More than a year after the decision to close the gender clinic at Tavistock, with the facility due to be physically closed in March 2024, the Rishi Sunak government has decided to stop all testing and supply of hormone-blocking drugs for the gender transition of children and youth. Puberty blockers should only be administered in clinical research.
NHS England, England’s health service, announced recently that puberty blockers will be prescribed to children attending gender identity services only as part of clinical research. The decision follows the publication of an interim report about an assessment of children’s gender identity services which pointed out that there are “gaps in evidence” related to this type of medication. Children and their families will in the future be “strongly discouraged” from obtaining gender affirming drugs, such as hormones, from “unregulated sources” or online providers.
A clinical trial, run by the new Children and Young People’s Gender Dysphoria Research and Oversight Board, will examine the impact of drugs that delay puberty. Further details on how the study will be conducted are to be announced in the coming weeks, but it has been made clear that only those who have enrolled in the research will be prescribed puberty blockers, except in exceptional circumstances and on a case-by-case basis. An NHS spokesman said that, “The NHS is today publishing an interim specification for gender services for children and young people, in line with the advice and recommendations of the Independent Cass Review – this will enable new centers to finalize their readiness for service provision later this year…The NHS is committing to proposing that puberty blockers should not be routinely available outside of research. We will develop a study on the impact of puberty blockers on gender dysphoria in children and youth with early-onset gender dysphoria, with the goal of being operational in 2024.”
The current service, run by the Tavistock and Portman Trust, will close in March 2024 following an independent review conducted by Dr. Cass: the pediatrician found that the service is “unsustainable” and said a new model of care is needed. Of course, the only ones complaining about these new scientific protections for children are LGBTI organizations. LGBTQ+ organization Stonewall, that has been at the center of criticism and scandal in recent years, has criticized the policy regarding puberty blockers. Yet more proof of what real interests these LGBT organizations pursue, which certainly do not align with the interests and good of children and parents.