Puberty Blockers Dropped by NHS for Gender Treatment

( – Under a new rule that took effect on March 12, England’s National Health Service will no longer prescribe puberty blockers to children under 18, the UK Telegraph reported.

According to NHS ministers, the decision was made in the “best interests” of minors to ensure that those with gender dysphoria were being treated based on medical evidence.

The NHS accepted the proposal to discontinue prescribing puberty blockers in July 2022 based on recommendations from a 2021 independent review of the NHS’s gender services conducted by the former president of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, Dr. Hilary Cass.

Dr. Cass warned that puberty blockers could cause irreversible damage to an adolescent’s brain development and said there was little evidence that the drugs were safe or effective.

The NHS announced last June that it planned to limit the use of puberty blockers in minors, citing the lack of evidence supporting the clinical effectiveness or safety of the treatment.

This week’s announcement followed months of public consultation on the policy change.

In its announcement, the NHS said it concluded there wasn’t sufficient evidence supporting the safety or effectiveness of puberty blockers to allow the treatment to be “routinely available.”

The drugs will only be available to those under 18 in clinical trials the NHS will conduct at the end of this year.

In a statement in support of the decision, former Prime Minister Liz Truss called for the ban to be extended to private health practices as well and urged members of Parliament to support her amendment to the Health and Equality Acts making it illegal in the UK to prescribe puberty blockers to children.

NHS England plans to launch a research study into the use of puberty blockers in December 2024.

UK Health Minister Maria Caulfield said that by not prescribing puberty blockers, the NHS will ensure that treatment is based on the evidence from clinical experts and serves the “best interests of the child.”

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