Pediatrician's Report Recommends Against Hormone Drugs for Transgender Youth Under 18

The Cass report recommends against prescribing hormone drugs to transgender youth under 18, sparking controversy and debate over the treatment of transgender youth in the UK and globally.

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Justice Nwafor
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Pediatrician's Report Recommends Against Hormone Drugs for Transgender Youth Under 18

Pediatrician's Report Recommends Against Hormone Drugs for Transgender Youth Under 18

A report by pediatrician Dr. Hilary Cass is recommending against prescribing hormone drugs to transgender youth under 18, despite opposition from activists. The report, commissioned by NHS England to guide the country's model of care for transgender youth, found a lack of high-quality research on the use of puberty blockers and concluded that children have been let down by the toxic nature of discussions regarding transgender identities in the UK.

Key findings from the report include that puberty blockers were only approved for precocious or early puberty, not for adolescents in the midst of puberty, and there is not enough evidence to determine whether there are side effects or long-term irreversible consequences for this population. The report also refutes the claim that hormone treatment reduces the elevated risk of death by suicide in transgender youth.

Why this matters: The Cass report is significant and may change the treatment for children and adolescents with gender incongruence or dysphoria. Its findings have major implications for the medical care and well-being of transgender youth in the UK and potentially worldwide.

The report has sparked controversy, with some transgender advocacy groups criticizing its recommendations. LGBT Youth Scotland expressed anger and disappointment at the decision by the Sandyford clinic in Glasgow to no longer prescribe puberty blockers to under 18s, stating that it will directly harm young people and increase rates of poor mental health among transgender youth.

Dr. Cass has faced online abuse and threats after the release of her report, receiving "vile emails" and being told not to use public transport. She described the failure of many gender clinic staff to cooperate with research into the long-term impact of prescribing puberty blockers and sex hormones as "coordinated" and "ideologically driven".

The controversy surrounding the Cass report extends to the political sphere as well. Labour MP Dawn Butler apologized for "inadvertently misleading" parliament in a speech criticizing the report after suggesting that Cass had disregarded over 100 studies on trans healthcare. Butler later retracted her criticism, stating that she had misled the house by quoting a figure from LGBTQ+ rights charity Stonewall.

The Cass report's findings stand in sharp contrast to the case of Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier who refused to believe that World War II had ended for 29 years after the war ended in 1945. Onoda continued to live in the Philippine jungle, engaging in guerrilla activities, until he was finally ordered to surrender by his former commanding officer in 1974.

Key Takeaways

  • Cass report recommends against hormone drugs for trans youth under 18 in UK
  • Lack of evidence on safety and efficacy of puberty blockers for trans adolescents
  • Report refutes claim that hormones reduce suicide risk in trans youth
  • Cass faces online abuse and threats after report's release
  • Controversy extends to political sphere, with MP retracting criticism of report