Adolescent medicine doctors walk in and out of Dell’s Children’s Hospital amid Paxton’s investigation of gender-positive care

Dell Pediatric Adolescents, after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced an investigation into whether gender-affirming procedures at the hospital were “unlawfully administered to minor children.” All the doctors who worked at the medical clinic have retired.

In an emailed statement, Dell Children’s Medical Center said the clinic will remain open and will be staffed by another doctor. The reason for the confusion has not been clarified, and it is unclear whether the doctors were fired or voluntarily resigned.

“We are working with staff, families and other healthcare professionals to ensure patient safety and support families in accessing appropriate healthcare services,” said a Dell Children representative. “Although the doctor who previously worked at the clinic is retiring, the clinic remains open and supported by other doctors within the Dell Children’s Medical Group. We will continue to advocate for the best care and treatment.”

In an initial statement in response to Paxton’s announcement, Dell Children’s Hospital said it would ban both surgery and hormone therapy when treating minor patients with gender dysphoria.

“To the extent that the treatment provided at our clinic may have contradicted our position on this important issue, we will take appropriate action,” the hospital said.

The havoc comes as the Texas House of Representatives debates Senate Bill 14, which would outlaw gender-affirming care for minors, such as surgery and hormone-blocking drugs.

Last February, the city of Paxton classified certain gender-affirming care procedures as child abuse under Texas law and asked the Texas Department of Family Protective Services to investigate parents who approve gender-affirming care for their children. issued a legal opinion ordering it to do so. Several investigations of this kind are still bound by the courts.

A week after Mr. Paxton’s announcement, Dell Children’s patients and their families began hearing news that appointments with the hospital’s adolescent care specialist had been canceled and that the provider was no longer working at the hospital.

On the same day Paxton published the study, one patient named Leonardo received a call from a social worker. Leonardo said he started taking hormone treatments at the clinic when he was 17. The social worker said he would need to seek care elsewhere because the caregiver was leaving the clinic.

Leonardo, who is now looking for a new clinic, said he faced long wait times and worried he would not be able to find a new provider before his testosterone prescription expired. We hear this concern is echoed by other transgender youth following SB 14. . He and his colleagues are concerned that more adolescent clinics will close, reducing access to care for both children and adults.

“If we were all rushed, [the wait] It’s been 3-6 months now, where can I get treatment? ” He said.

Leonardo receives gender-affirming treatment at the clinic, but also offers treatment for a variety of other medical conditions, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, reproductive health, nutrition and growth concerns. .

Elizabeth Doyle, 25, has been receiving treatment for eating disorders at the clinic since 2021. She said she was warned of possible disruptions to her care at Dell Children’s Hospital on Thursday, May 11, ahead of her scheduled Tuesday visit. A health care provider seeing a doctor at another clinic told Doyle to contact the clinic.

“She said, ‘Okay, yeah, I don’t think that appointment will happen,'” Doyle said.

When Doyle checked the online booking portal, all records of the booking had disappeared. She said multiple calls and voicemails to her office went unanswered. She said Doyle is now considering whether to find a new caregiver and she is at a loss.

“It really shocks me how carefully I was choosing people who could care for me and my whole body. And these people were part of it. And now I’m looking for other healthcare providers who meet the same qualifications.” You have to go through the process of finding someone,” she said.

Description: An earlier version of this article stated that the doctors were dismissed. It is unclear whether they were fired or retired voluntarily.

Disclaimer: Dell Children’s is a sponsor of KUT and KUTX. The sponsor has no influence over the editorial content of the broadcaster.

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