ADDED ON: 01/03/2021

‘Puberty blockers’ were lifesaving for my daughter – all young people deserve a shot at happiness

1/2/2021 | The Independent

For most of us, the Bell v Tavistock ruling was just another news story. You may not even know what it was. But for a small group of British families, it meant everything. Bell v Tavistock was with the High Court between October 2019 and December 2020. After 14 long months, judges ruled it was highly unlikely that transgender young people would be able to consent to their own treatment. These young people will now have to go to court for permission to access medical treatment. In essence, the court decided the law knew better than clinical experts, the parents of the young person, and the young person themselves, because let’s be clear here, no young person under 18 is prescribed this treatment without clinical approval, the young person’s competent consent, and the parents’ consent. This medication, commonly called “puberty blockers”, is given to patients for a variety of reasons – to delay puberty if it starts unusually early, or to treat endometriosis and some cancers. For many transgender young people, it is nothing short of a lifeline: sparing them the distress of having to go through the wrong puberty, and giving them the time and headspace to discuss their options with trained professionals. Puberty blockers are not new, my daughter was prescribed them when she was 13 years old. She is now 27, and is clear that for her, they were essential and lifesaving.


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