Sweden’s Karolinska hospital has stopped hormone treatment for children with gender dysphoria in new guidelines that warn of possible side effects.
The Stockholm-based hospital, which was the first in Sweden to offer gender identity assessments for children, has stopped hormone treatment as of May 1st after noting that there can be side effects on children, some of which are irreversible.
Among the potential side effects, according to the hospital’s new guidelines, are cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, cancer, and thrombosis, Swedish broadcaster SVT reported on Thursday.
The hospital also notes that there is currently little evidence that the treatment will achieve the desired effect in the long term, and there is a lack of evidence in regards to safety.
Patients have previously criticised the hospital after they had undergone the treatment and later regretted it.
Swedish Hospital Defends Removing Breasts of 14-Year-Old Diagnosed with ‘Gender Dysphoria’ https://t.co/HqKazbfRzf
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 5, 2019
Among them is a patient, ‘Mika’, who told SVT: “The health care system doesn’t know what it’s doing. There is no science behind this. They’re trying this out on a young generation that’s got their whole lives ahead of them. I don’t know of any other area of medicine where you’d try a treatment like this.”
The change also comes just two years after the hospital defended performing breast removal surgery on girls as young as 14.
The new guidelines also come after a landmark ruling in the United Kingdom in December, in which the High Court determined that children under 16 were not competent to make the choice to take puberty-blocking hormones.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 22, 2018
“It is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers,” the judges in the case stated, and added: “It is doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and weigh the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty blockers.”
In Sweden, the organisation Transammans expressed concern over the new guidelines at the Karolinska hospital.
Ann-Christine Ruuth, a member of the group, reacted to the move saying: “Yes, there are risks. But there are risks with everything. This is not something that young people get access to until after a long investigation by knowledgeable experts.”
In the last several years, Sweden has seen a surge of children claiming to have gender dysphoria. A report released from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare last year claimed that since 2008, newly diagnosed cases of gender dysphoria among girls aged 13 to 17 had increased by 1,500 per cent.
U.K.’s High Court Rules Children Under 16 Cannot Make Wise Decisions on Hormone Treatments to Alter Biological Sex https://t.co/jgjdqSYheG
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 2, 2020