to be a strong response from the Church on the issue. “It’s not just about the gen- eral effects on children and their families,” he said. “Once this becomes en- trenched in law the impli- cations are enormous for Catholic schools, health care, hospitals and doctors and the Church in general because it is fundamental Christian an- thropology under attack.” Carl and Susan (not their real names) told The Catholic Weekly that after “initially put- ting our trust” in institutions such as Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital and its gender clinic they were able to prevent their daughter with gender dysphoria “from a ter- rible and permanent mistake”. “It became clear that any- one or any comment ques- tioning the gender affirming approach was labelled as transphobic,” they said. “The degree to which the topic was controlled in the media and on social plat- forms was truly scary.” Prof Whitehall’s submission out- lines some of the available ev- idence of harm done through the transition process, for ex- ample damage to the brain’s limbic system by puberty blockers. “We are all talking about the importance of informed consent, so how can a child give informed consent to choosing to move onto cross- sex hormones when you’ve messed with his brain?” he said. MONICA DOUMIT ON THE PRICE PAID BY JK ROWLING P11 Transgender pushback Doctors andparents urge healthministers to think long termwhen regulating youth gender dysphoria ¾ ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues KRISTIN BARLOW of Kellyville in north-west Sydney has been treating hundreds of her Face- book friends to live readings of MereChristianity byCSLewis. Beginning in May during the lockdown,shebeganreadingthe classic explanation and defence of the Christian faith online with around 400 people tuning in eachweek. The 27-year-old postgraduate theology student at the Univer- sity of Notre Dame, Sydney, said the topics covered have sparked some interesting, and at times challenging, conversations. And she is now even less afraid to discuss her faith with non-believers. “I have non-religious friends who I love, and they respect my faith and they love me for who I am, Catholicity and all,” said Kristin. FULL STORY ON PAGE 3 ¾ ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues Faith’s no mere hobby for Kristin 21, June, 2020 Clare Communications Co PTY LTD See our website for more information on our services WITCH HUNT FOR A CARDINAL BISHOP’S RESCUE MISSION P12 P19 The vast ma- jority of these children will identify with their natural chromosomes ...” Kristin Barlow: sharing CS Lewis’s Mere Chris- tianity with Facebook friends each week has been a rewarding journey. PHOTO:ALPHONSUS FOK