The British Court of Appeals overturned the High Court’s ruling that restricted the use of puberty-suppressing drugs in children.
The High Court ruled in December 2020 that children under the age of 16 lacked the ability to give informed consent to medical care that delays the onset of puberty.
The ruling said children under the age of 13 were “very unlikely” to agree to hormone blockade treatment, and that children aged 14 or 15 were “very doubtful” to understand the long-term consequences. rice field. ..
However, in a Friday ruling, the Court of Appeals stated that it was “inappropriate” for the High Court to give guidance and that it was the doctor’s responsibility to “decide” whether the patient could properly agree. ..
The original case was brought about by Keira Bell, a 24-year-old woman who started taking puberty suppressants at the age of 16 but regretted, and her teenage mother on the waiting list for treatment. rice field.
“As many teenagers do, I made bold decisions as a teenager and tried to find confidence and happiness, but now the rest of my life will be adversely affected. “Bell told the High Court last year.
Following a decision by the Court of Appeals on Friday, Bell said he was “surprised and disappointed” in the decision, but said he had no regrets in filing the proceedings.
“It hurt the children and shed light on the dark corners of the medical scandal that hurt me,” she said.
Bell said he believed that medical services were “politicized.” She said she was seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.
However, the ruling was welcomed by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which operates the UK’s only child gender identity development service and appealed against the June High Court ruling.
A trust spokesperson said the ruling “asserts that doctors, not judges, determine the ability of doctors under the age of 16 to agree to treatment.”
In their ruling, Judge Burnett, who sits with Sir Jeffrey Foss and Mrs. King, said: Have the ability to consent to the administration of puberty suppressants. “
The judge also said that gender treatment of children is “controversial” and subject to “intense expert and public debate.”
“Such an argument, when it spills over into legal proceedings, tends to obscure the role of the court in deciding individual legal issues,” added Sir Burnett.
PA contributed to this report.