A Swedish hospital, known for its treatment of children suffering from gender dysphoria, announced it will no longer prescribe puberty-blockers and cross-sex hormones to minors under the age of 16.
“The hormonal treatment of children and adolescents with gender dysphoria may consist of puberty-blocking treatment initiated at the onset of puberty, and cross-sex hormones initiated at the age of 16,” the Karolinska University Hospital located in Stockholm said in a statement. “These treatments are controversial and have recently become subject to increased attention and scrutiny both nationally and internationally.”
“This makes it challenging to assess the risk/benefit for the individual patient, and even more challenging for the minors and their guardians to be in a position of an informed stance regarding these treatments,” the hospital said.
For patients between ages 16 and 18, it has been decided that treatment may only occur within the clinical trial settings approved by a Swedish ethics review board.
The hospital also advised what will happen to its patients who are currently being treated.
“For patients currently treated with puberty blockade or cross-sex hormones, a careful individual assessment to determine whether treatment should be stopped or continued must be performed by the treating provider,” the hospital said.
The Karolinska University Hospital is a teaching hospital affiliated with Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, with two major sites in the municipalities of Solna and Huddinge. The hospital network is the second largest in Sweden.
The Federalist reports the decision makes Sweden the first country with a major hospital to abandon the Dutch protocol of administering puberty blockers for minors as young as eight years old.
The northern European country also becomes the first country to abandon the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s guidelines. That international group claimed in 2011 there ought to be “a flexible framework, rather than rigid rules, of appropriate care” for children with gender dysphoria, and, “physician/health care provider protocols for diagnosis and assessment.”
As CBN News has reported, a growing number of doctors, both in the U.S. and abroad, are questioning claims by their professional medical associations that puberty-blocking drugs are helpful in treating children who are confused about their gender.
In the last decade, dozens of pediatric gender clinics have opened their doors across the country, offering children who question their gender identity a series of medical interventions known as gender-affirmative treatment.
That treatment has won widespread support in the medical community. In 2019, the United States Professional Association for Transgender Health praised it in a letter to the U.S. Surgeon General and dismissed mental health care for children struggling with gender dysphoria claiming, “It has long been established that psychiatric intervention is likely, not successful and is instead likely harmful.”
But some pediatric endocrinologists are voicing concerns about the risk of transgender treatments for children.
Last year, CBN News interviewed Dr. Paul Hruz, a pediatric researcher at the Washington University School of Medicine, to talk about these concerns. As an endocrinologist, Hruz specializes in studying the impact of hormones on the body and says parents should, at a minimum, know that the science behind gender-affirmative treatment is still experimental.
“We really have no long-term data in using this intervention in children. We do have short-term studies that have very serious weaknesses and limitations,” he explained.
Although researchers have begun collecting data on these youth, Hruz says it will be decades before scientists fully understand the risks and benefits. “The question that needs to be asked,” he said, “if this turns out not to be a good approach, how many children are going to be harmed?”
Similar concerns were also being raised last May as health officials in Great Britain were beginning to acknowledge that trans treatment is not backed by long-term research.
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) changed its guidance on these interventions.
It now says “little is known about the long-term side effects of hormones or puberty blockers in children… it is not known what the psychological effects may be. It’s also not known whether hormone blockers affect the development of the teenage brain or children’s bones.”
HD Editor’s Note: Why Is This News Biblically Relevant?
In a recent interview, Franklin Graham spoke with Tony Perkins about the devastating effects of twisting a child’s gender away from God’s design, calling it a “wicked thing” that the church needs to stand against.
“What’s happening, we see, is just wicked. To take a child and try to convince them that they can change and be a girl, they can change and be a boy, and we can give you drugs, and you can have surgery and all of these things… a child can’t comprehend that, and once you start down this path you can’t reverse it,” Rev. Graham said in the interview. “It’s just a wicked thing, and we just need to pray that the church will stand.”
“God made us male and female; two men can’t make a child, two women can’t make a child; it takes a male and a female. That’s the way God made us and created us,” Rev. Graham asserted. “For someone to come along and say you can change that if you want… Well, you better talk to God about that because we’re on very thin ice when we start messing with the way God made us and created us.”
Many of us have seen the Transgender agenda close up and personal in our society, with an increasing number of children through media and school systems, being indoctrinated to choose to go down a road of confusion and abuse.
Terry James in his article “When Confusion Resigns” wrote that the basic science of gender has shifted to become a question of feelings rather than truth.
“Yet in much of the world right now, confusion reigns. I mean deep, basic levels of confusion. Perhaps the most obvious would be the millions who are confused about their sexual identity. The science of gender no longer holds,” Terry James underscores. “It’s not a question of XX or XY chromosomes, or any of the other obvious scientific differences between male and female. It’s all about feelings, and those feelings have been purposely confused by educators, entertainers, advertisers, and others.”
“Our culture will continue to wage war on biology, and biblical truth as the LGBT agenda marches on. But as Christians, we must stand against this tide of secularism, pointing broken, hurting people to the truth that brings freedom: we are created by God, male and female, in his image, and our identity and value are not in our physical body—our value is in our identity as children of God if we will repent and believe.”