UK to restrict gender-affirming treatment to children; US says access to transgender treatment for children should be advanced
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – While the US Biden administration has stated access to gender-affirming care for children must be expanded, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has announced plans to restrict transgender treatment for under-18s, including banning puberty blockers outside of clinical trials.
The UK’s NHS determined to review and change its approach to treating children presenting as transgender in light of a sharp rise in gender identity referrals from just under 250 in 2011-12 to over 5,000 last year, the UK Telegraph reports.
Notably, the NHS announced there is “scarce and inconclusive evidence to support clinical decision-making” in treating children who are questioning their gender.
The NHS has now gone so far as to say that most children who believe they are transgender are actually just going through a transient “phase,” the Telegraph reports.
The health service has also advised against encouraging children to change their names and pronouns until they have a confirmed diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
Across the Atlantic, however, the US federal government is adamant that children presenting as transgender should not be restricted from accessing the treatment they want. In a March 2, 2022 statement, the US Department of Health and Human Services attested that states “should use their child welfare systems to advance safety and support for LGBTQI+ youth, which importantly can include access to gender-affirming care … denials of health care based on gender identity are illegal, as is restricting doctors and health care providers from providing care because of a patient’s gender identity.”
In a separate statement on March 2, President Biden said: “Affirming a transgender child’s identity is one of the best things a parent, teacher, or doctor can do to help keep children from harm, and parents who love and affirm their children should be applauded and supported, not threatened, investigated, or stigmatized.”
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