Canadian doctors advocate for gender transition services for children via video calls

A pair of doctors from the B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver have called for easier access for children to medically transition.

Canadian doctors advocate for gender transition services for children via video calls
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A number of Canadian doctors are calling for children to have the ability to access medical gender transition via video calls.

A newly published book on youth telemedicine procedures suggests that doctors advocate for the ability to provide so-called gender-affirming services to minors remotely. They argue that to minimize "distress" for these young individuals, children should not be required to show their faces during video consultations.

Some doctors from the B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver have also called for easier access for children to medically transition.

In a 2024 book on telemedicine for children, two physicians from the B.C. Children's Hospital claim there are too many barriers in place for children to receive the supposed care that they need, and advocate for an "easier, less costly way for trans youth access specialized care."

"Some important considerations for successful delivery of gender-affirming care via telemedicine include ensuring a welcoming and safe environment, offering to disable self-view if it is distressing for the youth, and creating a space for private and confidential discussions," Carolina Silva and Brenden Hursh wrote.

The pair say the tele-care would reduce "negative experiences" for youth identifying as transgender.

The book comes after a commissioned report by the National Health Service (NHS) of England, which laid out the risks associated with pediatric gender transitions.

In response, the UK has banned puberty blockers for youth.

The Cass Review, an "Independent review of gender identity services for children and young people," has sparked a wave of bans restricting or banning transitions for children.

The report was also cited by Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, who introduced legislation earlier this year to restrict youth transitions in her province.

The restrictions were met by opposition from activists, artists and musicians, who claimed that Smith's actions were transphobic.

Canadian endocrinologist Roy Eappen is among those urging the American Endocrine Society, which also influences Canadian physicians, to adopt the recommendations of the Cass Review.

In a recent opinion piece, Eappen appealed to the Endocrine Society, pointing to Dr. John Newell-Price, its new president, as a potential advocate for change: “If he's committed to medical science and ethics, he'll use the society's meeting to announce a new direction, one that puts children's health ahead of activist demands. Or the Endocrine Society can keep endangering children," wrote Eappen for the Washington Examiner.

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