ST. LOUIS–Washington University’s Chancellor and the President of BJC Health Care say they are putting “additional oversight” in place at the school’s Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in the wake of allegations made by a whistleblower last week. They will not put a moratorium on medication treatments requested by Missouri’s Attorney General.

In a letter to Attorney General Andrew Bailey Tuesday, Richard J. Liekweg, BJC President and CEO, and Andrew D. Martin, Washington University Chancellor said their own review of the allegations raised by a former social worker at the Center continues. Jamie Reed made several claims, including  that puberty blocking medications and cross-sex hormones were being prescribed without an individual assessment and in some cases without parental consent.

Reed said she left her job at the center in November.

“I could no longer participate in what was happening there. By the time I departed, I was certain that the way the American medical system is treating these patients is the opposite of the promise we make to “do no harm.” Instead, we are permanently harming the vulnerable patients in our care,” Reed wrote in an opinion piece for The Free Press.

Bailey said the clinic should stop prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to new patients while the investigation is active and asked for a response by Feb. 14.

“We believe you will share in our concern for the health, safety and well-being of our most vulnerable populations, including, importantly, the young people we serve. We know that patients who are experiencing gender dysphoria and related issues are often at significant risk. The Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital is the only place in the entire state of Missouri where transgender youth can access the care they need to ensure their mental and physical well-being,” Liekweg and Martin said in their reply released Tuesday night.

“We cannot institute a moratorium that would deny critical, standards-based care to current and new patients. Out of an abundance of caution, however, we are establishing additional oversight at the Transgender Center, and we will continue our internal review of practices at the Center to ensure that our patients and families are receiving the appropriate guidance and care for their individual medical needs,” they said.

The allegations and investigations play out as state lawmakers consider several bills that would establish a Missouri Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act. The measures would ban what transgender advocates describe as gender-affirming medical care for minors. 

Three bills in the state senate had a public hearing Tuesday.

Missouri U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley is also investigating the whistleblower's allegations. On Wednesday he announced legislation that would give people the ability to sue if they were "harmed by a gender-transition procedure performed on them when they were minors." It would also ban federal funding to "any pediatric gender clinic, to any university or hospital that is affiliated with a pediatric gender clinic, and for any gender-transition procedure performed on minors," according to a statement from Hawley's office.