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July 18, 1953


JAMA. 1953;152(12):1167. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690120083027

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To the Editor:  —The issue of May 30, 1953, of The Journal (153:391, 1953) contains an article on the surgical treatment of transvestism by Hamburger and associates. The Danish authors describe the case of a male transvestite who considered himself, like many transvestites, "the victim of a cruel mistake," namely of being a female in a male body. The patient demanded a removal of the hated male organs, since otherwise life was not worth living and he would commit suicide. After prolonged, but psychiatrically not quite satisfactory examinations, the patient was castrated in three stages: (1) hormonal castration with estrogenic hormones, (2) orchidectomy, (3) amputation of the penis, implantation of the urethra into the perineum, and creation of labia-like structures by plastic surgery of the scrotum.Although the authors state that "it cannot be denied that eonism (transvestism) may be psychically conditioned," they proceeded with the surgical treatment and

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