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Republicans demand answers from NIH director after 2 involved in transgender youth study ‘died by suicide’

More than a dozen House and Senate Republicans have penned a letter to the director of the National Institutes of Health demanding answers over a study it funded titled ‘Psychosocial Functioning in Transgender Youth after 2 Years of Hormones,’ during which ‘two young people tragically died by suicide.’ 

The message to Dr. Lawrence Tabak, co-signed by Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul and Reps. Josh Breechen, Lauren Boebert and Andy Biggs, among others, highlights ‘grave concerns’ from the lawmakers over the study in which researchers examined 315 subjects  ‘between the ages of 12 and 20 who identify as transgender and were given cross-sex hormones,’ 240 of whom were minors. 

‘During this study, two young people died by suicide and eleven reported suicidal ideation,’ the letter read. ‘Rather than shutting the study down after such serious adverse events, the researchers published their paper, concluding that the study was a success because cross-sex hormones had altered subjects’ physical appearance and improved psychosocial functioning.’ 

The researchers have been ‘in search of an agenda and justifying an agenda, they’re not really about children’s safety as we’ve seen from the suicides,’ North Carolina Republican Sen. Ted Budd, who co-led the GOP letter, told Fox News. He described the study as ‘absolutely tragic.’

A summary published by the New England Journal of Medicine read, ‘Participants were enrolled in a four-site prospective, observational study of physical and psychosocial outcomes. ‘

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‘Participants completed the Transgender Congruence Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory–II, the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale (Second Edition), and the Positive Affect and Life Satisfaction measures from the NIH (National Institutes of Health) Toolbox Emotion Battery at baseline and at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after gender-affirming hormones initiation,’ it said. 

‘During the study period, appearance congruence, positive affect, and life satisfaction increased, and depression and anxiety symptoms decreased,’ the summary concluded. ‘Increases in appearance congruence were associated with concurrent increases in positive affect and life satisfaction and decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms. The most common adverse event was suicidal ideation (in 11 participants [3.5%]); death by suicide occurred in 2 participants.’ 

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But, the Republicans argued that ‘the four clinics and some of the researchers who conducted this experiment are outspoken advocates for conducting gender transition interventions on children.’ 

‘In a video it later removed from its YouTube channel, Boston Children’s Hospital, one of the clinics involved, went as far as to claim that children can know their gender identity ‘from the womb,’’ the letter read. 

‘Despite glaring shortfalls, this government-funded research is already being used to further the fallacy that chemically transitioning children is safe and effective,’ the Republicans also argued, adding, ‘It is alarming that vulnerable young people died by suicide while participating in a taxpayer-funded study that will almost certainly inflict devastating physical harm on those who participated.’ 

The letter asked Tabak, by June 9, to provide responses to questions such as, ‘Were the individuals who tragically died by suicide while participating in this study minors?’ and ‘Were participants and their parents given the opportunity to reconsider their consent and withdraw from this research in light of the suicides?’

The Food and Drug Administration told Fox News, when asked if the agency is seeking to expand clinical trials involving children: ‘Increasing the availability of safe and effective medicines for children is a key priority for the FDA. The best way to provide children with safe and effective treatment options is by including them in clinical research and providing additional safeguards to protect them during clinical trials.’

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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