Court ruling protects children from transgender drugs

By WND Staff

The United Kingdom’s High Court ruled children 16 and under will be protected from life-altering transgender drugs because they generally lack the understanding to make a competent decision.

The ruling came in 23-year-old Keira Bell’s lawsuit against the National Health Service’s Gender Identity Development Service after she was given hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones as a teen, noted the U.K.’s Christian Institute.

She now is “detransitioning” back to her birth gender.

The judges found it “highly unlikely” that children 13 and under ever could genuinely consent to hormone blockers, which are prescribed routinely by health caretakers facilitating children in transgender agendas.

It would be “very doubtful” children 14 and 15 could as well. And older teens may lack competency.

But the NHS in recent years has prescribed the drugs for dozens of children.

The ruling said: “A child under 16 may only consent to the use of medication intended to suppress puberty where he or she is competent to understand the nature of the treatment. That includes an understanding of the immediate and long-term consequences of the treatment, the limited evidence available as to its efficacy or purpose, the fact that the vast majority of patients proceed to the use of cross-sex hormones, and its potential life changing consequences for a child.

“There will be enormous difficulties in a child under 16 understanding and weighing up this information and deciding whether to consent to the use of puberty blocking medication. It is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers. It is doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and weigh the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty blockers.

“In respect of young persons aged 16 and over, the legal position is that there is a presumption that they have the ability to consent to medical treatment. Given the long-term consequences of the clinical interventions at issue in this case, and given that the treatment is as yet innovative and experimental, we recognize that clinicians may well regard these as cases where the authorization of the court should be sought prior to commencing the clinical treatment.”

Lawyers acting for Bell had argued that young people have too little life experience to understand “the potentially devastating and lifelong consequences of taking the experimental ‘sex-swap’ drugs.”

Children, the three judges found, need to understand “the immediate and long-term consequences of the treatment, the limited evidence available as to its efficacy or purpose, the fact that the vast majority of patients proceed to the use of cross-sex hormones, and its potential life changing consequences for a child.”

They found children have “enormous difficulties” understanding and weighing the consequences.

Bell, according to the institute, said she was delighted with the decision.

Her solicitor, Paul Conrathe, called the ruling “an historic judgment that protects children who suffer from gender dysphoria.”

Bell said she wants to protect others from experiencing the life-altering effects of the drugs.

She wants gender dysphoria to be treated through mental health support instead of drugs and surgery, saying “psychological conditions need psychological treatment.”

The judges said: “First, the clinical interventions involve significant, long-term and, in part, potentially irreversible long-term physical, and psychological consequences for young persons. The treatment involved is truly life changing, going as it does to the very heart of an individual’s identity. Secondly, at present, it is right to call the treatment experimental or innovative in the sense that there are currently limited studies/evidence of the efficacy or long-term effects of the treatment.”

They said the clinics’ claim that the patient should make the decision is wrong.

“Apart perhaps from life-saving treatment, there will be no more profound medical decisions for children than whether to start on this treatment pathway. In those circumstances we consider that it is appropriate that the court should determine whether it is in the child’s best interests to take [puberty blockers],” the judges said.

Shortly after the ruling was released, the NHS confirmed the Tavistock and Portman Trust has “immediately suspended new referrals for puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for the under-16s.”

A spokesman said new cases would only be allowed when a court specifically authorizes it.

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