Better evidence in relation to outcomes, especially for children and adolescents is required. - RANZCP
The world’s most famous person to regret sex change treatment, Kiera Bell, has had her court victory against her childhood gender clinic set aside on a legal technicality.
Last December the United Kingdom High Court agreed with Bell that as a child she was unable to give proper consent to puberty blockers.
While not disagreeing with this proposition, on Friday the Court of Appeal ruled that the Tavistock gender clinic had not done anything illegal.
University of Queensland law professor Patrick Parkinson explained the ruling in today’s Australian.
“The Court of Appeal did not disagree with the lower court about whether children under 16 have the capacity to give an informed consent to puberty blockers,” Parkinson said.
“Rather, (the Court of Appeal) said, for technical legal reasons, that the lower court should not have sought to resolve the competing views (about gender dysphoria treatment) within the medical profession.”
Friday’s ruling will give no comfort to gender clinics here in Australia and internationally where there is growing concern about liability for irreversible harms caused to children who later come to regret being made infertile by drugs or losing organs like breasts through surgery.
The Australian’s Bernard Lane summarised global trends towards caution in prescribing gender confused children with drugs and surgery.
The (Tavistock) clinic had halted new referrals, Sweden’s Karolinska Institute clinic stopped offering transgender hormonal treatments as routine six months later, and in July the fast-growing clinic at Perth Children’s Hospital was put under review, reflecting an international trend towards more caution.
Lane, one of the few journalists to tackle the new approach to treating gender confused children with drugs and surgery, reported at the weekend that the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) is warning its members to also be more cautious, hinting at the legal implications of setting children on a path they might later regret.
“Gender Dysphoria is an emerging field of research and, at present, there is a paucity of evidence. Better evidence in relation to outcomes, especially for children and adolescents is required,” a new position paper from RANZCP warns.
“Health professionals should also be aware of ethical and medicolegal dilemmas in relation to medical and surgical treatment for people experiencing Gender Dysphoria.”
The NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard and his representative in the Legislative Council, Bronnie Taylor, have ducked Christian Democratic Party questions about legal liability when the State Government is actively backing controversial treatments for children struggling with their biological gender.
Sadly, the NSW Government, along with most other state governments, allow genderfluid ideology to be taught to children in school, a practice which is fuelling the epidemic of children presenting to gender clinics around the nation.