Puberty Blockers Banned For Under-16s In The UK

The High Court says children are unlikely to give an informed consent.


The UK High Court ruled that children under 16s with gender dysmorphia are unlikely to give informed consent to undergo puberty-blocking treatment. The ruling also says that even for 16- and 17-year olds the court could be involved in the decision of prescribing puberty blockers. 

The case was brought by Keira Bell, 23 yo, a woman from Cambridge, who reached out to Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, the UK's only gender-identity development service, at the age of 16. She blamed the clinic for giving her puberty blockers and not questioning her decision to transition. She recalled feeling heartbroken after realizing that she ‘was going down a wrong path, ’ which forced her to ‘detransition.’ She admitted to feeling delighted with the decision as it protects ‘vulnerable children.’

The Tavistock Centre expressed its disappointment but immediately suspended puberty-blocking treatment for teenagers under 16. Transgender activists and charities are also devastated with the ruling which might have catastrophic consequences for trans teenagers struggling with the acceptance of their bodies. 

This is the first time when the court imposes such clear legal restrictions on puberty blockers.

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