Transgender GENECIS Clinic Restarts in Dallas

Transgender GENECIS Clinic Restarts in Dallas
Exterior view of the Children's Medical Center in Dallas. | Image from Alamy, The New York Times

Children’s Medical Center in Dallas is reinstating transgender hormone usage and services for young transgender patients to comply with a court order. The court filed a temporary restraining order that prevented the hospital from halting the GENECIS program.

According to The 19th, the joint venture between Children’s and UT Southwestern Medical Center attracted youth from across the region who had little or no access to similar services elsewhere.

In November 2021, Children’s stopped offering these procedures to new patients and removed all information about the program from their website.

Dallas County Judge Melissa Bellan called for the two-week restraining order in response to a lawsuit from Dr. Ximena Lopez, a pediatric endocrinologist specializing in transgender procedures at UT Southwestern.

Lopez sued her employer after the hospital decided to stop providing transgender hormone usage for children.

In a statement to the Dallas Morning News, UT Southwestern said the following regarding the end of services:

“The decision to cease offering puberty blockers and hormone therapy to new pediatric patients was based on a variety of factors, including growing concern in the medical community about our limited understanding of the long-term effects – both psychological and physical – on children who receive this treatment,” the statement said, in part.

In her petition, Dr. Lopez alleged that stopping the program violates the university’s non-discrimination policy.  She added that halting the program also interferes with her professional medical judgment.

In their statement, UT Southwestern denied the allegations of discrimination brought by Dr. Lopez:

“UT Southwestern is committed to providing equal opportunities to all members of the campus community and to maintaining an environment that is free from unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation,” their statement said in part.

In court on Wednesday, the judge agreed with Dr. Lopez, upholding her assertion that the hospital’s decision was discriminatory and damaging to trans children and issuing the TRO.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton claimed, in a statement, on February 18, 2022, that performing such procedures on children constituted child abuse.

Shortly after, Governor Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to conduct “prompt and thorough investigations” into Texas children being “subjected” to transgender hormone usage. Abbott added that mandated reporters must present known instances of this type of healthcare as child abuse.

Five district attorneys have “strongly condemned” Abbott’s order, claiming that the directive restricts personal freedoms and is “irrational, coercive, and unconstitutional.”

Lopez’s restraining order puts any changes to GENECIS on hold as the court decides on her request for an injunction.

She states that she wants to work with her patients and their families to provide the best “science-backed treatment” for their situation.

For now, the GENECIS program will continue to operate as it has.

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