Teen transgender may continue with hormonal treatment despite father's objections, B.C. court rules


A transgender boy of 14 years has the ability to consent to his own medical treatments and must be allowed to proceed with hormone injections to help a woman transition to a male body without delay, BC. Judge of the Supreme Court ruled.

The adolescent, who can only be identified as "A.B.", has been at the center of a complicated legal dispute that has raised questions about the rights of parents and the autonomy of children. His parents are separated and have joint custody.

While the boy and his mother were prepared to start the testosterone injections last summer, his father objected, citing the need for more time to examine the implications of such a move.

But in a written decision released on Wednesday, BC Supreme Court Judge Gregory Bowden said he was satisfied with AB's understanding of the benefits and risks of treatment and that postponing treatment could result in AB – who had already tried the Suicide – trying to get hurt again.

"The full body of evidence on A.B.'s medical needs leads me to conclude that his hormonal treatment should not be postponed any further," the judge wrote.

"Although A.B.'s father does not consent to treatment, I am convinced that A.B. consent is sufficient for treatment to continue."

The father believes that his son does not understand the risks and consequences of the treatment of gender transition

The boy's father is planning an appeal, his lawyer, Herb Dunton, wrote in an email.

"Dad is disappointed. He intends to appeal. He believes that his son does not understand the risks and consequences of gender transition treatment and the harm they can do to the child, "he wrote. "The father does not believe that his case for child protection has been heard by the BC. Supreme Court."

The boy's lawyer, Barbara Findlay, and her mother's lawyer, Jessica Lithwick, did not immediately comment on the decision.

In a court testimony, the mother wrote earlier: "If your treatment is suspended, I am terrified that A.B will conclude that there is no hope and will take your life. "

According to the ruling, A.B., who is in 9th grade, has identified himself as a man since he was 11 years old and is referred to by his teachers and classmates as a boy using male pronouns.

A.B. has had several visits with Wallace Wong, a registered psychologist with experience in treating children with gender dysphoria, a condition in which a person experiences significant suffering with the sex assigned to them at birth. Wong determined A.B. to be a "good candidate" for hormone treatment and to refer him to the B.C. Children's Hospital last year.

Dr. Brenden Hursh, a specialist in the hospital's gender clinics, concluded that hormone therapy was in AB's best interest and told the court that young people receiving hormone therapy can see an improvement in their gender dysphoria and alleviation of mental problems .

Earlier this month, the hospital made another assessment of A.B. to make sure he had the ability to informed consent and concluded that he did, the court was informed.

The father tried to block any medical treatment until a wider audience could be heard about the implications of the gender transition treatment. The father provided supporting testimony from Dr. Quentin Van Meter, a pediatric endocrinologist in Atlanta, Georgia, and Miriam Grossman, a psychiatrist at Airmont, New York, who discussed the potentially harmful psychological and physical effects of the gender transition in children.

But the judge said that he gave little importance to his evidence, since none of them commented on the facts of the case A.B.

This is for the court to recognize the harm that can occur when family members disregard and disrespect a person's gender identity

The judge also said that the father may have been "hypocritical" when he said he wanted more scientific evidence, noting that "some evidence suggests that he is delaying procedures as a way to prevent the child from obtaining the gender transition treatment that he seeks ".

The judge went on to make the following statements: that AB be referred to as a man and identified by his chosen name in all legal proceedings, that he may change his legal name without the consent of his parents, that he has "the exclusive right "To consent to medical treatment for her dysphoria, and that any attempt to persuade AB to abandon treatment or referrals to AB as a girl or using female pronouns" should be considered family violence "under the Family Law Act.

"This is to warn that the court recognizes the harm that can occur when parents and other family members disregard and disrespect a person's gender identity," said Elizabeth Saewyc, a professor at the UBC School of Nursing and principal investigator of the first national survey on young trans. .

Not only does the decision affirm that young people have the ability to consent to health when professionals assess that a young person is able to understand their decision, but also stresses that delaying or refusing care for young people with gender dysphoria "is not neutral can have consequences for health, "said Saewyc.

"While health professionals often try to involve families in health care decisions and hope to support the health care needs of their teens, they still have a professional and ethical responsibility to support adolescent patients in obtaining treatment that is undergoing treatment . your best interest for your health. "

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