Monday, May 4, 2009

UNethicist Nick Tonti-Filippini and The Age Newspaper

Today I read this.:

And in that was this:
But ethicist Nick Tonti-Filippini said mainstream medicine did not recognise
hormone treatments and surgery as treatment for gender dysphoria, and that under
US guidelines it was psychosis because "it's a belief out of accordance with
"What you are trying to do is make a biological reality correspond
to that false belief," he told The Age.

Now I think that some FMRI scans and disections count as Empirical Evidence last I checked. And irrespective of ones beliefs based on faith of things existing outside what can be measured in Naturalistic Methodology whatever can be measued Is undeniably part of reality!

And as such that makes UNethicist Nick Tonti-Filippini logically either a liar or incompetant. If a liar which is a clearly unethical act he is incapable of being considered qualified sufficiently to call themselves an ethicist. If incompetant through ignoring Empirical Data of course he is incapable of being considered qualified to be an ethicist.

Q.E.D. So he should quit or be fired in disgrace or publicly retract the statement and apologise or prove those studies and evidence incorrect beyond any possible doubt.

Is UNethicist Nick Tonti-Filippini the equivalent of the legendary man of the cloth who refused to look through Gallileo's Telescope by ignoring these studies? Or deliberately lying because the measurable reality does not match his particular personally accepted interpretation of scripture?

And for the Newspaper The Age to use the opinion of this man without checking the facts or reporting his potential Religious-Politics Conflict Of Interest and Bias is a failure of Journalists Ethics as well as Incompetant. And for every Media outlet that then continued to spread these assertions uncritically and without checking again that's incompetance.

What exactly does UNethicist Nick Tonti-Filippini think the "mainstream medicine"s recognised treatment for Gender Dysphoria actually is? I'd like to see him produce one reliable methodologically sound study of an equally reliable and successful alternate treatment.


gotheek said...

Found your blog looking for further info on Fillipini - nice summation: the man's a liar and a bad liar. I was annoyed when I researched further and found he was an "ethicist" for the Catholic archdiocese in Melbourne. It would have added *so* much meaning if The Age had said that in their report.

anoynymause said...

your blog is the first thing to come up on google when you search for Nick Tonti-Filippini's name :P Congrats.
I was reading the same article when I saw that passage, and was really confused by his statement... Gender dysphoria is definitely not considered a psychosys in the US. talk about whack-job...

Battybattybats said...

Wow, surprising my little blogpost comes up first. I better bask in the glow while I can!

While religious views don't preclude him from being an Ethicist his views contrary to scientific findings including a gene linked to Transsexuals and all the rest but in keeping with Church Doctrine certainly suggests that he is acting in an intellectually corrupt manner.

He has a clear conflict of interest in the subject that should be reported especially when his comments fly in the face of recent findings which should be clearly also reported.

He clearly also has taken this 'psychosis' from a missunderstanding of the inclusion of GID in the APA's DSM. Itself a controvertial point under current review and being currently fought over because of allegations about the research of those who have been appointed to that review.

So it's a comment stated as certain fact, in partial error at absolute best, based on a shaky premise under current controversy and review and against empirical data.

And going on further commeents here:

"Mr Tonti-Filippini said he was also concerned that in previous Family Court cases involving gender dysphoria, the medical experts had been confined to a small group of Melbourne doctors who work with sex changes."

In other words, qualified people. And if he thinks they have a conflict of interest that is very amusing as his is greater, he's the one ignoring empirical data to match his interest.

"Mr Tonti-Filippini said a Melbourne man who had had sex-change surgery at 22 was now suing his doctors because he regretted the decision and felt they had not explored his doubts at the time."

This does indeed happen. But does Mr Tonti Filippini have a comparative study of suicides and long-term mental health issues of those denied treatment compared to regrets of those who have undergone them?

Cause last time I checked the 'trolley dillema' (yes folks, something from every basic Ethics course) a choice of inaction with predictable consequences makes you responsible for those consequences every bit as much as a choice of action.

Zoe Brain said...

I have something to say on the subject, at rather greater length I'm afraid, over at my blog.

My impresson is that he is an intelligent, articulate, well-meaning man who is terribly misinformed, and doesn't even know that he doesn't know.

Battybattybats said...

I'm reading your more extensive post now Zoe :)

I'm certainly willing to entertain the possibility that he is merely catastrophically missinformed and that has made a collosally poor attempt at research and formed a hasty irrational judgement and did not realise he was being professionally embarassingly in error by speaking out vociferously and repeatedly in an effort to be part of the public dialogue and cause influence in this case over many months.

It strains credulity somewhat but it is still true that anyone in any profession can make terribly embarasssing mistakes, even ones as grand as this. In which case I'm looking forward to his public apology to all concerned and total reappraisal of his views.

But I'm not holding my breath.