Norway’s healthcare watchdog has declared that there is “not enough research” on the safety of transgender drugs and surgery for children, and therefore these treatments should be considered experimental, according to an official report.
The Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board (NHIB/UKOM), which is responsible for investigating serious adverse events involving Norway’s healthcare services, published its findings in a report this month.
Although gender confirmation treatments have been available in Norway since the late 1950s, there has been a significant increase in the number of people seeking these treatments in recent years.
From an average of only four referrals per year from 1975-1990, the number rose to 50-70 per year from 2007-2010, and then to 400-600 per year from 2018-2021.
Despite the surge in demand, UKOM reported that “not enough research has been done” on the long-term effects and stability of gender dysphoria, particularly among young people.
They emphasized that gender confirmation treatments can be “irreversible,” and that the use of puberty blockers and hormone therapy is partially or completely irreversible as well.
The report highlighted the lack of consistency in approaches to treating transgender minors and noted that some patients experienced a “lack of competence” on the part of the medical professionals treating them, with treatment sometimes starting “too early or without multidisciplinary assessment and investigation.”
Moreover, the watchdog pointed out that many people with gender incongruity live well without the need for healthcare, and many also have other conditions, such as mental disorders or ADHD.
UKOM recommended that puberty-delaying treatment and hormonal and surgical gender confirmation treatment for children and young people should be defined as trial treatment and that such treatments should be followed up with a systematic collection of data for quality assurance and research.
The report’s conclusion is particularly significant, given that the rise in minors seeking trans treatment appears to be particularly marked among girls who identify as boys.
This phenomenon has also been observed in the United Kingdom, where there has been a 4,400% increase in girls being referred for trans treatments over the course of a decade, prompting concern from the Conservative Party.