The Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board (NHIB) determined that the country’s existing model of cross-sex treatments for minors is not evidence-based and is moving to heavily restrict the practice, according to a report the agency released Thursday.
NHIB recommended that puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries for children with gender dysphoria be classified as experimental treatments and called for the creation of a national registry to track the quality of care for gender dysphoria treatment, according to an English translation of the report. The surge in adolescents seeking cross-sex medical treatment, particularly among females, raised concerns for public health authorities about the affirming model, in which medical professionals accept patients’ transgender identification and help them transition to the opposite sex with minimal gatekeeping.
Norway is the latest of several Western countries to walk back support for cross-sex medical treatments for minors following the industry’s explosive growth over the last 15 years. Finland, Sweden and the U.K. have moved to restrict childhood gender transitions amid growing concern about the procedures’ safety and effectiveness.
“The knowledge base, especially research-based knowledge, for gender confirmation treatment (hormonal and surgical) is insufficient. Little is known about the long-term effects,” the report reads.
The Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board noted several worrying trends: the rapid rise of gender dysphoria in adolescents (esp. females), the high burden of mental illness (75%) & a high prevalence of neurocognitive conditions (ADHD/autism, Tourette) in the affected youth. /6
— SEGM (@segm_ebm) March 10, 2023
The new recommendations focus on the need for more data on the impact of cross-sex medical treatments for adolescents and call for the collection of follow-up data on patients. Current guidelines in Norway are not evidence-based and endanger the safety of children by leaving too much room for interpretation on the part of medical providers regarding treatment standards, children’s ability to consent to treatment and parents’ right to information, according to the report.
The recommendations come after families complained about safety, lack of parental involvement and lack of follow up for underage patients, triggering a governmental investigation.
The administration of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries for minors with gender dysphoria is still legal in most of the U.S., and measures to restrict the procedures are generally supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats. Several red states have banned or heavily restricted the procedures in recent months.
The NHIB did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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