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Puberty blockers: Under-16s 'unlikely' to be able to give informed consent night

BBC, 02 Dec 2020
Children under 16 with gender dysphoria are unlikely to be able to give informed consent to undergo treatment with puberty-blocking drugs, three High Court judges have ruled. Please subscribe HERE

The case was brought against Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which said it was "disappointed" but immediately suspended such referrals for under-16s.

The NHS said it "welcomed the clarity" the ruling would bring.

One of the claimants, Keira Bell, said she was "delighted" by the judgment.

Ms Bell, 23, from Cambridge, had been referred to the Tavistock Centre, which runs the UK's only gender-identity development service (GIDS), as a teenager and was prescribed puberty blockers aged 16.

She argued the clinic should have challenged her more over her decision to transition to a male as a teenager.

Newsnight’s Health Correspondent Deborah Cohen and her producer, Hannah Barnes, initially brought concerns over the Tavistock's policies on child consent to the fore in a series of reports for Newsnight - they have this report on the judgment.

Watch their previous reports here:

In the studio, Emily Maitlis is joined by Keira Bell, who was prescribed puberty blockers aged 16, and Susie Green, CEO of Mermaids, a charity which supports transgender children and teenagers and their parents.

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Newsnight is the BBC's flagship news and current affairs TV programme - with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews.

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