Increasingly, the brakes are being put on physical interventions to treat children diagnosed with gender dysphoria in the UK, Sweden, Finland, and France.
"The genie is out of the bottle, I don’t think there is any covering up, the evidence has come out," writer and campaigner for the rights of women and girls, Jo Bartosch, told The Epoch Times.
Grave ConcernsIn the past two years, medical authorities in Sweden, Finland, and France have started to turn their backs on puberty blockers, also called GnRH analogues, or drugs that are used to postpone puberty in children, while expressing grave concerns about how gender ideology is influencing gender-questioning children.
Bell was given puberty blockers as a teenager after only three hours of consultation at the Tavistock Clinic, London, which runs England’s only National Health Service (NHS) gender identity development service (GIDS). Initially, her case won a judgement that children under the age of 16 considering gender reassignment were unlikely to be considered mature enough to give informed consent to be prescribed puberty-blocking drugs.
However, the Court of Appeal overturned the judgement.
At the time, Bell responded by saying she is "shining a light into the dark corners of a medical scandal."
In response, Bell said she was disappointed in the decision but “delighted at what has been achieved as a result of this case,” adding that it was "one of the greatest medical scandals of the modern era.”
Bartosch criticised the gender-affirming approach, which can result in children undergoing medical procedures.
"I think it's bonkers that the first method that should be tried is affirming a child rather than waiting," she said. "Rather than doling out medication, you find out what the problem is, i.e. why the child feels uncomfortable. But I think it has become so politicised, there is a perception that questioning this form of treatment is bigoted. It's an entirely ideological solution to a psychological problem."
However, Bartosch said that there is "no evidence of trans children as a category."
"There are children with gender dysphoria who need help with their gender dysphoria," she said.
Irreversible Adverse ConsequencesIn Europe, the knock-on effect of Bell's court case has caused medical organisations to reassess the issue.
"A highly publicized court case from Great Britain has shed light on this issue and in a recent judgment (December 1st, 2020) the court establishes the overarching problem of puberty-blocking treatment," it added.
The major Stockholm-based hospital added that, based on the "precautionary principle," hormonal treatments (i.e. puberty-blocking and cross-sex hormones) will not be started in gender dysphoric patients under the age of 16.
Updated advice from Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare said that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones should only be given in “exceptional” cases outside research studies.
France cited Sweden's decision to prohibit the use of puberty blockers as an influence.
"In this regard, it is important to recall the recent decision (May 2021) of the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm to prohibit the use of puberty blockers," the Academy added.
'Failing Children'While Bell's case may be over in British courts, politically the debate on puberty blockers is very much alive.
Javid subsequently ordered officials to formally investigate the approach taken by NHS clinics amid warnings of harmful practices, stating that the system is “failing children.”
Cass expressed deep concerns about the affirmative model, concluding that primary and secondary care staff have had to adopt an "unquestioning affirmative approach."