By Lucy Ashton
Scotland’s social care watchdog has said that children as young as 12 are allowed to consent to the use of puberty blockers, according to Meghan Gallacher, deputy leader of the Conservative group in the Scottish Parliament.
She claimed: “That guidance fails to acknowledge the interim Cass review of gender identity services in England, which identified several failings in the Tavistock centre’s management and a lack of evidence to support the use of puberty blockers.
“More and more brave young people are coming forward to talk openly about de-transitioning, about their harrowing stories of surgery and about the lack of mental health and emotional support that they received.”
First Minister Humza Yousaf and Conservative deputy leader Meghan Gallacher.
She asked: “Does the First Minister support prescribing of puberty blockers for 12-year-olds?”
Humza Yousaf replied: “I support such decisions being made by clinicians—by the people who have clinical knowledge. That is what we should do. We should trust those who have clinical expertise, as opposed to standing here in the chamber—we do not have such expertise—making judgments about what is best for young people who need gender identity services.
“The Cass review has produced an interim report. It is well understood that health services in England differ quite significantly from those in Scotland. We have taken account of the interim report and we will look at the final report when it is ready.
“To go back to my initial point, I note that it is so important to trust clinicians, who have the medical expertise and knowledge, on such important decisions.”