Washington D.C., May 6, 2021 / 08:15 am
Swedish doctors will no longer prescribe hormones or drugs to halt or delay puberty for children under the age of 16 as part of gender-transitioning procedures.
The Karolinska University Hospital, which treats minors with gender dysphoria, announced in March that as of April 1, 2021, they would not be providing “puberty blocking” drugs or cross-sex hormones to children under the age of 16. The decision was reported in English-speaking media on May 5.
A statement from the hospital, translated from Swedish, cited concerns about long-term effects of the drugs and hormone procedures, as well as questions about the fully informed consent of patients under the age of 16.
Ryan Anderson, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, praised the changes and called for additional protections for children with gender dysphoria. Anderson has authored a book critical of the transgender movement, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.”
“Prudent legislation is needed to prevent adults from interfering with a child’s normal, natural bodily development. ‘Gender affirmation’ procedures violate sound medical ethics,” Anderson told CNA on Wednesday.
“These procedures are entirely experimental. There is not a single long-term prospective study of the long-term consequences of blocking an otherwise physically healthy child from undergoing normal pubertal development,” he said.
The hospital’s statement cited the December 2020 Bell v. Tavistock decision, where the High Court of Justice for England and Wales found that it was “highly unlikely” that children under the age of 13 could give fully informed consent to receiving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones; the court added that it was “very doubtful” that children ages 14 and 15 could give full consent to the procedures.
Minors between the age of 16 and 18 who wish to receive hormone treatments may do so only in clinical trial settings approved by an institutional review board, the hospital said.