Dr. Hilary Cass to Discuss Adoption of Landmark Healthcare Report at Holyrood

Dr. Hilary Cass, a leading paediatrician, will appear before Holyrood's health committee to discuss her report on child gender healthcare, which criticized the use of puberty blockers and hormones for under 18s. The report's findings have already led to changes in England and may influence Scotland's approach to transgender youth healthcare.

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Dr. Hilary Cass to Discuss Adoption of Landmark Healthcare Report at Holyrood

Dr. Hilary Cass to Discuss Adoption of Landmark Healthcare Report at Holyrood

Dr. Hilary Cass, a leading paediatrician, will appear before the health committee at Holyrood on Tuesday to discuss her landmark report on child gender healthcare. The report, which led to a major overhaul of NHS services in England, has put pressure on Scotland to follow suit. Dr. Cass's findings criticized the use of puberty blockers and hormones for under 18s, citing "remarkably weak" evidence to justify their use.

Why this matters: The adoption of Dr. Cass's report has significant implications for the healthcare of transgender youth in Scotland, and its implementation could set a precedent for other countries. The report's findings also raise important questions about the use of unproven medical treatments on vulnerable populations.

The Cass report found that gender medicine had been built on "shaky foundations," with potentially life-altering drugs given to children despite a lack of evidence of their safety or effectiveness. Scotland's only gender identity service for children, the Sandyford clinic, has faced criticism and calls for closure. The clinic's gender services are "modelled and informed" on guidelines set by the controversial US trans body WPATH, which Dr. Cass criticized in her report.

Meghan Gallacher, Scottish Tory deputy leader, expressed confidence that Dr. Cass's evidence will confirm the urgent need for SNP ministers to fully implement her recommendations in Scotland, similar to what is happening in England. "The wellbeing of our children and young people must be the top priority for every MSP," Gallacher emphasized.

In light of Dr. Cass's findings, new prescriptions of puberty blockers and hormones for under 18s were halted at theSandyford cliniclast month. The Scottish Government has said it will consider the Cass Report's findings but has not yet committed to implementing its recommendations in full. Holyrood's health committee plans to hold a future evidence session with "stakeholders" to explore the implications of the Cass Review for the future provision of gender identity services in Scotland.

Dr. Cass's appearance at Holyrood comes at a crucial time as Scotland grapples with how to best provide healthcare for transgender youth. Her report has already had a significant impact in England, and many are watching to see if Scotland will adopt similar changes based on her findings and recommendations. The evidence session on Tuesday is expected to provide further insight into the future direction ofgender identity servicesin Scotland.

Key Takeaways

  • Dr. Hilary Cass to discuss her report on child gender healthcare at Holyrood.
  • Report criticizes use of puberty blockers and hormones for under 18s due to "weak" evidence.
  • Scotland's gender identity service for children faces criticism and calls for closure.
  • New prescriptions of puberty blockers and hormones for under 18s halted at Sandyford clinic.
  • Scottish Government to consider report's findings, but no commitment to full implementation.