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Good afternoon, Friends,
The Saint John Paul II Bioethics Center is pleased to announce that Paul W. Hruz, MD, PhD will deliver the 2017 Saint John Paul II Bioethics Lecture at Holy Apostles on November 17, 2017 at 6:00pm. The lecture is free, open to the public and will be live streamed on the Holy Apostles YouTube Channel. Dr. Hruz will address the use of puberty-blocking agents in children said to experience gender identity issues, a treatment increasingly being recommended at younger ages. He will critically examine the largely .subjective and speculative arguments in favor of puberty suppression and demonstrate the absence of a well-established scientific consensus to support the practice. Significant elements of Dr. Hruz’s presentation include the follow:

  • Claims that puberty-blocking treatments are fully reversible are not supported by scientific evidence.
  • Possible side effects include abnormal bone and muscle development, neurological problems, and infertility.
  • Treatments may solidify transient childhood cross-gender identification that would not otherwise persist.
  • Absence of controlled clinical trials comparing outcomes of puberty suppression to alternative therapeutic approaches.
  • Lack of FDA approval of the most common puberty-blocking agents for use in treating gender dysphoria.

In his ground breaking article Growing Pains: Problems with Puberty Suppression in Treating Gender Dysphoria, Dr. Hruz and co-authors Paul McHugh and Lawrence Mayer, conclude: “Regardless of the good intentions of the physicians and parents, to expose young people to such treatments is to endanger them.”

Deacon Tom Davis, Director of the Saint John Paul II Bioethics Center, notes the critical nature and timeliness of the topic. “Pope Francis has lamented the teaching of gender choice to schoolchildren, which he described as a growing form of ‘ideological colonization’ imposed on developing countries by western powers. The Pope reveled that he and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI consider gender theory an attack against God the Creator. And last year Pope Francis made the point directly to a gathering of Polish bishops:

God created man and woman; God created the world like this and we are doing the exact opposite. … It is [an] exploitation of creation and the exploitation of people. We are living at a time when humankind as the image of God is being annihilated.

In his encyclical Laudato Si, the Pope similarly connected economic exploitation with gender theory and criticized the desire to cancel out sexual difference, saying: “thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation.”

Deacon Davis points out that Dr. Hruz is eminently well qualified to address the issue. He is the Julio V. Santiago Endowed Scholar at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri where he holds positions as associate professor of pediatrics, endocrinology, and diabetes and associate professor of cell biology and physiology.

Additionally, Dr. Hruz has filed a brief as amici curiae with the United States Supreme Court on the transgender issue in a critical case that will be decided in 2018. The brief is available HERE.

You may read more about Dr. Hruz in his CV (HERE)

The opinions expressed by the DPS blog authors and those providing comments are theirs alone; they are not necessarily the expressions or beliefs of either the Dead Philosophers Society or Holy Apostles College & Seminary.