Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Will the ‘Invisible Hand’ Finally Stop Doctors From Putting Kids on Experimental Gender Drugs?



Doctors across the country have seemingly thrown caution to the wind, prescribing experimental drugs to block puberty and to chemically alter young people’s bodies in the name of a nebulous gender identity. Rising rates for medical malpractice insurance may cause them to think twice, however.

“Clinics that are getting into this kind of work … were surprised at the rates they were being quoted for malpractice insurance,” Latham Watts, vice president of public affairs at the nonprofit law firm Alliance Defending Freedom, told “The Daily Signal Podcast.”

“Some of the quotes they were getting back were five times what they were expecting, and those rates continue to rise,” Watts explained in an interview at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in February.

Many of the teens who once identified as transgender and took so-called puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to make their bodies resemble members of the opposite sex have grown to reject their transgender identities and begin the process of detransitioning—taking yet more drugs in an effort to return to their natural development.

Many of them are now suing their former doctors, saying that the transgender “treatments” harmed them before they were old enough to provide informed consent.

Many of them also claim that doctors have violated the Hippocratic oath, a pledge for doctors which, among other things, includes the promise to “do no harm” to patients.

“So, the insurance carriers see this, they see the litigation increasing, they see the risk increasing, and so the rates increase,” Watts said. “You know, it’s the ‘invisible hand.’ It’s Adam Smith; you know, the invisible hand of the economy.”

That’s a reference to the theory the 18th-century Scottish economist Adam Smith expounded in his book “The Wealth of Nations,” that free markets incentivize people to provide goods and services in an economy so that they can sell those goods and services to produce wealth for themselves. As Smith wrote, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” This self-interest regulates prices far better than the government can, Smith argued.

“My take on it was, if the Hippocratic oath, if basic high school ninth grade biology, if the moral natural law theory of human beings being image-bearers of God, if none of that will convince doctors that this is a bad idea, and it takes their own economic self-interest, that might be a sad commentary on the practice of medicine, but I’ll take it, right?” Watts said.

The lawyer draws a distinction between “parents who are just desperate to help a suffering child, particularly when a lot of them have been sold this lie that the only choice is between a living transgender ‘daughter’ and a dead son,” and the doctors, who “should know better.”

ADF—a law firm focused on free speech, religious freedom, the sanctity of life, marriage and family, and parental rights—represents many clients struggling against gender ideology, the worldview that promotes transgender identity and these experimental medical interventions. Many schools have forced teachers to use pronouns that reflect students’ transgender identities, rather than their biological sex.

Watts noted that ADF has taken many cases “advancing the God-given right to live and speak the truth.” 

In another ADF case, a school district forced a girl to share a bed with a boy on an overnight school trip.

“We currently have clients in Colorado whose daughter was on an overnight field trip and was told not only has she been assigned to share a room with a biological male, but to share a bed with a biological male,” Watts explained.

He also responds to attacks from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which branded ADF an “anti-LGBTQ hate group.”

“If you don’t agree with them, that’s their definition of hate, right?” he said. “If the First Amendment means anything, it’s the right for people to express views and to disagree.”

Watts also discussed ADF lawsuits before the Supreme Court, including a case against the Food and Drug Administration for approving an abortion pill that will land one in 25 women in the emergency room (according to the FDA label).

“I mean, would you believe that the Food and Drug Administration would do that?” he asks. “I mean for any drug? It’s really unconscionable to me, the callousness.”