UK health service bans puberty blockers

Last week we saw huge news out of the UK with their National Health Service (NHS) announcing they would be banning the prescription of puberty blockers for minors.

As reported by The Guardian, the NHS announcement also noted that:

“There is not enough evidence about either how safe they are to take or whether they are clinically effective to justify prescribing them to children and young people who are transitioning.”

The new NHS ban comes after the closure of the UK Tavistock clinic which had been pushing controversial and untested treatments on children experiencing gender confusion.

The NHS made clear it was the lack of evidence about the efficacy and safety of these treatments that led to this ban, which is a critical step in the debate over gender treatments.

This is a huge win for parental rights and it gives hope that here in Australia these treatments will be examined more carefully and potentially halted.

More importantly, it demonstrates the importance of freedom of speech and the right for people to object to or question novel medical procedures that have unknown effects.

After all, speaking their conscience on gender issues is what landed HRLA clients Dr. Jereth Kok and Lyle Shelton in the courts. This decision by the NHS shows there really are contested questions in this space and it’s important they are able to be discussed openly.

Another client of HRLA, Dr Jillian Spencer, has also faced professional consequences for, among other things, insisting on maintaining accurate records of a patient’s biological sex and highlighting the fact that an “affirmation” approach to gender confusion is controversial.

The NHS decision – which is in line with a number of other European countries which have paused or scaled back gender treatments for minors – illustrates that there are serious concerns about the science involved in these issues. It is vital that professionals like Dr Spencer are free to speak up.

HRLA welcomes the NHS decision and we will continue to defend Australians who exercise their freedom of speech to challenge the current orthodoxy.