Landmark medical review fuels calls to ban puberty blockers for children

Calls to ban the practice of prescribing puberty blockers for children are growing following the release of new research conducted for England's National Health Service which described the practice as being 'built on a shaky foundation.'

Landmark medical review fuels calls to ban puberty blockers for children
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An independent review commissioned by England’s National Health Service (NHS) has dealt a severe blow to the medical rationales used to prescribe puberty blockers (a.k.a. puberty-suppressing hormones) to transgender-identifying children and youth.

The study, four years in the making, consisted of a team led by Dr. Hillary Cass, former president of the Royal College of Pediatrics. It was a systematic evidentiary standard review of over 50 transgender health studies, which looked at gender care for individuals 18 years or younger. 

The research team published the findings in a final report entitled the "Cass Review" on Tuesday, giving the public access to what is now the largest review on medical transition to date.

The damning report finds that gender care practices for children are built "on a shaky foundation" of "remarkably weak evidence," which presents "no good evidence" to support affirmative medical interventions such as puberty blockers for minors.

While supportive evidence for such an intervention was sorely lacking through the studies, Cass and the team did find consistent "moderate-quality" evidence that children’s bone density health could deteriorate when undergoing such treatment.

Cass says more research on the potential side effects of such treatments is needed, especially given that only one out of the 53 studies examined such effects. She also recommends children and youth struggling with gender dysphoria be given informed consent and told the potential side effects when considering puberty suppression.

The report included a total of 32 recommendations for England’s NHS to shift away from 'trans-affirming' care practices and to adopt a more holistic approach. 

Cass finds that instead of taking a child’s gender declaration as a medical reality, NHS staff should instead focus on core issues that could be contributing to children's gender dysphoria, such as autism, depression, a history of sexual abuse, or struggling with accepting homosexuality.

The Cass Review is a successor to Cass’ 2022 interim report which led to the closure of the U.K.’s Tavistock clinic, which was the world’s largest gender clinic for children and adolescents at the the time. It puts into question whether or not England’s recent decision to prohibit NHS physicians from prescribing puberty blockers pending further review will be finalized, and extended to clinicians working in private practices.

On April 10, famous U.K. "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling, a prominent advocate against gender ideology and trans-affirmative care for children, took to X (formerly Twitter) to commend the "watershed" review while somberly reflecting on young detransitioners, whom she says have written her "heartbreaking letters of regrets."

"Today’s not a triumph; it’s the laying bare of a tragedy," wrote Rowling.

Sinead Watson, a detransitioner from Glasgow, Scotland, shares a story that echoes Rowling’s concerns and supports Dr. Cass’ recommendation for the NHS to alter its care approach towards children identifying as transgender.

Watson says she was a vulnerable girl who grew to despise being a young woman and was harmed along the way by a "trans cult" that affirmed her belief that medically transitioning would help her woes.

“I was an insecure, socially awkward, sexually abused girl who thought 'becoming a man' would protect me,” Watson told Rebel News.

Instead, Watson says the testosterone she was prescribed "caused bladder problems and atrophy, which makes sex painful." She also has "no sensation" in her chest, her joints ache, and she still grows an unwanted beard.

A recent Mayo Clinic study also found that boys prescribed puberty blockers are at risk of atrophy side effects which cause the “progressive degeneration or shrinkage of sex gland tissues” and fertility complications.

Watson, who is halfway through reading the Cass Review, agrees with the recommendations. 

I would like to see Scotland acknowledge that puberty blockers negatively affect the bones and brains of children, I'd like them to acknowledge that many females suffer from atrophy due to testosterone use, and I'd like them to apologize to all those harmed by this experimental 'treatment.

Some Canadians are also joining in calling on their governments to do more to protect kids from the risks of "affirmative gender care."

Lois Cardinal, a now-sterile transgender Albertan, is also speaking out. It is believed that Cardinal is the individual mentioned by Premier Danielle Smith as the one whose experience led to the province tightening up gender care standards, such as prohibiting puberty blockers for gender dysphoric minors under 16. 

In addition to being sterile, Cardinal suffers such horrific complications from treatment that she applied for euthanasia through Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying in January 2023.

Cardinal’s request was eventually denied last summer.

In response to the Cass Review and the WPATH Files, which exposed that gender clinicians acknowledge children's inability to provide informed consent for medical transitions, as well as the Mayo Clinic’s study on atrophy side effects, Cardinal has called on Smith's UCP government to immediately pause pediatric gender clinics and adult gender programs.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is also on the receiving end of a similar call to action, in light of the Cass Review.

Shannon Boschy has a now-estranged adult daughter who was trans-identified six years ago. According to Boschy, his daughter was alienated from her loving father because she was taught he was “her enemy and was harmful and dangerous to her” for having a difference of opinion.

Boschy’s letter to Ford begins by describing how his daughter’s rapid onset gender dysphoria was affirmed by educators and how she was placed on medical interventions such as cross-sex hormones after referral from Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). It cautions the government to the findings of the Cass Review and suggests provisions to protect vulnerable children.

Boschy tells Rebel News that “Doug Ford is the last Conservative holdout,” citing changes to gender identity policies by other conservative premiers in New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, as well as Quebec's establishment of a gender identity advisory committee to guide future decisions in this area.

“He’s not a leader, unfortunately, and needs a solid reason and permission to take a stand,” Boschy added.

The concerned father, who now co-hosts the Weekly Canadian Gender Wars Report,” cautions parents not to blindly trust the school system. Instead, he encourages Canadians concerned about the impact of 'gender-affirming' policies for children to contact their provincial Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Premier's Office to inform them about the findings of the Cass Review.

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  • By David Menzies


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