American Academy of Pediatrics says children cannot consent to tattoos but can consent to mastectomies

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When a 10-year-old boy showed up to school in New York with a tattoo on his arm last month, the school nurse called the police, and both the child’s mother, who had given permission, and the unlicensed tattoo artist, were arrested.

This event prompted a renewed discussion about varying minimum age restrictions for tattoos across the US, leading one doctor, who was also the author of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidance on tattoos, to state that children under 18 don’t have the agency to consent to putting a permanent mark on their body. This is the same professional association that endorses minors consenting to being chemically castrated and having bilateral mastectomies in the name of gender affirmation.

“It is a permanent mark or a symbol you are putting on your body, and I don’t think kids under 18 have that kind of agency to make a decision,” Dr. Cora Bruener told the New York Times. “We need to look at these laws again.”

There is no federal minimum age for tattoos, and the rules vary from state to state. Some, like New York, require a young person to be 18 or over, while others allow those 14 and over to get inked with parental consent. According to the New York Times, about a dozen, including West Virginia, Ohio, and Vermont, have no minimum age as long as there is parental consent.

Meanwhile, all over the US, children who believe themselves to be transgender are thought capable of consenting to the irreversible medical pathway involving experimental puberty blockers, powerful cross-sex hormones, and major surgeries in the form of bilateral mastectomies, hysterectomies, and in rare cases, even genital surgeries, all with the full backing of the AAP.

In gender clinics all over the nation, children just entering puberty are given the option of fertility preservation, the freezing of sperm or eggs, due to the fact that the gender-affirming care they have been allowed to consent to will likely leave them sterile.

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