London court ruling casts doubt on puberty blockers for under-16s

Keira Bell had taken case against the Tavistock, a youth gender identity clinic

Keira Bell (23), who began taking puberty blockers when she was 16 before ‘detransitioning’, outside the court in London. Photograph: Sam Tobin/PA Wire

Keira Bell (23), who began taking puberty blockers when she was 16 before ‘detransitioning’, outside the court in London. Photograph: Sam Tobin/PA Wire

A British court on Tuesday cast serious doubt on whether under-16s will continue to be able to take puberty-blocking drugs in a landmark trial that has fuelled global debate about the age at which a child can choose to transition gender.

In a ruling at Britain’s royal courts of justice, the presiding judge Ms Victoria Sharp ruled that it was “highly unlikely” that a child of 13 or under “would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers”.

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