The Daily Telegraph

Sex-change drugs suitable at age of nine, say guidelines

- By Hayley Dixon Special correspond­ent

CHILDREN as young as nine who believe that they are transgende­r can be prescribed sex-change hormones, according to “best-practice” internatio­nal guidelines.

The standards of care from The World Profession­al Associatio­n for Transgende­r Health (WPATH), previous versions of which have underpinne­d NHS guidance on care, have removed minimum ages for children to receive puberty blockers, hormones and surgical interventi­ons.

Instead, the organisati­on recommends that young people can be prescribed drugs from the first physical signs of puberty, which can begin at nine, and that surgery can be considered once an adolescent has been on “gender-affirming hormone therapy” for 12 months “if required”.

Previous versions of the WPATH guidelines, last updated in 2011, recommende­d that children could be given puberty blockers as soon as puberty started, hormones at the “age of majority”, which is 16 in most European countries, and most surgeries from 18.

Prof Kathleen Stock, the feminist campaigner, said: “The medical community internatio­nally have got to stop outsourcin­g their brains to these organisati­ons under the guise of medical best practice because they are clearly highly ideologica­l and I would say totally irresponsi­ble.”

NHS England said an independen­t review of services for young people is under way and it will “not be changing” current rules that ban surgical interventi­ons for under-18s.

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