Have they really thought about this?

Feb 21, 2018 by

from Voice for Justice UK:

The Government has now published its response to VfJUK’s petition calling for the prohibition of all medical treatment for gender reassignment below the age of 18. The petition was posted on 1st January, and the Department of Health and Social Care posted a direct response on its website on February 20th. 

Read our petition here: http://www.citizengo.org/en/signit/147194/view

Read their response in full here: http://www.gov.uk/government/news/voice-for-justice-uks-campaign-about-gender-reassignment

You may be unsurprised to learn that The Department of Health and Social Care is blandly reassuring, while not giving an inch on policy.  They write:

“If children have the capacity to give consent for themselves, then consent should be sought direct from them. Once young people reach the age of 16, they are presumed in law to be competent to give consent for themselves for their own surgical, medical or dental treatment, and any associated procedures, such as investigations, anaesthesia or nursing care.
Those under 16 are not automatically presumed to be legally competent to make decisions about their healthcare. However, the courts have stated that a person under 16 will be competent to give valid consent to a particular intervention if they have “sufficient understanding and intelligence to enable him or her to understand fully what is proposed”.

The Department ignores entirely the fact that as a society we routinely protect children from making choices they might in the future regret.  For example, we prohibit the sale of tobacco to children under the age of 18; similarly with the sale of alcohol; and, although widely ignored, sex under the age of 16 remains a criminal offence. 
But there are no such reservations apparently when it comes to the truly momentous and life changing decision to undergo treatment to change sex.  Indeed, from age 4 we are now encouraging children to choose their gender for themselves, telling them they don’t have to be limited by biology!  And it seems, from the Department of Health and Social Care response, that we will persist in this, even though there is now growing evidence of children subsequently regretting their decision and asking for reversal.
When will this country wake up and tell the ideologues they’ve got it spectacularly wrong?  Adolescence is notoriously a time of confusion and experimentation, with children pushing the boundaries to find out who and what they really are.  It’s a time to rebel and make mistakes in relative safety, knowing that parents are there to pick up the pieces. 
But this modern approach changes that.   Propelling children prematurely into treatments that will necessitate the rest of their lives spent on damaging medication and surgical mutilation is not compassion.   It is prioritisation of ideology and a failure of care.

What does protection of children’s rights really mean?  Protection to grow up in safety?  Or ‘protection’ to make life changing and potentially irrevocable decisions that they may in the future bitterly regret? 

Children have neither the intellectual nor emotional maturity to make such life changing decisions.

VfJUK will shortly respond formally to the Department of Health and Social Care.  We shall circulate our reply and would urge supporters also to write. 

The petition is still open.
Please sign here: http://www.citizengo.org/en/signit/147194/view


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