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Swedish Doctors Halt Use of Puberty Blockers for Children with Gender Dysphoria

Doctors at a prominent Swedish hospital that treats children suffering from gender dysphoria announced they will no longer prescribe cross-sex hormones or drugs that suppress puberty.

The Karolinska University Hospital said that as of April 1, puberty blockers would no longer be given to youth younger than 16. In the hospital’s statement, first released in March outlining the policy change and later reported to English-speaking media Wednesday, the medical institution noted that the experimental measures have come under increased scrutiny in recent months amid rising numbers of youth patients being treated.

“These treatments are potentially fraught with extensive and irreversible adverse consequences such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, increased cancer risk, and thrombosis. 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 statement read.

Patients between the ages of 16 and 18 will still be allowed to take cross-sex hormones; however, it’s recommended that the physician obtain court approval before administering those drugs. The hospital said a careful individual assessment will be done for patients already taking puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones, taking into consideration each patient’s degree of maturity and ability to consent.

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