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Swedish health authorities have officially broken ranks with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) with the announcement that gender clinics will no longer be attempting to perform experimental sex changes on under-18s but will instead offer “psychological support to help youth live with the healthy body they were born with.”
According to an article published in the Swedish medical journal Läkartidningen, new guidelines will be published before the end of the year advising against puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgery for under 18s. This is in direct contrast with the WPATH Standards of Care 8 (SOC8) released earlier this year which advises affirmation and medical intervention as the first line of treatment for gender-confused minors.
“As a whole, the new guidelines will be more reasonable than the previous ones and advocate a great deal of caution with irreversible interventions in healthy bodies, as we know that some will regret it,” writes pediatrician Mats Reimer. He explained that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones will only be available to youth in the strictest of clinical trial settings from now on, given the “extremely weak” evidence for their use.
Reimer said that the previous Swedish guidelines were based upon the WPATH Standards of Care 7 (SOC7) but when the internationally respected professional association released its SOC8, debate broke out amongst Swedish doctors over the removal of all lower age limits and the inclusion of “eunuch” as an innate gender identity even children can possess. Reimer, as well as many other experts, believes this is a sign that WPATH is not a scientific organization but instead an activist group.
“Had this been published anywhere other than in a supposedly scientific article, it would have been thought that it was satire,” said Reimer. “The fact that the National Board of Health and Welfare’s updated guidelines should no longer be based on such an obviously activist organization as WPATH is of course welcome.”
“In Swedish healthcare, child psychiatry will continue to be responsible for treating those under the age of 18 who experience gender incongruence and suffer from it. The care will now primarily consist of psychological support to help the youth live with the healthy body they are born with,” Reimer concluded.
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