England Bans Gender Treatment on Kids

England Bans Gender Treatment on Kids

In April, a long-awaited report commissioned by England’s National Health Service (NHS) validated mounting concerns in Europe and elsewhere that the use of gender treatments for sexually confused children are not “evidence-based” and warrant “extreme caution.”

The Cass Review, led by prominent British pediatrician Dr. Hilary Cass, took four years to complete and may prove to be a watershed moment in the debate over the safety and efficacy of gender transition procedures on children. With the report’s release, the NHS in England and Wales made permanent what began last year as an interim ban on puberty blockers and other hormone drugs for children younger than 16.

Addressing youth in the report’s foreword, Cass wrote: “I have been disappointed by the lack of evidence on the long-term impact of taking hormones from an early age; research has let us all down, most importantly you.”

In recent months, several other European countries, including Sweden, Norway and Finland, have banned or restricted puberty blockers and hormone drugs for children after years of being pioneers in the use of such treatments, citing negative and often irreversible long-term effects.

Recent controversies surrounding the use of pediatric gender treatments have only added to the growing skepticism. They include:

  • A raft of leaked documents from the 2,000-member World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), which exposed a willingness to continue pushing the use of puberty blockers, hormone therapies and body-altering surgeries on minors, despite a trove of data showing the treatments cause lasting damage. The documents also expose the belief that children undergoing these treatments lack the mental and emotional competence to make informed decisions. 
  • A government investigation into Dr. Eithan Haim, who was a resident surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston when he blew the whistle after learning from colleagues that the hospital—the world’s largest pediatric hospital—was continuing its gender transition treatments in stealth, despite public claims that it had stopped. A 2022 directive from Gov. Greg Abbott classified such procedures as child abuse under Texas law. Then last year, Abbott signed a law declaring the practices illegal for minors. Haim says that on the day he was to graduate from residency last spring, federal agents showed up at his house. Subsequently, the federal Department of Health and Human Services began investigating Haim, alleging he violated the law in releasing patient information to a reporter. Haim disputes that, saying he redacted all personal information on pediatric patients. He also alleges the career of his wife, now an assistant U.S. attorney who at the time was up for an appointment, was threatened.
  • A report from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York that analyzed data from the Mayo Clinic showed the long-term and often irreversible effects of puberty blockers and possible links to cancer, especially in boys. The data showed significant “sex-gland atrophy” in the boys, aged 10 to 18, and the study’s authors voiced concerns regarding the irreversibility and “reproductive fitness” of puberty blockers, the Washington Stand reported. 

Critics of these gender transition procedures are watching to see if the latest data in documents such as the Cass Review or the Cold Harbor Laboratory study will embolden like-minded influencers in medicine or government to speak out.

“I sense that the American medical establishment is in a place of denial and bargaining compared to Europe,” Andrew Walker, theology dean at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and author of God and the Transgender Debate: What Does the Bible Actually Say about Gender Identity? told Decision.“It knows it cannot yet violate the media, corporate, and Hollywood establishments that still push transgenderism with gusto. But as in other instances, recent developments are making it more possible for open dissent.

“Enough resistance exists already that I expect the American medical establishment’s consensus to begin to crack soon.” 

Walker also says he anticipates a rash of lawsuits as more studies confirm research showing the long-term dangers of gender treatments.

England’s Cass Review was gathered from international research into puberty blockers’ effects on children and data from gender treatments conducted on children through the NHS. During her research, Cass accused NHS of rushing teenagers and preteens through the process while ignoring signs of autism or depression in patients. Her voice led to the closure of NHS’ youth gender clinic in London in 2022.

With release of the Cass Review and the NHS’ announcement that it would make permanent its interim ban on puberty blockers and gender procedures for children age 16 and younger through NHS, medical authorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland are considering similar restrictions. Scotland, in fact, has instituted a “formal pause” on pediatric gender treatments.

For those with a Biblical worldview, the latest findings are hardly surprising.

“Fundamentally,” Walker says, “the Biblical storyline of Creation, Fall, Redemption and Restoration should help us understand the transgender issue. Creation is not what it once was before sin entered the world, but creation is not pulverized or unintelligible. Jesus affirms the abiding validity of creation order (Matthew 19:4-6). Human beings are either male or female. That is the simple truth. Those categories are immutable and cannot be eviscerated. 

“Thankfully, the Gospel affirms creation order’s ongoing authority and reminds those struggling with gender dysphoria of the truth of who God made them, despite their mind’s fallen perceptions. We can rejoice in knowing the Spirit empowers individuals to know the truth and to live in accordance with it.” ©2024 BGEA 

Photo: PA Images / Alamy

Subscribe to Decision Email Devotional

Subscribe to Decision Email Devotional

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

About Us     Contact Us     Privacy
©2024 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. BGEA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.