Sunday, February 24, 2019

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It’s hard to think of a more volatile topic than transgender transitions for children entering puberty. The number of kids demanding puberty-blockers so that they can transition to the opposite sex is exploding all over the developed world. It’s a mysterious and poorly understood phenomenon which involves a range of bioethical issues.

Is gender dysphoria really a medical issue at all? Or is it just a waystation on a spectrum of sexualities? How do we decide? Is it ethical to offer treatments which have yet to prove their efficacy? Is it ethical to offer treatments which will have negative side-effects? How can children make decisions which will affect their whole lives without understanding the medical, sexual and psychological implications? There is enough here to fill a library with contending points of view.

But this is far from being a theoretical issue. Children with gender dysphoria are suffering now. Who is to decide how can they be best cared for? A bioethicist writing in the American Journal of Bioethics effectively argues that parents are not the best judges. (See article below.) They are in the same position as loving, well-intentioned parents who want to use herbal remedies for their child’s cancer. Doctors, backed by governments, should decide. The state has to step in to save the child from suffering and even death.

It’s a controversial, even incendiary, point of view. But that is the way the debate is heading. We can expect to hear more, much more, in the future.

Michael Cook
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Should governments overrule parents who oppose transgender puberty-blockers? Yes, says bioethicist
by Michael Cook | Feb 24, 2019
Denying kids treatment could be a form of child abuse

Young blood is probably snake oil, says FDA
by Michael Cook | Feb 24, 2019
It has 'no proven clinical benefits'

Leading Irish hospital makes willingness to do abortions a condition of employment
by Michael Cook | Feb 24, 2019
Government is rolling out abortion services quickly

Wife who travelled with husband to Dignitas will not be disinherited
by Michael Cook | Feb 24, 2019
High Court ruling will make it easier to access assisted suicide

Should fat stigma be banned?
by Michael Cook | Feb 24, 2019
There is no rational defence for it, argues an American ethicist

Bioethicists launch ‘Journal of Controversial Ideas’
by Michael Cook | Feb 24, 2019
Peter Singer is one of the founders
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