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Growing Concern Over ‘Gender-Affirming’ Treatment For Australian Children

by | Wed, Jun 7 2023

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The tide is turning against the ‘gender-affirming’ model for treating children with gender dysphoria according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

National Director of Politics Wendy Francis told Vision Radio there’s a groundswell of alarm and concern about the practice:

“We have children who have undergone surgeries. We have children who are now getting into their early adult years and are facing this incredible regret. We also have the science coming out. We’ve got academics coming out and saying how incredibly wrong this is and how incredibly damaging it is. We’ve got a barrister in Victoria who’s come out and delivered this scathing paper against what is happening with this affirmation treatment. The Australian newspaper is coming out with article after article saying that this is the worst medical scandal in 100 years. And so the tide is turning,” Ms. Francis proclaimed.

An editorial in The Australian writes: “Hundreds of teenagers around the country are being treated with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones at gender clinics in children’s hospitals as they medically transition gender. The Australian has published details of the harrowing ordeals faced by families, who all say they want what is best for their children. We also have detailed what others say has been a positive experience of transition. But in many cases, exasperated and bewildered parents and children say they regret the advice they have been urged to take and feel powerless about what to do.”

It described the experience of one of those parents: “The more she looked, the more it was clear that people were not making evidence-based decisions; they had been captured by ideology and anyone who spoke out against it was labelled a bigot and a transphobe … even to propose having a conversation about it was considered transphobic.”

“This culture of secrecy and lack of transparency are making a difficult situation worse. Certainly the issue is being widely discussed by a new generation of children who are encouraged to view the issue as pertaining to rights. Parents must catch up, and school and legal authorities must be alive to the scope of the problem that is emerging.”

“Attention must be given to the medical treatment options available to children who are suffering and in distress; to the legal situation pertaining to those treatment options and the rights of children and their parents in selecting them, and; to the corrosive culture of silence that has surrounded the debate.”

“These discussions can be difficult for gender-diverse persons and their families. But appropriate treatment of gender dysphoria in teenagers needs to be debated and scrutinised. A culture of silence must not be allowed to prevail.”

The newspaper reports that a legal paper compiled by top Victorian family law barrister Belle Lane and recently presented to judges of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, argues that new research into the ­effects of hormone treatments and puberty blockers on young Australians refutes supporting evidence for a gender-affirming model of care.

Ms. Lane says courts must reassess how scientific advancements should apply to the family law system.

The Australian writes that “her paper documents in forensic detail a lack of clinical consensus on the concept of gender dysphoria, the diagnostic process or even whether a diagnosis is required to begin medical treatment, and the benefits, risks and outcome of the medical pathway.”

University of Queensland emeritus professor of law Patrick Parkinson, who is quoted in the paper, said: “The whole basis on which the Family Court has said ‘we don’t need to be involved in this anymore’ is now falling like a stack of cards .. Courts should not be approving “this sort of treatment without hearing both sides of that medical argument.”

“Cautioning against a “massive liability bill” if Australia continues on its current path, Mr. Parkinson said the country could be on the brink of the “worst medical scandal in 100 years,” The Australian writes.

The ACL’s Wendy Francis told Vision Radio: “This is one of those fights that we can say that we will win maybe sooner than later. There is a gathering movement. And I can say that this will change. But in the meantime, while we keep on going on this path and Australia seems to be behind the global move to stop this while we go on this path, more and more children are being damaged. And so there is no time to waste. We can’t delay in trying to get this turned around.”