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Promote Scientific Debate and Fund Children's Healthcare

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Whether children and adolescents who identify as transgender should be allowed to modify their bodies with cross-sex hormones and surgeries, known as “gender-affirming care,” has become intensely polarized in Western countries, especially in the United States. Proponents on both sides claim that the evidence sits squarely on their side. Last month, however, the UK published the long-awaited Cass Review, widely hailed as the most comprehensive analysis of pediatric sex change procedures to date.

The Review, which was based on the findings of seven new systematic reviews of the evidence—the highest standard in evidence-based medicine—found “remarkably weak evidence” supporting these procedures.

Yesterday, on X (formerly Twitter), South Carolina pediatrician Dr. Michael O'Brien, responding to Do No Harm senior fellow January Littlejohn, dismissed the Cass Review as “a sham at best.”

In the name of scientific debate and the honest search for truth, I invited Dr. O’Brien to participate in a good-faith written exchange with Manhattan Institute fellow and gender medicine expert Dr. Leor Sapir on the findings of the Cass Review and the broader topic of gender-affirming care. I assured Dr. O’Brien that the debate would not be behind a paywall, guaranteeing it reached the widest possible audience without financial gain for me. Additionally, Sapir and I offered to each donate $250 to a children’s hospital of Dr. O’Brien’s choice if he participated. Also, any earnings from subscriptions and donations related to the debate would be donated to the hospital.

Dr. O’Brien rejected the offer and, despite the fact that Sapir and I would both be out at least $250 if he had accepted, accused us of trying to “get a quick buck,” “make $,” “profiteer,” and “put money in [our] pockets” from the debate.

Following this episode, others have stepped forward with their own pledges to encourage Dr. O’Brien's participation. Dr. Eithan Haim, MD and general surgeon, pledged $500, and Manchester developmental biologist Dr. Emma Hilton pledged £100 (approximately $127), bringing the total pledged donations to $1,127.

However, I believe we can do a lot better than that. To further incentivize Dr. O’Brien, I have launched a GoFundMe. The goal is to raise as much money as possible for a children’s hospital of his choice, contingent upon his participation in a detailed written debate with Sapir. Dr. O’Brien would need to provide a comprehensive critique of the Cass Review and a defense of gender-affirming care, followed by a response to Sapir’s rebuttal.

If Dr. O’Brien does not accept the debate challenge within one week of this GoFundMe’s launch, all pledged donations will be refunded. If he agrees, the funds from this campaign, along with any related subscription revenues or direct donations to Reality's Last Stand, will be donated to the designated children’s hospital after his second response is published.

This has absolutely nothing to do with money; it’s about giving the public what they desperately need and deserve: a good-faith exchange between two experts on the topic of the Cass Review and gender-affirming care.

It is inconceivable to me that someone confident in the truth and evidence of their position would pass up such a golden opportunity to defend their position to an audience they believe is in dire need of persuasion. If the Cass Review is indeed “a sham,” as Dr. O’Brien claims, this is his chance to expose it. Even more, he can expose the alleged frauds and charlatans he opposes while simultaneously raising funds for a children’s hospital.

I see no real downside for Dr. O’Brien in this arrangement.

If you would like to help facilitate this debate between Dr. O’Brien and Dr. Sapir, please donate to this GoFundMe campaign. Your funds will only be used if Dr. O’Brien accepts the invitation. If not, your donation will be fully refunded in one week.




Colin Wright
Mount Juliet, TN

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