Lifesite News 15 Jan 2013
A prominent Toronto psychiatrist has severely criticized the assumptions underlying what has been dubbed by critics as the Canadian federal government’s “bathroom bill,” that is, Bill C-279, a private member’s bill that would afford special protection to so-called “transgender” men and women. Dr. Joseph Berger has issued a statement saying that from a medical and scientific perspective there is no such thing as a “transgendered” person, and that terms such as “gender expression” and “gender identity” used in the bill are at the very least ambiguous, and are more an emotional appeal than a statement of scientific fact. Berger, who is a consulting psychiatrist in Toronto and whose list of credentials establishes him as an expert in the field of mental illness, stated that people who identify themselves as “transgendered” are psychotic or simply unhappy, and pointed out that hormone therapy and surgery are not appropriate treatments for psychosis or unhappiness. “From a scientific perspective, let me clarify what ‘transgendered’ actually means,” Dr. Berger said, adding, “I am speaking now about the scientific perspective – and not any political lobbying position that may be proposed by any group, medical or non-medical.” “‘Transgendered’ are people who claim that they really are or wish to be people of the sex opposite to which they were born, or to which their chromosomal configuration attests,” Dr. Berger stated. “Some times, some of these people have claimed that they are ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ or alternatively ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’.” “The medical treatment of delusions, psychosis or emotional happiness is not surgery,” Dr. Berger stated.
…He explained that cosmetic surgery will not change the chromosomes of a human being in that it will not make a man become a woman, capable of menstruating, ovulating, and having children, nor will it make a woman into a man, capable of generating sperm that can unite with an egg or ovum from a woman and fertilize that egg to produce a human child. Moreover, Dr. Berger stated that the arguments put forward by those advocating for special rights for gender confused people have no scientific value and are subjective and emotional appeals with no objective scientific basis.
…Dr. Berger is certified as a specialist in Psychiatry by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and is an elected Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is also a past Chairman of the Toronto district of the Ontario Medical Association and past President of the Ontario branch of the American Psychiatric Association. Berger has been an Examiner in Psychiatry for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology for twenty five years, has taught as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and is the author of many published papers on different aspects of Diagnosis and Independent Psychiatric Assessments, as well as author of the book “The Independent Medical Examination in Psychiatry” published by Butterworth/Lexis-Nexis.