Sunday, 25 March 2012

Paging Dr Mengele

I'm working on getting a good idiomatic English translation of Streit um elfjährige Transsexuelle: Alex soll in die Psychiatrie -

But in summary.....

A Nurse decides (probably on religious grounds) that Transsexuality is due to parental upbringing, so the eleven year old child will be confined to a locked ward in a mental hospital - then, in the unlikely event she can pretend to be "cured", placed in a foster home, so her supportive mother will never see her again.

And the court agrees. No expert medical opinion is needed. The appeal has been rejected.

Moral of story: don't support your Trans child, or they'll be taken from you, given "reparative therapy", and you'll never see them again. If they live.

I think it unlikely they'll ever release her. Apparently the last girl given this treatment suicided as soon as she was given the opportunity.

I can understand why, if that was the only means of escape. European Catholic psychiatric establishments when aided and abetted by sympathetic courts have something of a reputation.

An appeal to a Federal court is underway... but apparently until then, she'll be given "masculinising" treatment to coerce her into accepting others' Reality, one completely contrary to medical opinion. Her mind will be damaged, not merely hurt.

It's not that the doctors at the clinic are evil. Merely grossly incompetent, ignorant, opinionated, and experimenting on children. They don't see themselves as heirs to another grossly incompetent, ignorant, opinionated medical experimenter, one Dr Mengele, but that's what they are.

UPDATE: While I was working on an idiomatic translation, this one became available. It's pretty good. From Scallywag & Vagabond
The case of an eleven year old child who goes by the alias Alex Kaminsky has once again stirred debate as to Germany’s stance towards gender neutrality, sex and clinical devices of purity, especially in light of its torrid history with respect to forced sterilization and aspirations towards racial purity.

At the heart of the matter can a young girl and her mother decide what is best for her daughter who biologically was not born a girl but wishes to pursue a female gender or are they obligated to subscribe to the courts view which at present allows open the possibility of the child being institutionalized whom according to human rights group now fear the child will be exposed to a type of redressing with the expressed intent of correcting what is implicitly perceived to be mental deficiencies of a the child.

The commotion came about as Berlin’s Kammergericht this past Thursday re affirmed a lower court’s decision allowing the state to institutionalize an eleven year old. At the time of the ruling, the child’s mother who had sought therapy for her child but to date has been inexplicably denied reiterated that she will now take her case to the constitutional court in an effort to allow her eleven year old to remain living as a female despite being born a male, something the mother supports.

The incident initially found itself in front of the courts as a consequence of the girl’s parents separating and being of different opinions as to how the medical treatment of the child should proceed, with state youth office mandating that the child should be treated in an institution before eventually being made available to a foster family.

Implicit in the court’s decision is the very real possibility that the child may now be preempted from pursuing her desire to live as a female, and exposed to a type of indoctrination that does not promote gender neutrality or choice. Also of concern is whether the child is too young to completely understand the ramifications of her choices and the technical legality that German law requires before one can have a sex change or at least begin the process of hormone adaptation to become one’s innate sense of gender.

To date the youth office has asserted that it believes the best interest of the ‘child ‘ would be achieved if it were removed from a sphere of influence that is predisposed to the girl asserting a female identity . This of course raises the question can a child’s ‘transsexuality’ be induced without the child resisting?

To date no reported incidents exist where a child was forced to accept a gender re alignment against their will, which has stirred the plaintiff’s lawyer to argue that a nurse which the youth office assigned has on the back of one single solitary hour long meeting been able to insist that the mother has sought to unduly influence the child in their choice of gender. The plaintiff’s lawyer has also expressed shock and reticence that to date their client, the mother and daughter have been denied the right to an expert report or therapy, something that the youth office is unwilling to yield to.

Come this Monday at 3pm, human right activists will protest on behalf of the child. Argue the group who go by the banner attache ‘Stop Alex forced into institutionalization at once’: “Institutions like the youth office and the Charité use force on humans through enforcement and psychological pressure! Each gender and each gender identity is a right, not a disease.”

Activists are particularly disturbed with the state’s view that the child might be mentally diseased and thus seeking to institutionalize it to ‘correct’ what it perceives to be mental deficiencies which would run counter with the notion that gender isn’t necessarily what one is born with but what one innately relates to and chooses.

Already a signature campaign as organized by British transsexual activist Katrina Swales is under way to challenge the court’s decision. Asserts Katrina Swales who to date has amassed over 9000 signatures: “This young girl gets taught that her feelings are wrong. She gets pushed into self denial more and more. Something that has already cost the lives of so many transsexuals.”

In light of the court’s current stance a deep mistrust amongst human activists has been instilled who fear clinical assessments may be adopting sterile dispositions towards gender choices and other aspects of human rights manifestations especially in light of a nation known to have had a torrid history with respect to gender rights, discrimination and what has to date been publicly left unsaid, previous ethnic purity aspirations.


LaurenG said...

It's a shame, now that the culture is becoming more tolerant and the medical authorities now recognize this as a real medical (not mental) condition, not like 1970 when I spent a summer in the largest psychiatric facility in the country (Pilgrim State Hospital).

They were fond of lobotomies back then. I'm just lucky I did not end up a vegetable.

I wonder what sort of torture (yes I said torture) she'll be forced to endure.

Jim Hague said...

It looks like there's some details being left out that have come to light in other articles:

1. It was a social worker, not a Catholic nurse, who decided on the removal of Alex to an institution. There's no religious or transphobic motivation in evidence.

2. Alex is at the center of a very nasty divorce between her parents - the mother claims Alex is trans, the father claims otherwise. Both are using Alex's gender identity to deny the other visitation rights.

3. Both ceded authority to the German youth authorities, who have a good record (unlike the US) of actually taking care of children, rather than simply institutionalizing them because they're troublesome.

4. The locked ward isn't intended as a prison for Alex - it's to keep unauthorized people, namely the parents, out. There's no evidence of medical experimentation or pseudo religious 'therapies' going on. The doctors there are fully authorized to tell the social worker to sod off as well, in the best interests of their patient.

The sad fact is that this looks like far less a case of transphobia (though I wonder about the father and his classic homophobic/transphobic slurs) and more a case on an 11 year old child being used as a poker chip by adults who should damn well know better.

Germany in general and the German social services system in particular actually have a fairly good record of helping, not harming, transfolk.

There's a lot of assumptions being made here - by the article, primarily, and you've extended them - in a situation that's significantly more complex and sad than the article lets on. Germany isn't the Netherlands, Doc, and it's poor taste to insult your German readers with the specter of Nazi atrocities.

Regardless, it's a situation that bears monitoring, simply for the sake of basic human decency. A child's being used here, and that's a miserable, terrible thing to do, especially when the child's gender identity is being used as leverage.

Take care, and be well.


catherinecc said...

Human translation of the article supposedly here....

Sophie said...

@Jim. Sadly some of your points are very debatable. If Alex has been presenting as female for a number of years, the divorce proceedings must have been going on for some while - 5 years or so? Unlikely. The father doesn't seem to have normal visiting rights in that period which is very unusual.Ceding authority may not have been done freely ; there's normally some pressure in comparable situations. The record of the Berlin jugendamt is mixed. Talking to people about this case and many cis parents, for example, have a low opinion of it. Not because of bad care options but that they can be fairly dictatorial - the normal lamentable bureaucratic disease.
The major thing is that the experts consulted by the jugendamt would appear to be Charitee based. The ts experts there would compare with Blanchard and Bailey at their worst.We are talking about theories relating to absent father / overbearing mother and parentally 'induced' transsexuality. How, and by whom, initial assessment is made is a major issue, though clearly normal closed wards here are not usually places of grim incarceration. But in these circumstances not sure how much sympathetic non- specialists can do. Also it seems that by announcing their intention to eventually place the child in foster care the jugendamt have painted a corner for themselves. German authorities are proverbially terrible at getting out of that sort of situation because it means admitting to being wrong, something that's hardly supported in this culture.
And talking about Germany and the german record of dealing with trans kids doesn't make much sense in that the system is definitely not a unified one with no single SOC referent.
Agree that the mengele comparison is OTT but talking to people in Berlin about the wonderful system here for ts kids or about the jugendamt being so great won't often get you much agreement.

Zoe Brain said...

The information that I have from those on the scene is that this is not the first case Herr Doktor Beier has attempted to treat.

He uses methods similar to the UCLA "sissy boy" program overseen by Dr George Rekers. A system of operant conditioning involving rewards and punishments. Lack of co-operation leads to "time-outs" - periods of solitary confinement and sensory deprivation, possibly supplemented by drugs.

The girl will be given a buzz-cut and male clothing. There will only be exposure to an unfeminine environment, with punishment for feminine behaviour. All contact with the outside world will be forbidden, in order to "re-orient" her mind. It is especially important that she be made aware she will never see her mother again, and to enforce that.

Dr Beier appears unaware that Money's theories were exploded, and he does not recognise GID as a diagnosis, nor the existence of transsexuality except as a natural reaction to having a feminine appearance.

I'll quote:

"She herself is really unaware of to much of that. The people with the power over her on the other hand do not even see an "dysphoria" approach. According to their theories, body follows psyche, the genderrole is the only motivation, the bodily needs only an interpretion - of apearance so that others gender you correctly. 80s "Form follows function" so to say.

It would actually even be a succes if any kind of dysphoria would be accepted. Yet the "hatred of ones own body" as a psychological imposed symptom is "known". That is exactly why Hormones in grown-ups are only given after a year of so called real life test. They say, given earlier they mgiht manifest the need."

The idea is that by forcing her to look masculine, her mind will change so she will no longer have this "delusion" imposed by parental upbringing that she is feminine. Anyone who looks male, becomes male, once the malign influence causing the well-known psychosis of "hating one's body" is removed.

I'll quote again:

"She will be treated the "Zucker" way plus complete seperation from her mother and under 24h survilance in the institution. Another child who was "treated" there made suicide the first time she was allowed to leave the institution for a few hours."

As I said, not the first time these non-specialists with some very eccentric ideas grounded on Freudian psychology have experimented on a child.

Suicide is a real risk.

Zimbel said...

I see the petition here.

Can anyone affirm if this is an accurate translation? My German is very weak.

Bad hair days said...

Because of the public response the court has made an public anouncement:
and published the anonymized order.

Despite the childish "we didn't" sound of the anouncement ("we never ordered her direct to the asylum!") the public outroar is right. While the didn't say it that way they were perfectly well aware of that exact result by keeping the decision in the hand of the social worker and discuss it at length with deep transphobia in the order.

Examples of transphobia:
Clinics witch treat children with GnrH are called as single minded despite a strong evaluation process.
Two expert testimonys (in favour of the homronal treatment) where ignored because they where called biased.
It is stated that the hormonal treatment would be the one who had unchangeable consequences, when in fact, it holds all possibilities open, while nonmedical intervention would cause unchangeable consequences.

It saddens me that a court can be so biased and outright lie and can get away with it.