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Flawed reasoning on two dilemmas: a commentary on Baron and Dierckxsens (2021)


A recent paper by Teresa Baron and Geoffrey Dierckxsens (2021) argues that puberty blockers and hormone therapy should be disallowed before adulthood on prudential and consent-related grounds. This response contends that their argument fails because it is predicated on unsupported premises and misinterpretations of the available evidence. There is no evidence that a large proportion of pubertal and postpubertal youths later discontinue medical transition. Meaningful assent is a viable and commonly accepted alternative to meaningful consent in paediatric bioethics. And finally, the primary purpose of transition-related interventions is to actualise youths’ gendered self-image, not treat an underlying mental illness.

  • gender identity
  • feminism
  • reproductive medicine
  • pediatrics

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