Anscombe Bioethics Centre – How The Cass Review Shows The Need For Evidence-Based Paediatric Medicine (Dr Julie Maxwell): June 2024

Anscombe Bioethics Centre – How The Cass Review Shows The Need For Evidence-Based Paediatric Medicine (Dr Julie Maxwell): June 2024

Dr Julie Maxwell has written a short paper on behalf of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre on the Cass Review, the recent independent inquiry into gender identity services for children and young people in England and Wales. Over recent years there has been an explosion in the numbers of children and young people identifying as transgender, and widespread acceptance of a belief in gender identity as something separate from biological sex. The idea that someone’s innate sense of their own gender determines whether they are male or female – or some other gender identity – has led to the use of medical and surgical pathways designed to alter a person’s body to fit with how they feel. In the medical world this phenomenon has been approached in a very different way to other comparable conditions (e.g. body dysmorphia and anorexia). The treatment pathway which had become widely accepted in NHS gender services as well as in private clinics had not followed usual clinical practice and was disconnected from the evidence base. The medical approach has too often been based on a ‘social justice’ model rather than the empirically-led process that is more typical of the NHS.

The Cass report uncovers the way in which a vulnerable and distressed group have not received the same quality of care as other children and young people who are experiencing distress that is not gender-related. It highlights the many ways in which not following standard medical and safeguarding procedures has led to many children not receiving the best standards of assessment and treatment. See full article here: https://www.bioethics.org.uk/research/all-research-papers/shining-a-light-on-gender-identity-services-how-the-cass-review-shows-the-need-for-evidence-based-paediatric-medicine-dr-julie-maxwell/