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On Dangerous Puberty Blockers, It’s Time To Follow Britain’s Lead

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Britain’s National Health Service recently made a landmark decision that the United States should copy. True, the country’s system of socialized medicine continues to ration treatments deemed too expensive by government bureaucrats. Importing the NHS to the United States would exacerbate the problems in our health care system. But at least the NHS is listening when it comes to protecting young children from dangerous and experimental treatments.

That’s the takeaway from the recent news that the health system has officially recommended limiting access to puberty-suppressing drugs: “outside of a research setting, puberty-suppressing hormones should not be routinely commissioned for children and adolescents who have gender incongruence/dysphoria.” That means NHS will no longer coerce British taxpayers to subsidize these unsafe procedures. 

This conclusion comes after the health service spent nearly three years examining the latest evidence regarding sex-related treatments and their effects. The NHS noted that referrals for transgender interventions increased 20-fold over the span of a decade, from 2011 to 2022. The increase in cases came primarily from individuals born female “presenting with gender incongruence in early teen years,” and from “a significant number of children … presenting with neurodiversity and other mental health needs and risky behaviors.”

Given the explosion of adolescent patients seeking transgender intervention and the change in the characteristics of these new cases, the NHS admits “a lack of clinical consensus” about how to treat these patients, “and a lack of evidence to support families in making informed decisions about interventions that may have life-long consequences.” Another section put it more bluntly: “There is not enough evidence to support [puberty blockers’] safety or clinical effectiveness as a routinely available treatment.”

The NHS is not alone in calling for a pause on the movement to provide experimental hormonal treatments to young adolescents without sufficient evidence of their safety. Governments and health agencies across Europe are rethinking the potentially dangerous puberty blocker “fad.” Finland and Sweden both limited access to transgender interventions, while the French National Academy of Medicine advised that “a great medical caution must be taken in children and adolescents” given their vulnerability “and the many undesirable effects, and even serious complications, that some of the available therapies can cause.”

Yet on this side of the Atlantic, the left insists on bullying anyone who dares question the propriety of transgender surgery and chemical castration. When two respected scientists — one of whom has a daughter with gender dysphoria — published research in the Archives of Sexual Behavior suggesting many adolescents declared a new sexual identity in response to social media influence and/or peer pressure, a group of activists demanded — and got — the journal to retract the study.

This illustrates the radical nature of transgender activists, who insist that sexual identity is innate and will not accept any evidence otherwise. In addition to denying biology, they also deny the scientific process when it conflicts with their political goals.

Thankfully, however, more individuals and institutions, including the NHS, are speaking up to protect the interests of innocent children from these radical activists. As the mother of two young girls, I am grateful for these beacons of hope and rationality in a world seemingly gone mad. I hope parents around the country will take the warnings of institutions like the NHS to heart. We must act to protect our young children from the potentially dangerous experiments that transgender activists seem so hellbent on promoting.


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