The right of the trust to give puberty blockers

Maybe just maybe people should slow down and think a little harder about this. Maybe it’s not the best idea in the world to halt or swap puberties the instant a child expresses dismay or confusion.

Vulnerable children are wrongly being given gender hormone treatment by the NHS, Sajid Javid believes, as he prepares to launch an urgent inquiry.

The health secretary thinks the system is “failing children” and is planning an overhaul of how health service staff deal with under-18s who question their gender identity.

Step one: understand that “gender identity” is a novel concept, that its meanings are disputed, that it’s subjective and malleable at best, and that it’s not nearly clear or sharp-edged enough to justify something as drastic as halting or exchanging puberty via hormone “treatments.”

Clinics in London, Leeds and Bristol run by the Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust are England’s only specialist services for children and young people who identify as transgender. Critics have accused the trust of rushing children into life-altering treatment and being too willing to give puberty blockers to young teenagers.

What exactly is a “specialist service” for such children anyway? What is its knowledge base? How do its providers test their findings? How do they know which children really need their “service” and which don’t?

However, the Court of Appeal last year upheld the right of the trust to give puberty blockers to under-16s if they are deemed capable of consenting.

That’s an extremely bizarre way of looking at it. Maybe it’s just clumsy wording, but maybe it’s not. Why would it be the “right” of the trust to give blockers that needs to be upheld when the issue is the well-being of the children taking them? The issue surely is not the “rights” of the trust but the needs of the trust’s patients.

Hilary Cass, a former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, has been leading a review into NHS gender identity services for children. In interim findings last month, she said children were being affected by a lack of expert agreement about the nature of gender identity problems, a “lottery” of care and long waiting lists.

Yeah no shit. This “lack of expert agreement” is what I’m talking about. How do they know any of this? When so much of it has simply been invented over the past few years? Mostly by rage-fueled “activists”?

Javid is said to be particularly alarmed by her finding that some non-specialist staff felt “under pressure to adopt an unquestioning affirmative approach” to transitioning and that other mental health issues were “overshadowed” when gender was raised.

Gender is the elephant in the room. Once it enters, everything else tends to get squashed.

“That overly affirmative approach where people just accept what a child says, almost automatically, and then start talking about things like puberty blockers — that’s not in the interest of the child at all,” the ally said.

Or anyone else. It’s a lose-lose.

It’s odd, you know, when we hear so much about how tragic and agonizing it is to be trans, yet people are in such a mad rush to “affirm” and “validate” trans idennninies. Sometimes, to be fair, affirming and validating is just the ticket. There’s never been any good reason for homophobia, so Pride and affirmation made sense and made a difference. Trying to change sex is like an inversion of that, and it’s not working.

The inquiry will form part of Cass’s final report but Javid is understood to want to begin making the NHS change its approach immediately. This week he told MPs: “The NHS services in this area are . . . bordering on ideological.”

They would be, wouldn’t they, because the whole thing is ideological.

A spokesman for Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust said: “Being respectful of someone’s identity does not preclude exploration. We agree that support should be holistic, based on the best available evidence, and that no assumptions should be made about the right outcome for any given young person.”

But what does “being respectful of someone’s idenniny” mean? Why is the spokeser talking about it in connection with medical issues? What does anyone’s idennniny have to do with trying to turn puberty inside out? If a child identifies as short do you cut off her legs?

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