Paul Hruz

This content was last updated Nov. 15, 2023, 10:58 p.m. UTC

Paul Hruz is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, and a member of The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), an anti-LGBTQ hate group. Hruz has also worked closely with The Society for Evidence Based Gender Medicine (SEGM), a conservative anti-transgender think tank.

Hruz is best known for providing expert witness testimony to anti-transgender court cases in his capacity as a pediatrician (Brandt v. Rutledge et al; Bell v. Tavistock; Adams v. School Board of St. Johns County), as well as publishing anti-transgender opinion pieces in primarily Catholic medical and academic journals. Hruz was recruited by the Alliance Defending Freedom to serve as an expert witness at a 2017 seminar in Arizona, according to his testimony in Brandt and other cases.

Some children are born in this world to suffer and die.

Hruz, as recalled by Kim Hutton in a 2017 deposition

Education and Academic Work

Hruz earned a Bachelor of Science at Marquette University in Milwaukee from 1983 to 1987, and later earned his Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1994. Between 1994 and 1997 he was a pediatrics resident at the University of Washington in Seattle, after which he completed his fellowship at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

Since 2000, Hruz has been employed by Washington University as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics. He has published articles on endocrinology and biology in various medical and academic journals, such as the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the American Journal of Physiology, and Scientific Reports. 

American College of Pediatricians

Hruz is a member of the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), a small conservative organization that misrepresents itself as the premier pediatricians’ work organization in America. Identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACPeds has only 700 members. In 2018, Hruz signed a letter to then President Trump’s administration, authored by ACPeds members, demanding that Trump “[uphold] the scientific definition of sex in law and policy.”

Hruz has associated himself with the Society for Evidence Based Gender Medicine by co-authoring a letter to The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, alongside other SEGM and ACPeds members, speaking out against the Endocrine Society’s consensus decision to support transgender healthcare.

Expert Witness Testimony

Hruz’s primary involvement in anti-transgender activist movement has been playing the role of “expert witness” in multiple court cases, both in America and abroad, that seek to infringe upon the rights of transgender people. Despite admitting he has never personally treated a patient expressing symptoms of gender dysphoria, Hruz has provided testimony in landmark cases such as Bell v. Tavistock, Brandt v. Rutledge and Dekker, et al., v. Weida, et al.

In his 2023 opinion finding Arkansas’ ban on gender-affirming care for minors was unconstitutional, U. S. District Judge James Moody Jr. described having heard testimony that an Alliance Defending Freedom seminar in Arizona was where Hruz was recruited to serve as an expert witness in the case. Judge Moody wrote, “While there is nothing nefarious about an organization recruiting witnesses to testify for their cause, it is clear from listening to the testimony that Professor Mark Regnerus, Dr. Paul Hruz, and Dr. Lappert were testifying more from a religious doctrinal standpoint rather than that required of experts by Daubert.”

Anti-Transgender Views

In addition to his testimony in anti-transgender court cases, Hruz has contributed to multiple conservative religious publications to share his ideological opposition to transition related medical care. He’s been published in The Lineacre Quarterly, the official journal of the Catholic Medical Association; The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly; University of Notre Dame’s Church Life Journal; and The New Atlantis, founded by conservative advocacy group Ethics and Public Policy Center.

According to a 2017 deposition, as reported on by the Guardian, Kim Hutton, the mother of a child with gender dysphoria, spoke with Hruz about her child’s needs. He responded by describing his Catholic religious views. Hutton attempted to appeal to the evidence that children with untreated gender dysphoria are at a higher risk of suicide and reports that Hruz replied “Some children are born in this world to suffer and die.”

Hruz is a proponent of the fringe theory of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria, the suggestion that dysphoria spreads as a form of “social contagion,” and that young people are influencing each other to identify as transgender on social media platforms like Twitter and Tumblr.

As of February 2nd, 2023, Hruz sits on the Utah School Activity Eligibility Commission as “a board-certified physician with expertise in gender identity healthcare,” a board that “examines the bodies of transgender girls to determine whether they can compete in high school sports,” according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Despite this, Hruz “has never diagnosed a patient with gender dysphoria, treated gender dysphoria, treated a transgender patient, conducted any original research about gender dysphoria diagnosis or its causes, or published any scientific, peer-reviewed literature on gender dysphoria.” Hruz has admitted as much himself, going so far as to say that he intentionally does not treat transgender patients.

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