The testimony was set to determine the constitutionality Thursday with a St. Louis pediatric endocrinologist at a federal bench trial to determine the constitutionality of the nation’s first ban on gender-affirming health care for minors in Arkansas. have studied this issue for a decade.
Pediatric diabetes specialist Dr. Paul Hruz took the witness stand for four hours on Thursday, delving into many of the medical details relevant to pediatric endocrinology and attacking previous research.
At one point, the presiding judge on the matter, U.S. District Court Judge James M. Moody Jr., became impatient and urged defense attorney Dylan Jacobs to rush things.
“He’s already testified to it at length,” said Moody indignantly, “for hours.”
Moody’s has not provided a timetable for a ruling on this matter.
The trial, which is being held before a judge rather than a jury, will determine the constitutionality of Arkansas State Law 626 of 2021, the Save Youth from Experimentation Act. The law passed in March 2021 after both the state House and Senate voted by large margins to overturn a veto by Gov. Asa Hutchinson. The following month, it was challenged in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, and three months later, a week before the law took effect, Moody issued a temporary order to block enforcement while the matter was in court. I issued an injunction.
A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld Moody’s injunction in August. Earlier this month, the court ruled not to take up the issue for review by the Eighth Circuit as a whole, and dismissed his motion to appeal Moody’s judgment filed by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s office. The lawsuit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of plaintiffs, alleges that the law violates the equal protection and due process provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment and the protections of free speech under the First Amendment. claim.
The plaintiffs in this action, represented by American Civil Liberties Union attorneys, are Dylan Blunt, Parker Saxton, Sabrina Genen, Brooke Dennis, and their parents, Joanna Blunt, Donnie Saxton, Aaron and Lacey Genen, Shane and Amanda Dennis, and two doctors. Dr. Michele Hutchison and Dr. Kathryn Stambough providing healthcare to his transgender teen.
The defendants in this case are represented by the state attorney general’s office legal team and are Rutledge, medical board director Amy Embry, and 14 members of the state medical board.
Hruz testifies to the use of pubertal blockers and hormone therapy in the treatment of minor patients and has examined those treatments in great detail, but has found no evidence of the efficacy or long-term safety of their use. I was adamant that not enough was known about Treatment of gender dysphoria.
Gender identity disorder is defined by the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, as a feeling of discomfort or distress that can occur in people who have a gender identity that differs from their sex or gender-related physical characteristics at birth. Defined. In addition to psychotherapy, current treatments for the condition range from gender-affirming hormone treatments to surgical procedures, some of which were detailed in the testimony of the last four days.
Hruz said off-label use of testosterone for purposes such as increasing muscle mass in athletes, and in adolescents concerned about body image, would be frowned upon by the medical community. For children who have undergone normal puberty and are considered medically normal developmental stages, “most, if not all, practitioners believe that lean body mass gain is induced because of their individual desires.” would consider it malpractice.
“That’s why testosterone is a controlled substance,” he added.
Regarding testosterone therapy for transgender boys, whom Hruz identified as female, “I don’t know of any indication of administering testosterone to females.”
The trial ended Thursday after eight days of testimony were interrupted by a five-week break due to scheduling conflicts. In the first week of the trial in October, ACLU attorneys, along with testimony from several medical and psychiatric experts, presented Brandt et al vs. Rutledge et al.
In testimony, Strap, a 17-year-old with a full beard and a confident demeanor, suffered anxiety and depression when she hit puberty when her body began to change in ways that clashed with her gender identity. I testified about my illness. Her mother as her transgender was like a weight removed from her shoulders. Hormone replacement therapy further reduced his depression.
“My appearance finally matched my inner feeling,” he told the court.
Dylan’s mother, Joanna Blunt, has described Dylan as “an extraordinary human being”, “wise beyond his years and one of the most emotionally intelligent people I know”. said.
Donnie Saxton and Aaron Jennen have spoken out about their fears for their children, Parker Saxton and Sabrina Jennen, both 17. Problems and those associated with medical procedures.
Hutchison, former medical director of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Gender Spectrum Clinic in Little Rock, testified that the effects of transgender therapy had made a difference in the patients she treated. She said most suffer from depression and anxiety and are socially withdrawn. rice field.
“Patients would come in at the first visit and would rarely talk about their future,” she said.
Stanbow, the current medical director, agreed with Hutchison’s testimony. He said that withholding care of those patients would be a ticking time bomb as they continued to develop in an amenable way.
“Not all patients turn 18,” she said.
In testimony this week, Moody heard from expert witnesses on the other side of the spectrum, including Fulze. Ohio Case He is Dr Stephen Levine, a clinical psychiatrist at the Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Patrick Lapert, a cosmetic surgeon in Decatur, Alabama. Dr. Roger Hyatt, a child and adolescent psychiatrist working in Arkansas and Tennessee.
Levine said Monday that the standards of care established by the World Association of Transgender Health Professionals are meant to endorse transgender-affirming therapy, not to address the root causes of gender dysphoria. testified.
On Wednesday, Oklahoma anti-transgender activist Laura Smaltz and Louisiana native Billy Burley, both former transgender people who have transitioned and detransitioned as adults, said on Wednesday that they were born with testified about the religious conversions they had undergone that persuaded them to return to their gender.
Also on Wednesday, Hyatt testified in support of a ban on hormones, puberty blockers and surgeries for transgender youth, saying it has worked with hundreds of transgender teens over the past 25 years. He said he supports a ban on medical care for minors despite the fact that most people retain their transgender identity.
After Hruz’s testimony ended on Thursday, Moody signaled the end of the trial with a simple “OK, we’ve been adjourned,” and explained how he leans toward the issue, if any. The judge gave no indication as to when a verdict was expected, other than telling his lawyers at the start of the trial not to expect an immediate turnaround in his verdict. .