Amid an ongoing court case scrutinizing the use of puberty-blocking drugs on minors who self-identify as transgender, the U.K.’s National Health Service is revisiting its rules that allow children to take experimental drugs without parental approval.
Youth who are diagnosed as having gender dysphoria or show signs of distress about their bodies are permitted to begin transitioning after as few as three therapeutic assessments and without parental input or approval, The U.K. Sunday Times reports.
Expert sources told the outlet that the advice given within The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in north London, the U.K.’s lone gender identity clinic, lacks scientific evidence and comes “from clinicians with close links to transgender groups.
“Existing NHS treatment draws heavily on international guidelines that recommend approaches in care for gender dysphoria. An NHS contract with the Tavistock trust issued in 2016 says that it will ‘conform’ or ‘broadly conform’ to standards of care issued by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health in 2012. These say that they reflect the best available science and ‘professional consensus,” the U.K. Sunday Times added.
Dysphoric youth are encouraged to develop “autonomy” in making decisions, self-declare their gender status, and can use hormone blockers as early as age 12. Most youth who begin down the path with puberty suppressants go on to cross-sex hormones and many pursue surgery.
The review of the regulations comes on the heels of an announced review of experimental hormone drugs by a team of doctors, the findings of which will be published later this year.
Both the review of the NHS rules about when children can begin transitioning and the heightened attention to the medicalization surrounding transgender identities is believed to be occurring in part because of recent developments in a court lawsuit against the Tavistock clinic.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter