England’s National Health Service (NHS) announced that puberty suppressing hormones will no longer be available for children and young people with sexual identity confusion.

In a clinical policy statement published March 12, NHS England said:

Puberty suppressing hormones (PSH) are not available as a routine commissioning treatment option for treatment of children and young people who have gender incongruence/gender dysphoria. …

We have concluded that there is not enough evidence to support the safety or clinical effectiveness of PSH to make the treatment routinely available at this time.

Sadly, as other European countries move away from damaging children with dangerous puberty blockers, U.S. health workers continue to dispense these powerful and experimental drugs to confused children.

Under fire from critics, NHS England established a Policy Working Group in 2020 to review the published evidence on puberty blocking hormones and their use in treating children with “gender dysphoria” – the imprecise clinical term for anyone claiming distress over their biological sex.

The NHS ran the country’s only gender identity clinic, the Tavistock Centre’s Gender Identity Development Service, which was already under heavy fire. Critics noted the huge increase in children and teens diagnosed with gender dysphoria – especially teen girls. And they raised concerns about minors being treated with experimental and damaging puberty blockers, opposite-sex hormones and surgeries.

The meltdown of the transgender clinic started in 2018, when psychiatrist David Bell submitted a report to the Tavistock board saying that “the clinic should do more to consider young people’s personal histories, notably by examining whether they are on the autistic spectrum, have experienced trauma or are being influenced by social pressures, before helping them on the path to transition.”

Parents complained, too, that the Tavistock Centre – the world’s largest transgender clinic – was “‘fast-tracking’ young people into life-altering decisions without fully assessing their personal histories.”

Then, as the Daily Citizen reported, the Tavistock was targeted by a lawsuit.

Sue Evans, a psychiatric nurse at the clinic, and Mrs. A, the mother of an autistic, gender-confused 15-year-old girl being treated by the clinic, filed suit questioning whether children as young as nine or ten could give informed consent to puberty blockers, “a completely experimental treatment for which the long-term consequences are not known.”

Keira Bell, a young woman whose body was severely damaged by the clinic’s treatments, later joined the lawsuit. After just three one-hour appointments when she was in her mid-teens, Bell was prescribed puberty blockers, which gave her menopause-like symptoms – hot flashes and difficulty sleeping. She was given cross-sex hormones, causing her voice to deepen and facial hair to grow. Finally, when she was 20, she had a double mastectomy.

The Tavistock also faced internal dissent, with staff members resigning and one clinician saying, “This experimental treatment is being done on not only children, but very vulnerable children.” Staff said they felt pressured to refer young people for treatment, and they agreed that transgender activist groups were “promoting transition as a cure-all solution for confused adolescents.”

The Policy Working Group was headed by Dr. Hilary Cass, a leading British pediatrician and former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. In 2022, she released “The Cass Review – Independent Review of Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People: Interim Report.”

In a letter to NHS England she wrote:

We do not fully understand the role of adolescent sex hormones in driving the development of both sexuality and gender identity through the early teen years, so by extension we cannot be sure about the impact of stopping these hormone surges on psychosexual and gender maturation.

Tavistock medical professionals were prescribing puberty suppressing hormones without knowing how suppressing the body’s natural hormones affected teen development. But Dr. Cass also noted how this might affect a teen’s developing brain:

A further concern is that adolescent sex hormone surges may trigger the opening of a critical period for experience-dependent rewiring of neural circuits underlying executive function (i.e. maturation of the part of the brain concerned with planning, decision making and judgment).

If this is the case, brain maturation may be temporarily or permanently disrupted by puberty blockers, which could have significant impact on the ability to make complex risk-laden decisions, as well as possible longer-term neuropsychological consequences [emphasis added].

The report led to the shutdown of the Tavistock clinic, with a plan to replace it with smaller, localized gender centers anchored in more professional mental health facilities.

But the Policy Working Group kept evaluating the data on puberty blockers, reviewing “nine observational studies.” Their review found:

Overall, there was no statistically significant difference in gender dysphoria, mental health, body image and psychosocial functioning in children and adolescents treated with GnRHa [Gonadotrophin Releasing Hormone Analogues, i.e., drugs which block testosterone production in men or estrogen production in women].

The group stated, “The quality of evidence for all these outcomes was assessed as very low,” adding, “There remains limited short-term and long-term safety data for GnRHa.”

Children being influenced by social contagion and struggling with sexual identity confusion need our care and compassion. They need help embracing their biological reality – not dangerous and disfiguring experimental drugs. Many need help coming to terms with underlying emotional and psychological issues at play in the rejection of their innate masculinity or femininity.

A child’s sex is not something that needs to be “treated” with drugs, hormones and surgeries. Puberty is a normal maturation process – not a disease.

It’s far past time for medical professionals in the U.S. to take stock of the data and stop harming children with these ineffective treatments.

While Christians work to protect children from these harmful medical interventions, we must also have compassion and work to bring healing for those struggling with sexual identity issues – and all the abuse, trauma and mental health problems associated with this disorder.

Focus on the Family has many Transgender Resources to help those struggling with these complex issues, as well as information and support for their families, friends and churches.

Related articles and resources:

Britain’s National Health Service Changes Guidance about Puberty Blockers for Gender-Confused Children

British Lawsuit Says Children Are Too Young To Consent To ‘Transgender’ Medical Procedures

New Resource for Parents: “Responding to the Transgender Issue”

Questioning Drugs, Hormones and Surgery for Youth Confused about Their Sexual Identity

Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria – Researcher’s Work Vindicated

U.K Moves to Protect Gender-Confused Children from Hormones, Drugs and Surgeries

When Transgender Issues Enter Your World

World’s Largest Youth Trans Clinic Shuts Down Over Poor Science


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