The English health service (NHS) has published new draft guidelines for the treatment of children with gender dysphoria (here the text integral), pending the results of the Cass Review, independent enquiry commissioned by the British Minister of Health and led by paediatrician Hilary Cass (see here), which will lead to a complete restructuring of services dedicated to gender non-conforming children.
After the closure of the Tavistock clinic -which we told you about here-, NHS puts a definitive end to the so-called 'affirmation' of gender identity, in favour of 'holistic support' based on psycho-education and psychotherapy.
The new guidelines recognise social transition as a form of ipsychosocial intervention and not as a neutral act. They strongly discourage it in children and also recommend great caution in the case of teenagers.
The determination of eligibility for medical interventions will be carried out by a centralised and puberty blockers will only be administered in research protocol contexts, due to unknown effects and damage potential. Prescriptions for these experimental drugs will therefore decrease dramatically. The guidelines do not mention surgery, which has never been a covered benefit in the English National Health System for children.
The document also reiterates the importance of 'biological sex', referring to 'the need to trace biological sex for research purposes and outcome measures'. Furthermore, ria affirms the pre-eminence of the DSM-5 diagnosis of 'gender dysphoria' for treatment decisions, and not a generic 'gender incongruence', which is not necessarily associated with discomfort.
Finally, the new draft states that children with gender dysphoria should be referred to a 'multidisciplinary team', whose meaning is clarified as 'composed of a wide range of clinicians with relevant expertise (e.g. in paediatrics, autism, neurodisability, mental health, etc.), rather than only by 'gender dysphoria' specialists'.
The English guidelines deviate strongly from the approach gender-affirmingsupported by WPATH (the professional organisation of 'transgender medicine', see here) and characterised by defining children who do not conform to gender stereotypes as 'transgender children', and replace it with a holistic view of identity development in children and adolescents.
It is also recognised that many dysphoric adolescents suffer from mental illness and neurocognitive difficulties that 'make it difficult to predict the course of their gender identity development'.
Full article here.
Translation by Maria Celeste.