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Cass Review on Gender Identity

Trans flag being flown at Pride march
© © Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Today (Wednesday May 8th) some MSPs will debate the findings of the Cass Review - a review of Gender Identity services in England. This follows an evidence session from its author, Dr. Hilary Cass to the Scottish Parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee. 

The Scottish Government has said that they will consider the findings of the Cass Review and a multidisciplinary team will analyse how they might apply to NHS services here, and we await the outcome of that work.

Dr. Cass set out in her review that children and young people who are trans, or questioning their gender, should be entitled to the same level of healthcare as all other children and young people. We agree on that point. All children have the right to access specialist effective care on time and must be afforded the privacy to make decisions that are appropriate for them in consultation with a specialist.  For too long, young trans people have faced severe limitations when accessing healthcare and support, due to long waiting times which already exceed the maximum limit. They should not have their access to healthcare restricted simply because they are trans. 

We are however deeply concerned that the Cass Review is being weaponised, and that sections of the media and many politicians continue to spread moral panic with no regard for the possible consequences for trans people and their families.

The negative rhetoric by the UK Government and others about the dangers of so-called gender ideology, healthcare for young trans people, as well as the push against LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education is harmful and extremely damaging.

The Scottish Government and NHS Scotland must be allowed to complete their own analysis of Dr. Cass’s recommendations. That work should esnure those accessing gender identity services can participate, and take as its core consideration their right to healthcare

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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