Puberty blockers for under 16s

Posted on 01-12-20 by Andrew Falconer Number of votes: 0 | Number of comments: 1

On 1 December the High Court issued a judgmnent in a Judicial Review case brought against NHS England (regarding the Tavistock Centre) regarding the use of puberty blockers by those who are under 16. In short the judgment makes it very hard for young trans people to provide consent for their own healthcare and medical treatment in order to access puberty blockers. This means that, without going through the expense and difficulty of obtaining a court order, young people will not be able to access puberty blockers to prevent the onset of puberty and permanent changes brought on by their hormones.

While hormone blockers pause the onset of puberty (to allow time for a young person to make further decisions), they are not irreversible. The effect of the judgment will prevent young trans people from being able to access the health care they need. This will cause them untold levels of suffering and denies them bodily autonomy and self-affirmation. It also sets UK policy back decades from best practice.

The deicion is subject to appeal. If it fails, Labour should ensure that young people are able to provide informed consent to their medical treatment and be able to obtain puberty blockers without the need for a court order. 

Referring to: Health and Social Care

The Health and Social Care Policy Commission develops Labour policy and thinking on areas including the future of the NHS, mental health, public health and social care.

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