The Daily Telegraph takes on the topic of Gillick Competence

… and brings in Genspect’s founder, Stella O’Malley, to highlight the parents’ perspectives.

As the UK government reviews its general policies on single-sex hospital wards, the issue of self-identification of gender identity is back in the news. But as Genspect parents can attest, these matters can be far more complex when it comes to children.

Gillick Competence — “a test in medical law to decide whether a child under the age of 16 is able to consent to their treatment without parental consent” — has often been cited in relation to the UK debate about healthcare of young people who are questioning their gender. And in the case of single-sex wards, few should doubt that these children merit their own particular conversation, according to the established framework of Gillick Competence.

Ms O’Malley, who says that she has been contacted by thousands of parents from around the world on this issue, said: “On what basis should Gillick competence be overridden?

“We have these well-thought-out legal principles which are put down to save us from ourselves in exactly this kind of clinical situation.

“There is a tendency to make an exception around gender dysphoria which is entirely inappropriate.

“We have to stick to the principles of medicine and therapy and treatment because to disregard them would be reckless and irresponsible, the rules have been made for a reason. This principle of capacity to consent keeps everybody safe.”

It’s great to see the media engaging in a real debate about the ramifications and pitfalls of self-identification — and taking the time to consider children in particular. Hayley Dixon knocks it out of the park again.

Read the full article here.

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