The WPATH Files

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Leaked files from WPATH reveal widespread medical malpractice on children and vulnerable adults at global transgender healthcare authority

World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) members demonstrate a lack of consideration for long-term patient outcomes despite being aware of the debilitating and potentially fatal side effects of cross-sex hormones and other treatments

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Press Release: JDA Worldwide for Environmental Progress

March 4, 2024

Newly leaked files from within the leading global transgender healthcare body have revealed that the clinicians who shape how “gender medicine” is regulated and practiced around the world consistently violate medical ethics and informed consent. The files, which were leaked from within the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), were published today by the US-based think tank Environmental Progress.

WPATH is considered the leading global scientific and medical authority on “gender medicine,” and in recent decades, its Standards of Care have shaped the guidance, policies and practices of governments, medical associations, public health systems and private clinics across the world.

However, the WPATH Files reveal that the organization does not meet the standards of evidence-based medicine, and members frequently discuss improvising treatments as they go along. Members are fully aware that children and adolescents cannot comprehend the lifelong consequences of “gender-affirming care,” and in some cases, due to poor health literacy, neither can their parents. 

“The WPATH Files show that what is called ‘gender medicine’ is neither science nor medicine,” said Michael Shellenberger, President and founder of Environmental Progress. “The experiments are not randomized, double-blind, or controlled. It’s not medicine since the first rule is to do no harm. And that requires informed consent.”

The raw files have been published in a report called The WPATH Files: Pseudoscientific surgical and hormonal experiments on children, adolescents, and vulnerable adults, which contains analysis by journalist Mia Hughes that puts the WPATH Files in the context of the best available science on gender distress. 

Environmental Progress has made all files available to read at the end of the report. The leaked files include screenshots of posts from WPATH’s internal messaging forum dating from 2021 to 2024 and a video of an internal panel discussion. All names have been redacted other than several WPATH members of public significance, such as Dr. Marci Bowers, an American gynecologist and surgeon who is the President of WPATH, and the Canadian pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Daniel Metzger.

In the WPATH Files, members demonstrate a lack of consideration for long-term patient outcomes despite being aware of the debilitating and potentially fatal side effects of cross-sex hormones and other treatments. Messages in the files show that patients with severe mental health issues, such as schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder, and other vulnerabilities such as homelessness, are being allowed to consent to hormonal and surgical interventions. Members dismiss concerns about these patients and characterize efforts to protect them as unnecessary “gatekeeping.”

The files provide clear evidence that doctors and therapists are aware they are offering minors life-changing treatments they cannot fully understand. WPATH members know that puberty blockers, hormones, and surgeries will cause infertility and other complications, including cancer and pelvic floor dysfunction. Yet they consider life-altering medical interventions for young patients, including vaginoplasty for a 14-year-old and hormones for a developmentally delayed 13-year-old. 

The WPATH Files also show how far medical experiments in gender medicine have gone, with discussions about surgeons performing “nullification” and other extreme body modification procedures to create body types that do not exist in nature.  

A growing number of medical and psychiatric professionals say the promotion of pseudoscientific surgical and hormonal experiments is a global medical scandal that compares to major incidents of medical malpractice in history, such as lobotomies and ovariotomies.

“Activist members of WPATH know that the so-called ‘gender-affirming care’ they provide can result in life-long complications and sterility and that their patients do not understand the implications, such as loss of sexual function and the ability to experience orgasm,” Shellenberger said. “These leaked files show overwhelming evidence that the professionals within WPATH know that they are not getting consent from children, adolescents, and vulnerable adults, or their caregivers.”

Environmental Progress has written to every WPATH member named in the files, as well as additional members whose names have been redacted, to confirm their comments and offer a right of reply. Two people responded – one confirmed that the comments attributed to them were correct, and another did not deny their comments but refuted Environmental Progress’ interpretation of them. Mention of Environmental Progress’ outreach to members via email was then later seen in the form of comments on WPATH’s internal messaging forum.

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