The Cass Report is in, and it is Bad News for Gender Clinics

The Cass Report has been published and it is full of bad news for Australia’s gender “affirmation” laws and clinics. Dr Hilary Cass, pediatrician and former Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health president in the UK, undertook 4 years of independent research that led to the almost 400-page report with 32 recommendations. The report confirms what many of us have been saying for years – children are being dreadfully let down by the politicisation of an issue that results in catastrophic harm. The ‘research’ used to justify ‘affirmation’ treatments is weak and has led to many gaps in care for vulnerable minors. The toxicity surrounding the politicisation of care has meant a lack of research and stifling of debate leaving children and families even more vulnerable.  The UK’s Independent reports that Dr Cass: Said studies had been cynically “exaggerated or misrepresented by people on all sides”, while doctors are pursuing life-changing treatment on young people despite a profound lack of evidence. Addressing the children directly impacted by failings, Dr Cass said: “Research has let us all down, most importantly you.”

They go on to report that Dr Cass found: Gender identity treatment for youngsters has been based on “remarkably weak evidence”. Puberty blockers and hormone treatment had been given to young patients despite a lack of research into their impact. The gender care service is not operating to the “same standards” as other health services for children and young people. Knowledge of experienced clinicians has been “dismissed and invalidated” due to the polarised nature of the conversation.  Professionals are afraid to openly discuss their views and therefore shut down the debate at the expense of young patients.  In a foreword to the report, Dr Cass said: “There are few other areas of healthcare where professionals are so afraid to openly discuss their views, where people are vilified on social media, and where name-calling echoes the worst bullying behaviour. This must stop.” Australian gender clinics have gone full throttle down the gender ‘affirmation’ pathways and will need to take stock of this comprehensive report. Politicians have passed laws based on political views rather than vigorous and comprehensive studies.

There has been little data to excuse placing children on life-long medicalised pathways that cause irreversible harm. This report was undertaken specifically for the UK, but the ramifications for Australia are the same. According to the Independent: Dr Cass said children needing medical intervention were not getting wider support in managing their mental health problems or even getting counselling to work through their questions. She said she had grown “increasingly worried about the numbers of young people in distress, on a waiting list, not getting the appropriate services, at risk”. “And that’s not OK. It’s just not acceptable,” she added. The report details avenues that must be given more priority such as treatments for autism, trauma, abuse, and depression. Social contagion and the effects of pornography are also addressed. This report will continue to be unpacked over the coming weeks and will be an important tool to present to Australian politicians responsible for placing children in harm’s way.

Source: Binary

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