Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Lee has called for an investigation of the Pediatric Transgender Clinic at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) after shocking videos posted by Matt Walsh detailed a doctor’s promotion of “big money maker” transgender surgeries.
The videos obtained by Walsh also show apparent threats made against medical professionals at VUMC if they objected to the procedures, even for religious reasons.
“The ‘pediatric transgender clinic’ at Vanderbilt University Medical Center raises serious moral, ethical and legal concerns,” Lee said in a statement to The Daily Wire. “We should not allow permanent, life-altering decisions that hurt children or policies that suppress religious liberties, all for the purpose of financial gain. We have to protect Tennessee children, and this warrants a thorough investigation.”
Lee’s comments follow a detailed thread from Daily Wire host and author Matt Walsh on the medical center. In one of the video’s shared by Walsh, VUMC Clinic for Transgender Health’s Dr. Shayne Sebold Taylor admitted, “These surgeries are labor intensive, they require a lot of follow-ups, they require a lot of our time, and they make money,” she emphasized. “They make money for the hospital.”
Vanderbilt opened its trans clinic in 2018. During a lecture the same year, Dr. Shayne Taylor explained how she convinced Nashville to get into the gender transition game. She emphasized that it's a "big money maker," especially because the surgeries require a lot of "follow ups" pic.twitter.com/zedM7HBCBe
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) September 20, 2022
At another Medicine Grand Rounds lecture, staffers are warned by Vanderbilt health law expert Ellen Wright Clayton that any “conscientious objection” will be met with “consequences,” and are told they probably shouldn’t be working at VUMC if they don’t want to participate in the trans surgeries, which include minor patients.
“If you are going to assert conscientious objection, you have to realize that that is problematic,” Clayton said. “You are doing something to another person, and you are not paying the cost for your belief. I think that is a … real issue.”
Clayton said conscientious objectors would be “accommodated,” but said these people have to find someone else to carry out such surgeries for them.
“I just want you to take home that saying that you’re not going to do something because of your conscientious — because of your religious beliefs, is not without consequences, and should not be without consequences,” she stressed. “And I just want to put that out there.”
“We are given an enormous — if you don’t want to do this kind of work, don’t work at Vanderbilt,” she stressed.
Vanderbilt was apparently concerned that not all of its staff would be on board. Dr. Ellen Clayton warned that "conscientious objections" are "problematic." Anyone who decides not to be involved in transition surgeries due to "religious beliefs" will face "consequences" pic.twitter.com/CgNicrG4Mg
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) September 20, 2022
The medical center has also detailed transgender surgeries and treatments available for minors. Video from the Vanderbilt Psychiatry YouTube channel reveals the medical center “explicitly [admits] that they will give and have given irreversible hormone drugs to children as young as 13,” Walsh wrote.
“So, let’s review. Vanderbilt got into the gender transition game admittedly in large part because it is very financially profitable,” he closed the Twitter thread. “They then threatened any staff members who objected, and enlisted a gang of trans activists to act as surveillance in order to force compliance.”
“They now castrate, sterilize, and mutilate minors as well as adults, while apparently taking steps to hide this activity from the public view,” Walsh added. “This is what ‘health care’ has become in modern America.”
VUMC released a statement Wednesday claiming to be victims of posts that “misrepresent facts.”
“We have been and will continue to be committed to providing family-centered care to all adolescents in compliance with state law and in line with professional practice standards and guidance established by medical specialty societies,” the statement said.
The medical center seemed to acknowledge it provides highly controversial transgender treatment to minors, but said “VUMC requires parental consent to treat a minor patient” and “never refuses parental involvement in the care of transgender youth who are under age 18.”
“Our policies allow employees to decline to participate in care they find morally objectionable, and do not permit discrimination against employees who choose to do so,” the statement continued, referring to video of Vanderbilt health law expert Ellen Wright Clayton seemingly threatening dissenting doctors. “This includes employees whose personal or religious beliefs do not support gender-affirming care for transgender persons.”
The controversial Trans Buddy program at VUMC, the statement said, “has received national acclaim. Its purpose is to provide peer volunteers who support persons who are seeking highly personal care in an unfamiliar environment, and who may have been refused medical services in the past or avoided seeking them out of fear of being met with hostility.”
This piece has been updated to included comment from Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Amanda Prestigiacomo contributed to this report.