‘You Should Go to Jail’: DeSantis Warns Doctors Who Perform Child Sex-Change Surgeries

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
May 20, 2023US News
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‘You Should Go to Jail’: DeSantis Warns Doctors Who Perform Child Sex-Change Surgeries
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives remarks in National Harbor, Md., on April 21, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hailed recently signed legislation giving minors who’ve become victims of medical malpractice following gender transition procedures the ability to sue physicians.

DeSantis commented on the matter during an appearance on the “Dinesh D’Souza Podcast” Thursday, saying doctors who perform irreversible sex-change surgeries on children “should go to jail for that.”

On Wednesday, the Republican governor signed a number of bills into law in front of a cheering crowd at the evangelical Cambridge Christian School in Tampa. One of those bills (pdf)—dubbed Senate Bill 254—outlaws transgender surgery and puberty blockers for minors while also giving anyone who regrets their decision the ability to take legal action against the physician who performed the procedure.

DeSantis warned those he described as “rogue” and “ideological” medical professionals that they can be prosecuted if they should sterilize a child before they are a consenting adult.

“We also did a bill, which is sad that we’re even having to discuss this, to criminalize the mutilation of minors who are undergoing the sex-change operations by these really rogue, ideological physicians,” DeSantis said. “We’ve had heartbreaking testimony from people that have gone through this when they were minors. Now they’re adults, and this is something they are now having to overcome really for the rest of their lives because irreversible changes were made.”

“We banned this administratively last year through our medical board so if a medical doctor did this, they lose the license in Florida, which is appropriate. But we felt you had to do more, I mean if you’re taking off the private parts of some 15-year-old kid, you know you should go to jail for that. This is just totally unacceptable,” the 44-year-old father of three continued.

“One of the things we did in that bill though, is we’re giving the victims the ability to sue the physicians. So if you’ve gone through this as a 16-year-old or a 15-year-old, now you’re 24 or 25 and you have all this irreversible damage, you bring suit against them because they violated the Hippocratic Oath, they put their ideology ahead of evidence-based medicine, and we just think that’s fundamentally wrong in the state of Florida,” he added.

‘Politicized’ Establishment

DeSantis, who appears very close to announcing his long-rumored presidential candidacy, also argued that the U.S. medical establishment is “very politicized” and compared Florida’s approach in restricting gender transition procedures to Sweden’s, which decided to restrict such treatment for minors last year over concerns of long-term side effects.

“They realize … the harms of this were really catastrophic,” DeSantis said. “So they’ve gone in the direction that Florida has now gone even before most places in the United States were thinking this was a problem.”

“I think what it shows is, there are some countries out there—and this was true during COVID too—Sweden is more ‘liberal’ than we are, but they are focused on evidence-based medicine, and I think in the United States, the medical establishment is really governed based on ideology,” the Florida governor contended.

Some European countries, such as Sweden, Finland, and the United Kingdom, have already made changes to their model for treating children diagnosed with gender dysphoria. In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) announced restrictions on puberty blockers for minors last year, arguing most children experiencing gender dysphoria are going through a “transient phase” they will outgrow.

The UK findings echo a report by The Epoch Times citing two separate studies that found 88 percent of boys and girls (2 to 12 years of age) who experienced gender dysphoria—who did not undergo transitioning—reported when they were adolescents and young adults that it was no longer an issue and they accepted their biological gender.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, gender dysphoria is a condition of distress created by an individual who identifies with the opposite biological sex.

Feeding Children ‘Propaganda’

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who frequently critiques the push of gender-altering procedures on minors in the United States, recently doubled down on adults who allow children to undergo such surgeries, stating that the sterilization of children should be punishable with life imprisonment.

“Any parent or doctor who sterilizes a child before they are a consenting adult should go to prison for life,” Musk wrote in a Twitter post in April.

The tech billionaire’s comment came in response to another user’s post mocking an MSNBC opinion piece criticizing DeSantis for his policies relating to parental rights, among other issues.

Musk, who has a child that identifies as transgender, has been outspoken in his disapproval of gender-transitioning minors in the past.

Just last month, in another Twitter exchange, the Tesla CEO took aim at adults who encourage children to undergo such procedures, holding that they were feeding children “propaganda.

“Moreover, every child goes through an identity crisis before their personality/identity crystallizes,” he added. “Therefore, we shouldn’t allow severe, irreversible surgery or sterilizing drugs that they may regret until at least age 18.”

Musk’s open critiques have also met with backlash from those who believe minors are capable of making such irreversible and life-altering decisions themselves.

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