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Puberty Blockers

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Doctors can judge if under-16s can give informed consent to puberty blocker use, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

The appeal was brought by the Tavistock Trust, which runs the UK’s only youth gender identity clinic.

The decision reverses a 2020 ruling that under-16s lacked capacity to give informed consent to the treatment, which delays the onset of puberty.

The original case was brought by Keira Bell, who says the clinic should have challenged her more over transitioning.

She said she was disappointed by the decision, and will seek permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Court of Appeal judges said they recognised “the difficulties and complexities” of the issue, but that “it is for the clinicians to exercise their judgement knowing how important it is that consent is properly obtained according to the particular individual circumstances”.