Storbritannias høyesterett problematiserer pubertetsblokkere til ungdom under 16 år

Foto: Branden Harvey fra Unsplash

Det ble avsagt en viktig dom i britisk høyesterett 1. desember angående barns manglende samtykkekompetanse ved behandling av pubertetsblokkerende hormonbehandling ved påstand om kjønnsdysfori. Etter denne dommen må barn under 16 år få en rettslig kjennelse før de kan starte hormonbehandling, Keira Bell, som vi har fortalt om ved tidligere anledninger, her og her,  og en foreldrerepresentant for et barn med autisme, vant saken de førte mot Tavistock, det skriver BBC.

One of the claimants, Keira Bell, said the clinic should have challenged her more over her decision to transition to a male as a teenager.

The 23-year-old had been prescribed puberty blockers when she was 16.

Ms Bell, from Cambridge, had been referred to the Tavistock Centre, which runs the UK’s only gender-identity development service (GIDS), as a teenager.

The Tavistock Centre sign

She was prescribed puberty blockers, which delay the development of signs of puberty, like periods or facial hair.

The second claimant, known only as Mrs A, is the mother of a 15-year-old girl with autism, who is awaiting treatment at the clinic.

Speaking to the BBC prior to Tuesday’s ruling, she said: “My fear is – it’s not that she transitions – it’s that she gets it wrong.”

She said it was “frightening” there was so little exploration of why a child might be feeling they were the wrong sex before puberty blockers were given.

“It is distressing to have to wait and to try and convince someone that your identity warrants medical intervention. However, I think the downside of getting it wrong, the outcomes of getting it wrong, are also catastrophic.”

Keira Bell and lawyer at court
Keira Bell took her case to court as she believed she should have been challenged more over her decision to transition to a man

At a High Court hearing in October, lawyers representing the claimants said there was “a very high likelihood” children who start taking hormone blockers will later begin taking cross-sex hormones, which they say cause “irreversible changes”.

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust – as well as University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, to which Tavistock refers children and young people experiencing gender dysphoria – argued taking puberty blockers and later cross-sex hormones were entirely separate stages of treatment.

In a ruling, Dame Victoria Sharp, sitting with Lord Justice Lewis and Mrs Justice Lieven, said: “It is said therefore the child needs only to understand the implications of taking puberty blockers alone… in our view this does not reflect the reality.

“The evidence shows that the vast majority of children who take puberty blockers move on to take cross-sex hormones.”

Keira Bell after transitioning to a man
Puberty blockers delay the development of signs of puberty, like periods or facial hair

The court added both treatments were “two stages of one clinical pathway and, once on that pathway, it is extremely rare for a child to get off it”.

The judges said their decision was only on the informed consent of a child or a young person, not whether puberty blockers were appropriate themselves.

The ruling said: “The court is not deciding on the benefits or disbenefits of treating children with GD (gender dysphoria) with PBs, whether in the long or short term.”

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