It is safe to say that the transgender theory has experienced a new ideological rise in the American and European scientific discourses over the past decade. Most of the controversy revolves around the topics of conversion therapy for children and fraud in research methodology. It is noticeable that these topics have become very politicized and even taboo in some scientific, political, and social circles. In order to be morally and ethically objective as well as not to be deceived by biased research, it is necessary to investigate the origins of the transgender theory and its current state by answering a series of questions. Critical appraisal, analysis, and the scientific method are the real drivers of progress. This essay aims to give answers to questions of ethics within the transgender topic and research fraud based on scholarly articles and presentations by Dr. Q Van Meter.
Why is this an Ethical Issue, and What Does It Mean That It Has “Ethical Implications”
In order to answer and justify the question of why the current transgender theory and practice is an ethical issue and what “ethical implications” it has, it is essential to define within the framework of this work what ethics is in general and in the context of medicine. According to Fremgen (2019), “ethics, in general, is concerned with the actions and practices that are directed at improving the welfare of people in a moral way” (p. 8). Fremgen (2019) also notes that “medical ethics concerns questions specifically related to the practice of medicine” (p. 8). It raises questions about what is the difference between ethics and morality and ethics and law. Ethics is a philosophical methodology for determining what should be done to achieve the most objectively favorable result. In contrast, morals are the subjective perception of what is good and what is evil. The difference between ethics and law is that ethics, as a methodology, seeks to achieve what is most objectively correct or fair. The law is a rule that may be unethical or immoral in some cases.
Put differently, law and ethics can be both complimentary and contradictory phenomena. The reason the issue discussed by Dr. Q Van Meter, namely the pseudoscientific nature and fraud of transgender medicine, is ethical is because “ethics always involves people” (Fremgen, 2019, p. 8). It is relatable to medicine, where physical and mental health is considered the most critical aspect of people’s lives. The basics of ethics are that it “is meant to take the past into account, but also to look to the present and future and ask, “what should I do now?” and “what will be the outcome?” (Fremgen, 2019, p. 8). John Money neglected or violated the second part of this rule of ethics. According to Dr. Q Van Meter, Money conducted a medical practice in a manner such as “let’s do this patients and see what happens” (IFTCC, 2018). It is a violation of medical ethics and the norms of the conventional Codes of Ethics, especially the Opinions of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs of the AMA and the issue about confidential care of minors (Fremgen, 2019). Such shortsighted and biased decisions have led to several ethical implications.
Ethical implications are the logical consequences of ethical decisions made by individuals. The ethical implications of John Money’s shortsighted and biased approach are the biased goal setting of researchers in their works on the topics of sex and gender (Regnerus, 2019). Such bias affected both supporters and opponents of the transgender theory (IFTCC, 2018). It is also worth noting that several academic disciplines, such as biology, psychology, anthropology, and others, have become overly politicized (Marinov, 2020). These two factors have undermined the credibility of the scientific community among academics (Cretella, 2016). It is safe to say that it negatively affects the American and international scientific discourse.
What Ethical Violations Have Happened, Why Are They Violations
As was written above, John Money, the author of gender theory, neglected or deliberately violated one of the most important ethical rules, namely, he did not consider the consequences of his decision on how to treat one of the twins. He also violated ethical clauses such as “confidential care of minors” and “withholding or withdrawing life-prolonging treatment” (Fremgen, 2019, p. 260). It can be said that John Money’s medical practice drove one of the twins to commit suicide, which later prompted the other twin to kill himself as well (IFTCC, 2018). It is important to note that John Money insulted Polish women’s religious beliefs, which is also ethically incorrect.
It is crucial not only to list the committed ethical violations but also to explain why they are considered violations. John Money’s decision about the treatment was based solely on his ideas, which is radical subjectivism (Fremgen, 2019). It may be moral, but it is neither ethical nor scientific. This inherently flawed wrong approach has led to further fraud of transgender theory and practice, where many guidelines lack sufficient scientific evidence. It is harmful to both patients and the scientific community. He also did not promote the autonomy of the minor patient (Fremgen, 2019). Moreover, John Money’s medical practice worsened the patient’s suffering and consequently resulted in his death. The author of this essay views insulting religious beliefs as an insult because it is not morally correct.
What Should Be Done
The author of this paper believes that Dr. Paul McHugh made the right decision by forbidding John Money to treat children with gender dysphoria. He should also have been prohibited from consulting and treating adults. Moreover, research should have been done on his educational background, as Dr. Q Van Meter mentioned that his qualification was unclear (IFTCC, 2019). The ideas voiced and promoted by him should have been publicly criticized and debunked as Dr. Q Van Meter did in 2018 (IFTCC, 2019). As to the current situation, it would be beneficial for both gender specialists and their ideological opponents to conduct an evidence-based critical assessment of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health guidelines.
Reflection on the History Reviewed in the Video
The author of this work agrees with Dr. Van Meter that conversion therapy for children is not only an unscientific practice but should be banned. Children cannot understand all aspects, one of which is complete sterilization, of such a complex and irreversible process, and therefore they cannot give informed consent. It is unethical to carry out such procedures without the patient’s full understanding of all of its aspects and given permission (Fremgen, 2019). It is worth mentioning again that the current transgender theory lacks scientific evidence since the current one is based on the ideas of a person with a dubious background (IFTCC, 2019). Modern researchers of the phenomenon of transgender have a partially scientific understanding of biology. For example, many of them do not fully understand or misinterpret the non-binary of gametes (Marinov, 2020). However, the author also condemns Dr. Van Meter’s statements on Dontrella’s appearance.
There is a simple reason why the current transgender dogma has become medical and medically accepted. It is the structure of the American Psychiatric Organization, namely its higher ranks. A small fraction of the organization has the power to set the rules. It is led by an activist group of endocrinologists who see John Money’s ideas as a religious dogma (IFTCC, 2019). The author of this essay believes that every theory or hypothesis should be critically assessed and examined, and medical professionals should be guided by a scientific method, not religious zeal.
This work examines the highly political and socially sensitive topic of modern transgender theory and the associated fraud in scientific discourse. The author answered a series of questions based on a 2018 talk by Dr. Q Van Meter, where he criticizes and debunks the origins of the current transgender theory. It is worth noting that these questions are about what an ethical issue and ethical implications are, the ethical violations that have happened, and their essence. The author discusses what should have been done and provides a personal opinion about the mainstream transgender theory and practice and what can be called “a fraudulent war” in academia. The author hopes that the scientific community will come to a consensus on transgender, and the quality of scientific research on this topic will improve.
Cretella, M. A. (2016). Gender dysphoria in children and suppression of debate. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, 21(2), 50-54. Web.
Fremgen, B. F. (2019). Medical law and ethics. Pearson Education.
IFTCC. (2018). [Video]. YouTube. Web.
Marinov, G. K. (2020). In humans, sex is binary and immutable. Academic Questions. Web.
Regnerus, M. (2019). Does “conversion therapy” hurt people who identify as transgender? The new JAMA psychiatry study cannot tell us. Public Discourse. Web.