Landmark ruling on puberty blockers overturned as NHS trust wins appeal

The UK’s only identity development service for children has won a Court of Appeal bid that ruled against the use of puberty blocking treatments for under-16s with gender dysphoria.

In a landmark ruling last year spearheaded by Kiera Bell, a 24-year-old woman who de-transitioned after taking puberty blockers when she was 16, the High Court ruled it was ‘highly unlikely’ that a child of 13 years or under would be able to consent to hormone-blocking treatments and that it was ‘very doubtful’ a 14 or 15-year-old would understand the long-term consequences.

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust brought the appeal against the ruling this June and in today’s judgment, the Court of Appeal ruled it was ‘inappropriate for the High Court to give the guidance’ saying ‘it is for doctors to exercise their judgment about whether their patients can properly consent.’ Meaning it wouldn’t have to go through the courts to decide whether a child understood what puberty blockers were. 

No doubt the anti-trans brigade will be up in arms at this ruling (especially those who don’t know anyone who is trans and simply wants to jump on the ‘they’re trying to turn our kids trans!’ bandwagon) but for actual trans kids struggling with their gender out there, this can only be a good thing.  

READ:  "How disappointing": Stephen Fry says he 'won't abandon' J.K. Rowling and sits firmly on the fence over trans rights in latest interview

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