Suspend Dr. Jamie Feusner et al. from UCLA

Suspend Dr. Jamie Feusner et al. from UCLA

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Georgina Desrochers started this petition to UCLA and

Dr. Jamie Feusner of UCLA is the principal investigator of a concerning new neuroscience study that has worrying potential to set back the rights of transgender people in healthcare.

Also involved in the study are doctors Eric Vilain, Ivanka Savic, and Francisco J. Sanchez. Particularly concerning is their history of anti-trans bias regarding healthcare access. This will be touched on later. We also call for the suspension of these individuals in connection with this study.

Dr. Jamie et al. are attempting to create a machine learning algorithm that claims to predict the likelihood of detransition after hormone treatment "with the goal of determining which patients will benefit from hormone therapy - prior to undergoing hormone therapy."  Dr. Jamie et al. are blatantly developing technology that will be used to exclude transgender people from hormone therapy and surgeries. Dr. Jamie Feusner and others are paving the way for further discrimination and exclusion of trans people from life-saving healthcare, a result which will surely kill trans people denied access to life-saving healthcare.

This new study, backed by the National Institute of Health, has extremely questionable premises and methodology. Namely, the study seeks to trigger extreme gender dysphoria in the subjects so that the researchers can perform an MRI scan on their brain to "better understand the condition". This is torture. It's frankly baffling how this passed the ethics department. Amidst complaints, they're standing by their decision. If this study is allowed to proceed and if Dr. Jamie Feusner is allowed to continue his research at UCLA, transgender people will be tortured at his hands.

The study claims that it is "not intended to be used to determine who does or does not receive treatment, nor is it to be used as diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria." This is a lie. The research in this study is being used to create technology used determine who "deserves" trans healthcare and who does not based on the subjects' MRIs. Dr. Jamie et al. lied about the nature of this study to its participants and to UCLA.

Activists are raising alarm bells that this study, if allowed to proceed, could be used to advance conversion therapy for transgender people. Such developments have alarming potential to set back transgender healthcare, as practitioners may be advised to administer conversion therapy over gender-affirming hormone treatments. Dr. Jamie Feusner and UCLA are and will be complicit in the torture of transgender people through conversion therapy.

Of the study, Gender Justice LA Executive Director Ezak Perez says: “This study’s stated purpose is to trigger ‘gender dysphoria’ by taking photographs of participants’ bodies in tight clothing (unitards), and specifically people who have not had access to affirming medical transition. This research design unapologetically aims to cause mental health distress to trigger ‘dysphoria’ to an already marginalized and vulnerable community.

Of the study, California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network says: “We object to the view that transgender people have an aberrant body image condition or that brain imaging of traumatic response could ultimately ‘help’ trans people. It is suggestive of a search for medical ‘cure,’ which can open the door for more gatekeeping and restrictive policies and practices in relation to access to gender-affirming care. At a time in which trans lives are under attack, we find this kind of research to be misguided and dangerous.”

I'm calling on UCLA to suspend Dr. Jamie Feusner, Dr. Eric Vilain, Dr. Ivanka Savic, and Francisco J. Sanchez. I'm calling on UCLA to put and end to this study permanently. Dr. Jamie Feusner and his researchers are attacking our rights and our community. It is imperative that, for our safety, the activities of Dr. Jamie Feusner and his researchers are known and that he is no longer permitted to perform studies in gender dysphoria. It's time we stand up, defend our rights, and let UCLA that this study is unethical and must be suspended permanently.

Below are quotes from Dr. Jamie's cohorts that should make evident the anti-trans bias behind the researchers.

On Eric Vilain:

“Despite the lack of clarity in this debate, the Obama administration recently appeared to take sides, issuing a statement that decried the use of 'conversion therapy' to change either sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“President Obama is correct to oppose sexual orientation conversion therapy, which is usually offered because of religious objections to homosexuality, and which doesn’t work. But therapy to help a pre-adolescent child overcome gender dysphoria can be entirely different. Some professionals who do this therapy have no moral issue with transgenderism but are trying to help children avoid later medical stress. That is a reasonable goal, even if it is not the only possible goal.”

Eric Vilain goes on to make the following statement:

“Let’s take a look at the likely life trajectories of two imagined gender dysphoric boys: David, whose parents insist he stay David, and Max, whose parents allow him to become a girl, changing his name to Maxine. In the short run, David will experience more psychological pain than Maxine. Adjustment to being a boy necessarily means accepting that he can’t be a girl, something he desperately wants. Still, most gender dysphoric boys have managed the mental transition.”

These quotes show Eric advocating for and downplaying the effects of conversion therapy throughout his career. Eric is biased against the transgender community and should not be involved in studies on this subject.

Also worth considering is this document compiled by students of UCLA exposing Eric Vilain's history of violent rhetoric regarding transgender, nonbinary, and intersex children in his lectures.

On Ivanka Savic
Source: 18:00-20:00

This is a video clip of Ivanka Savic advocating for the creation of more barriers to transgender healthcare.

On Francisco J. Sanchez

“Transgender people continue to be subjected to high rates of gender-based discrimination when seeking medical care, employment, and education. Although people’s civil rights should not hinge on science to validate their individuality and lived experience, determining what biological factors contribute to gender dysphoria may influence public opinion and public policies related to the transgender community. More importantly, such knowledge can be used to improve diagnosis and treatment of transgender people (e.g., differentiating which children with gender dysphoria will persist into adulthood, vs which will remit). Therefore, there is a clinical need to investigate further the genetic and biological basis of gender dysphoria.”

Francisco J. Sanchez, whilst understanding that transgender people face high rates of discrimination in healthcare, is paradoxically advocating for more barriers in the way of accessing transgender healthcare.

Read more:
UCLA brain imaging study induces gender dysphoria and mental health distress
Study Stalled After Harm to Transgender Participants
UCLA trans medical study that induced gender dysphoria suspended
Medical school suspends study that would have tortured transgender people for science
UCLA suspends brain imaging study amid 'grave concerns' from LGBTQ advocates
The National Black Justice Coalition Demands NIH, UCLA Immediately Suspend Cruel, Emotionally-Damaging Transgender Dysphoria Study - NBJC

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