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Final defense witness concludes the trans youth healthcare trial



Little Rock, Arkansas – The trial challenging the Arkansas law that forbids transgender children from receiving medical care has concluded for the day.

The state called Dr. Paul Rhuz, a pediatric endocrinologist, as its last witness on Thursday. Dr. Rhuz practices in a branch of medicine that investigates problems with hormone function.

For central precocious puberty, which occurs when a person experiences biological changes from infancy to adulthood in terms of reproductive potential at an early age, Dr. Rhuz stated he does give puberty blockers, even if he indicated he does not do so for gender dysphoria.

The purpose of the therapy is to delay puberty so that kids wait until they are at the appropriate age before going through this transition.

Dr. Rhuz continued by outlining the dangers of prolonged use of puberty inhibitors. He stated that bone mineral density usually gets the most response. The danger of later-life conditions like osteoporosis increases as a result. It may also result in altered moods and elevated cerebral pressure.

Dr. Rhuz also discussed the negative effects of hormones from different sexes.

He claimed that there is insufficient data to convince him that the advantages of both puberty inhibitors and cross-sex hormones outweigh the disadvantages.

“One cannot make a conclusion that this is justified as a safe and effective long-term solution to gender dysphoria in consideration of significant risks,” Dr. Rhuz said.

Dr. Rhuz added that he is only one of many physicians across the country who share this sentiment.

“As far as my colleagues, I think there are many who share my concern about how it’s being used in the treatment of gender dysphoria”

The ACLU’s cross-examination of Dr. Rhuz concentrated on his experience in researching gender dysphoria and transgender healthcare, calling up in particular his published findings and briefs that contain contentious language.

The ACLU asserts that a religious organization published one of Dr. Rhuz’s briefs. The doctor also submitted a brief in support of a professor who disagreed with the rule requiring academics and staff to use preferred pronouns when addressing students.

Dr. Rhuz was also asked by the ACLU if he had ever treated or identified a patient as having gender dysphoria. He said that he had not.

Judge Moody must now decide whether to uphold the law prohibiting transgender youth from receiving healthcare; this judgment might take many weeks.

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