The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has renewed calls for Federal Health Minister Mark Butler to urgently initiate an independent inquiry into the treatment of children with gender dysphoria.
ACL Director of National Politics Wendy Francis said the government can no longer ignore the growing number of medical specialists and ethics experts casting doubt on any scientific basis for the gender-affirmation treatment of children suffering from gender distress and gender dysphoria.
The Australian reports that doctors treating children at the NSW Children’s Hospital Westmead’s gender clinic are the latest to question the basis of the “gender-affirming” approach in medicine.
The newspaper writes they highlighted the “sparse evidence justifying the use of puberty blockers, instances of serious side-effects from the drugs, ongoing mental distress following transition and the significant potential for later regret among patients.”
The doctors studied the physical and mental health of 79 patients in a rare academic study of the outcomes of children who presented with gender distress and gender dysphoria.
They disputed claims that Australia had national guidelines, telling The Australian: “There are no official or authorised government-commissioned standards for assessing or treating gender dysphoria.”
The hospital’s psychiatrists, endocrinologists, other physicians and a senior medical ethics expert called for a “much more nuanced and complex approach.”
The Australian reports their analysis revealed 88% of children presenting at Westmead’s gender clinic “had at least one co-morbid mental health condition, with more than 50% diagnosed with behavioural disorders or autism.”
“One in five children who consulted the clinic with gender-related distress later had these feelings resolved, and almost one in 10 with a formal diagnosis of gender dysphoria, some who had taken puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, later discontinued transitioning.”
The Australian also reveals that a recent Family Court case initiated by a parent seeking to halt their child being prescribed puberty blockers was settled midway through evidence as doctors from a major children’s hospital gender clinic called as witnesses came under scrutiny.
Senior doctors from the UK’s now closed Tavistock Gender Clinic have spoken out in a new book about their growing concerns that the gender-affirming approach they were following ”wasn’t actually safe” and may amount to a medical scandal.
The ACL’s Wendy Francis said all the latest evidence shows: “Our government has a responsibility to act in the best interests of vulnerable children. They cannot, in all good conscience, continue to turn a blind eye to the devastating fallout occurring, including serious side-effects from experimental drugs, causing ongoing, lifelong mental distress, transition regret, infertility and other irreversible impacts on young bodies.”
“How many more children, who present at a clinic with no physical ailment, will we allow to suffer from being prescribed experimental drugs which cause irreversible, life changing harm?”