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An Alabama doctor who came under fire for her statements regarding the suicide of a transgender teen is now trying to walk back her choice of words.

Morissa Jean Ladinsky, associate professor of pediatrics at Children’s of Alabama and specialist at UAB’s LGBTQ+ Mental Health & Wellness Clinic, recently spoke at the 2022 annual American Academy of Pediatrics conference.

1819 News reported on comments Ladinsky made at the conference where she referred to the 2014 suicide of Leelah Alcorn, who was a male identifying as female, as bold.

See: UAB doctor: Transgender teen 'boldly ended her life'

“In the final days of 2014, a local 16-year-old young lady, Leelah Alcorn, of trans experience, stepped boldly in front of a tractor-trailer, ending her life,” Ladisnky said at the conference. “Her suicide note, written to post on social media about an hour after her death, went viral, literally around the world. Now Leelah was not my patient, but I took care of hundreds of her classmates at Kings Mills High School. But, each day, on the way to work, I passed that spot where this teen boldly ended her life."

Ladinsky has since been heavily criticized for her comments, which many felt commended suicide. In a statement sent to 1819 News, Ladinsky walked back her comments, saying she never intended to appear to glorify self-harm.

“I regret my choice of words that has been interpreted to glorify self-harm,” Ladisnky said. “This was never my intent. In discussing the tragic event, I sought to convey my work toward a day when no teen feels they must take their life. Any suicide is devastating, and I want anyone who is struggling to know that help is always available.”

Alcorn's parents were also criticized following their son's suicide for choosing to send him to Christian-based therapy instead of allowing him to receive "affirmative care." His suicide note mentioned struggling with depression and identity issues throughout his life.

“I have decided I've had enough,” Alcorn’s suicide note read. “I'm never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. I'm never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. I'm never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I'm never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I'm never going to find a man who loves me. I'm never going to be happy. Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There's no winning. There's no way out. I'm sad enough already, I don't need my life to get any worse. People say ‘it gets better’ but that isn't true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse. That's the gist of it, that's why I feel like killing myself. Sorry if that's not a good enough reason for you, it's good enough for me.”

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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