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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Trans children in Sweden - serious side effect, cover ups by hospital

102 replies

Doubletoilandtrouble · 25/11/2021 10:06

This is in Swedish only for now. A trans child, Leo was treated for puberty blockers for 4 years. Leo ended up with osteoporosis (significantly below any normal bone density interval), fractures in the back, constant pain and worse mental state.

The journalist also found an additional 12 cases in Stockholm only where children had serious side effects (bone fractures, deep regret from voice changes, injuries, deteriorating mental health and significant weight gains). Leo’s case was not reported and not one of these.

Leo’s parents were not informed of the risk and the doctor that warned the parents about the side effects was reported to the management and silenced (words like incitement was used).

The psychiatric staff initially blamed everything on the hormone team. The head of the department with the hormones claimed in the interview to never have seen the reports from the psychiatric team.

Investigation only seem to have started after the journalist made the program and it wasn’t possible to cover up any more.

And this was Astrid Lindgren’s children’s hospital, one of the hospitals that at least stopped with this treatment. Other hospitals are happily going and claims that the treatment side effects doesn’t worry them.

The program finishes with that nobody know the number of children with serious side effects (some seem to be covered up). Some other Swedish hospitals keep going.

And there is an interview with two transwomen who think that it is horrid that people are using “think of the children”, that is just an argument to deprive trans people of care. They think that the big problem is transphobia. These two transwomen also spoke at the medical conference and told the doctors about how they needed to shift the focus from potential harm to children to fighting transphobia.

I feel sick. I hope this will come out with subtitles soon.

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QueenSue · 26/11/2021 20:25

More comments deleted. Just why?!
I hope everyone, including MNHQ, watches the documentary.

MrsPsmalls · 26/11/2021 20:28

I have worked with young people with severe learning disabilities for nearly 40 years. Over the years there have been several attempts from families to have puberty blockers prescribed for these guys. The fear of pregnancy, single dad's not wanting to take charge of periods, aggressive lads with no self control, fear of parents that they would no longer be able to keep young people at home if they became unable to lift them etc. It's easy to see why families might ask for them tbh. BUT on no occasion were they ever prescribed. Deemed not in the best interest of the child, fear of KNOWN side effects and every child having the right to adulthood. Case meetings galore full of every professional under the sun and never any support for this. So why are these drugs good enough for 'trans' kids, but not for learning disabled kids. It is not in the 'trans' kids best interests and is a bloody mess.

QueenSue · 26/11/2021 20:41

The part at the trans care conference were the RFSL speaker (Swedish version of Stonewall) says the opposition will say things like "won't somebody think of the children" and the audience laughs. It really says a lot. No one cares if these children are injured.

Doubletoilandtrouble · 26/11/2021 21:43

That was awful QueenSue. The two biologically male transwomen said that. They had obviously never been on puberty blockers. They thought it was so silly and bigoted to focus on the children. Transphobia was the real threat people should think of. And all through this, Leo and the other trans children suffered so badly Sad.

But it seemed so validating for the two transwomen to talk at the conference so I guess that was ok?

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Voice0fReason · 26/11/2021 21:58

I cannot understand how this experiment on children has been allowed to continue without proper research. There are red flags and alarm bells ringing all over the place but they are being brushed under the carpet.
The poor kids are going to pay a permanent and bitter price for this movement.

BreadInCaptivity · 26/11/2021 23:00

[quote rogdmum]Link to view with English subtitles is here:[/quote]

Thank you.

Watching now 👍

lovelyweathertoday · 26/11/2021 23:18

Those final interviews with the medical heads turning up for interviews just blaming each other.

A 15 year old with osteoporosis is not a "communication problem". They reacted as though she was in the wrong for asking questions and expecting them to do their job.

BreadInCaptivity · 27/11/2021 00:11


That was a hard watch.

I'm not going to sleep well tonight, but I'm glad regardless that I did watch it and I hope a lot more people do as well.

I was particularly struck my Leo's mothers honestly. Her feelings of guilt. Her admission she should have researched more (though I am hugely sympathetic in respect of her trusting the medical profession who ultimately let her and her child down very badly).

As for the the blame "ping pong" amongst the medical managers- seriously WTF.

We should keep bumping this thread so people watch this.

It's not only happening in Sweden. It's happening here in the U.K.

BreadInCaptivity · 27/11/2021 00:12


Those final interviews with the medical heads turning up for interviews just blaming each other.

A 15 year old with osteoporosis is not a "communication problem". They reacted as though she was in the wrong for asking questions and expecting them to do their job.

Whatwouldscullydo · 27/11/2021 11:39

It's not only happening in Sweden. It's happening here in the U.K

Yes. Despite being miles apart there are some very disturbing similarities.

The existence or non existence should I say of impact assessments and incident reports etc where do they all go?

But only the ones reporting negative outcomes of course. The whistle blowers can be sure of getting the paperwork sent through to everyone immediately 🤔

Popuptent · 27/11/2021 11:57

Just finished watching. Comments from the trans healthcare conference:

"We would like to shift the perspective off the risks of transgender care to more talk about the risks of transphobia."

"It's more important to focus on the risks of transphobia than the risks of hormone treatment."

borntobequiet · 27/11/2021 11:58

I think this is it on YouTube if the other link doesn’t work

BettyFilous · 27/11/2021 14:46

Thanks for linking to the subtitled version. It was sobering viewing. You can see exactly how the buckpassing is going to play out when the children harmed by this and their families start bringing litigation cases. Interesting to see the different practices in the six national GID centres as well, with some styling it out and others becoming much more cautious. The emerging evidence of harm should give everyone pause about enacting conversion therapy legislation which could constrain supportive, thorough psychological intervention. It would be desperate if these children were left high and dry when access to hormone therapy and PBs is inevitably tightened up.

InvisibleDragon · 27/11/2021 16:16

Wow. Watched this in 3 chunks because it is brutal.

I was shocked that the focal patient, "Leo", was treated with puberty blockers for 5 years with no bone density monitoring. They showed Leo's dexa scan on the documentary and the z-scores were between -2.2 and -3.5 (see attached screenshots). The cut-off point for osteoporosis diagnosis is -2.5. So Leo's bone density is now lower than 99.7% of the population. He's in constant pain and 2 of his vertebrae are so weakened they have compressed into wedge shapes. At age 15. That's horrific.

I have an elderly relative who has similar spinal issues (developed in the last 3 years) and it is awful. The pain is not a minor twinge; it's agony. She takes lots of pain medication, but her life is severely restricted. Wedge fractures cause spine curvature which also starts to restrict the space in the abdomen, causing issues with eating and digestion.

Osteoporosis is another one of these health issues like endometriosis that is largely ignored because it mostly affects women - and older women at that. And again with Leo and his peers, it's the FTM transitioners who are experiencing the most issues. Reduced bone density sounds abstract and hand wavy, but the reality is just grim.

Like other posters, I'm increasingly fed up with older transitioners saying that access to puberty blockers is a privilege that they wish they had benefited from. That kind of counterfactual argument has no place in debate - "if I could have had blockers I would have been happier than I am now." Yes and if my grandma had wheels she'd be a train. There is something fanatical about saying you would accept any level of suffering /side effects to achieve physical transition. It reminds me of trauma bonding behaviour in controlling relationships. And it concerns me that older members of the trans community are encouraging this in younger members, including minors.

Trans children in Sweden - serious side effect, cover ups by hospital
Trans children in Sweden - serious side effect, cover ups by hospital
BettyFilous · 27/11/2021 18:47

The slide up on screen at the conference was such utter tosh too. If it was representing the concerns of feminists and concerned clinicians it would have more properly included:

  • Inadequate evidence base and no robust trial data
  • Experimental treatment with inadequate follow up/evaluation of outcomes
  • Limited investigation of underlying factors such as ASD, adverse childhood experiences
  • Limited consideration of impact of mental health co-morbidities before commencing treatment
  • Inadequate monitoring of known side effects (eg bone density)
  • Inadequate record keeping (Tavistock/CQC)
  • Application of a treatment plan designed for one cohort (pre-pubertal boys) to another completely different cohort (girls)
  • Likely safeguarding failures and attempts to silence and ostracise concerned clinicians and whistleblowers (Tavistock)
  • Failure to counsel patients and families adequately about risks, accompanied by clinicians pushing the “safe, reversible pause” narrative in influential media outlets

And that’s just the things I can remember from Keira’s case and the various whistleblowers. But yeah, it’s all unthinking bigotry… 🙄

Seriously, why should trans children be exposed to poor standards of care and experimental treatment without the appropriate safeguards in place? Are they not equally deserving of high quality, evidence based treatment? Yes, we ARE thinking of the children and frankly it’s a disgrace that others are being so gung-ho.
nauticant · 27/11/2021 19:06

One thing that wasn't made clear in the programme (maybe it was and I missed it) was whether Leo was continuing with the treatment that was causing such damage.

I understand this is a confidential matter that can reasonably be withheld from an audience of millions but I was hoping to be reassured that Leo was now on a path that could involve some healing.

InvisibleDragon · 27/11/2021 19:06

I was also extremely unimpressed by the senior clinicians saying that they had no idea about anything going wrong because no-one had sent them an incident report. That's really crappy leadership. If they aren't able to create a climate of trust in which clinicians can be open about things that go wrong, that's a governance failure.

Interestingly, there's clearly a similar split between the psychiatry/mental health teams and the endocrinologists to the set-up at the Tavistock. We saw some attempted buck-passing around informed consent in the Keira Bell case. It looks like similar games are being played between the KID team (cringey name) and the Children's Hospital. With the same result that no-one takes responsibility for medical harms caused to extremely vulnerable children.

Trans children in Sweden - serious side effect, cover ups by hospital
Trans children in Sweden - serious side effect, cover ups by hospital
QueenSue · 27/11/2021 19:16

Aside from the completely horrific side-effect of osteoporosis, note that Leo also stopped growing. How is having the height of a pre-pubertal girl going to help a child pass as a teenage boy?

InvisibleDragon · 27/11/2021 19:33


Yes - that's clearly not going to help with passing is it? I think they also mentioned another young person who stopped growing and also rapidly gained 25kg, which is pretty drastic.

Doubletoilandtrouble · 27/11/2021 19:44

nauticant, I believe that it said that Leo now has discontinued the treatment but that it took about 3 months from the discovery of the osteoporosis.

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nauticant · 27/11/2021 19:55

I do hope that's the case and there are some supplements and moderate exercise that will help. I realise that osteoporosis is resistant to treatment to some degree but Leo is still very young.

BigGreen · 27/11/2021 21:03

That was so tragic. Watching the Drs pass the blame to each other made me feel queasy. I'm so sorry you were failed this way, Leo Thanks Kids deserve high quality, evidence based treatment in each and every case. How anyone could disagree with that is beyond me.

iguanadonna · 27/11/2021 21:33

The lack of incident reports - is this because these problems are actually known side effects? Loss of bone density is an expected effect. So not really something you'd file an incident report about?

InvisibleDragon · 27/11/2021 21:53

iguanadonna I don't know the Swedish system at all, but I don't think this should be the case. It might be expected that bone mineral density will decrease, but that should be monitored to make sure the vibe density stays within safe limits. Leo's treatment should have been stopped long before he has clinically diagnosable osteoporosis.

So there are at least 2 failures here:

  • the lack of monitoring is a failure in itself
  • the medical harm caused - Leo now has osteoporosis and has suffered preventable spinal damage.

On a slightly grim tangent, I'm now wondering whether the extent of Leo's difficulties could be because he has an eating disorder as well as taking puberty blockers?
purplesequins · 28/11/2021 07:17

maybe those children or their parents reported the side effects to the swedish equivalent of the yellow card scheme.

those side effect reports feed back to that authorities fhat license medicines.

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