Following publication of a damning report on the dangers of gender transition procedures for children, Scotland officially is halting the prescription of puberty blockers and hormone drugs to minors.

Scotland’s sole gender clinic for minors, Glasgow-based Sandyford Sexual Health Service, announced Thursday that it no longer would refer children under 18 to pediatric endocrinology to be prescribed puberty blockers or hormone drugs.

Earlier this month, the U.K. government published The Cass Review, a much-anticipated report of nearly 400 pages compiled by an esteemed pediatrician, Dr. Hilary Cass, on gender transition procedures for children. Cass worked on the report for four years.

“The reality is that we have no good evidence on the long-term outcomes of interventions to manage gender-related distress,” the report declares. “This is an area of remarkably weak evidence.”

Sandyford Sexual Health Service announced:

This service update follows research from NHS [National Health Service] England and the publication of The Cass Review while we work with the Scottish government to engage in research with NHS England that will generate evidence of safety and long-term impact for therapies. While this pause is in place, we will continue to give anyone who is referred into the Young People Gender Service the psychological support that they require while we review the pathways in line with the findings.

The decision by Sandyford Sexual Health Service to “pause” prescriptions of puberty blockers and hormone drugs to children is in line with new guidance from National Health Service Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

“On clinical advice, both NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lothian deferred starting new patients on these treatments in mid-March 2024 in response to the position taken by NHS England and while the publication of The Cass Review was awaited,” National Health Service Greater Glasgow and Clyde said in a written statement. “Following the publication of The Cass Review and having also received the support of the chief medical officer for Scotland, Sir Gregor Smith, the health boards formally paused treatment.”

Last month, NHS England formally halted prescribing puberty blockers and hormone drugs to children, explaining: “Puberty blockers … are not available to children and young people for gender incongruence or gender dysphoria because there is not enough evidence of safety and clinical effectiveness.”

NHS England warned that hormone drugs “cause some irreversible changes” and “may cause temporary or even permanent infertility.” The agency further noted: “There is some uncertainty about the risks of long-term cross-sex hormone treatment.”

Instead of such prescriptions, NHS England explained that children diagnosed with gender dysphoria will have a range of psychological therapies available to them, including family therapy, individual child psychotherapy, parental support, or counseling, and “regular reviews to monitor gender identity development.”

NHS England explained its new guidance by saying: “Most treatments offered at this stage are psychological rather than medical. This is because in many cases gender variant behaviour or feelings disappear as children reach puberty.”

The groundbreaking report from Bass found that gender transition procedures for children are largely based on biased and even low-quality research.

Additionally, the report found that there is “no evidence” that gender transition procedures prevent or reduce the risk of suicide, despite the common claims of many gender transition advocates; the prescription of puberty blockers and hormone drugs to minors may be dangerous; the majority of children diagnosed with gender dysphoria suffer from a host of often-neglected psychological co-morbidities; and the practice of gender transition procedures has been largely guided by “toxic” debate and discourse.

As evidenced by Scotland’s change of course on puberty blockers and hormone drugs, The Cass Review is already bringing about what U.K. officials are calling a “fundamental change” in the gender transition industry.

In the course of compiling her report, Cass investigated the Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock clinic in London. Her findings led the pediatrician to recommend that the government shut down the clinic immediately, almost two years before her final report was due.

In particular, Cass was disturbed by Tavistock staff’s trend of placing children as young as 10 on regimens of puberty blockers or hormone drugs with little or no psychological oversight, sometimes after as few as three counseling sessions. Cass noted with alarm that about 96% of children referred to Tavistock were prescribed puberty blockers.

“We echo the views of Dr. Hilary Cass that toxicity around public debate is impacting the lives of young people seeking the care of our service and does not serve the teams working hard to care and support them,” Dr. Emelia Creighton, public health director for National Health Service Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said in a written statement.

“The findings informing the Cass Review are important, and we have reviewed the impact on our clinical pathways,” Creighton said. “The next step from here is to work with the Scottish government and academic partners to generate evidence that enables us to deliver safe care for our patients.”

NHS Lothian’s executive medical director, Tracey Gillies, said: “The Cass Review is a significant piece of work into how the NHS can better support children and young people who present with gender dysphoria. Patient safety must always be our priority, and it is right that we pause this treatment to allow more research to be carried out.”

Meanwhile, U.S. health officials have continued promoting gender transition procedures—including puberty blockers and hormone drugs—for children. Last year, a report named the U.S. an “outlier” in the field of protecting children from harmful gender transition procedures after France, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and the U.K. issued warnings against prescribing children puberty blockers and hormone drugs.

A request filed under the Freedom of Information Act earlier this year resulted in an admission from Rachel Levine, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that his claims that gender transition procedures for children are “lifesaving” and “necessary” were based entirely on a two-page document citing a single study conducted by an LGBT activist organization.

Originally published by The Washington Stand