Vanderbilt also told the lawmakers that it would protect conscientious objectors who work at the facility and don’t want to take part in the controversial treatments.
“We are pausing gender affirmation surgeries on patients under 18 while we complete this review, which may take several months,” the letter says. The clinic says they have done about five such “gender-affirming surgical procedures per year” since clinic opened in 2018.
The letter, addressed to Republican State Rep. Jason Zachary, was written by C. Wright Pinson, the deputy CEO and chief health system officer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Pinson said that parental consent had been given in each case for the surgery and that no “genital procedures” had been done.
The executive noted that the clinic had relied on “leading medical specialty societies” such as the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) and the Endocrine Society.
Pinson also said that the clinic complied with existing Tennessee law and would comply with any potential legislation that the legislature may pass.
“In addition, we understand this issue is likely to be taken up by the General Assembly in its next legislative session. As always, we will assure that VUMC‘s programs comply with any new requirements which may be established as a part of Tennessee law,” he wrote.
The news was celebrated by Tennessee Republicans, who probed the clinic after Daily Wire host Matt Walsh drew attention to the clinic performing double mastectomies on minors.
“We should not allow permanent, life altering decisions that hurt children,” declared Governor Bill Lee. “With the partnership of the General Assembly, this practice should end in Tennessee.”
We should not allow permanent, life altering decisions that hurt children. With the partnership of the General Assembly, this practice should end in Tennessee.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) October 8, 2022
Zachary tweeted that he was pleased that VUMC had both agreed to at least temporarily halt the surgeries on minors and to always honor the wishes of staff who don’t wish to participate in the procedures.
“We appreciate VUMC’s response to the @tnhousegop deep concerns,” Zachary announced on Twitter Friday afternoon.
Republican State Rep. William Lamberth echoed Zachary’s comments.
“Glad that VUMC has paused surgeries for children at their transgender clinic. This is a win for the safety of our children, but we’re committed to ensuring this never happens in Tennessee again,” he said.
Walsh, who has championed the cause of protecting gender-dysphoric children from dangerous and irreversible medical procedures, including amputation, sterilization and chemical and surgical castration, welcomed the news.
“Today is an enormous victory in the battle to protect children from mutilation and abuse,” Walsh said. “We are winning the struggle against one of the greatest evils mankind has ever known. But the fight is far from over.”