Transcend – The Cass Review


This article was originally published by Transcend Australia. You can find the original article here.

Ethical concerns about The Cass Review

Transcend Australia is an organisation that was founded in community, run by and for community. Our community is Australian families and their trans, gender diverse and non-binary children and young people. We work directly with families across Australia and have proudly done so since 2012. Our work spans across direct service delivery, education and advocacy to improve the systems and structures our communities live in. Health care is a key human right and a major priority, as good quality health care is essential to ensuring our communities can live stronger and healthier lives. Our work is informed by all the available evidence and we uphold the strongest commitment to ‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’.

We acknowledge that this week the final report of the independent review of gender identity services for children and young people (The Cass Review) commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement was released. This review has been in process since 2020 and its focus is to make recommendations about the services provided by the NHS to children and young people who are questioning their gender identity or experiencing gender incongruence.

It is important to note that the NHS provides health services in England, which is a completely different health system and jurisdiction. It is standard for medical and health services to undergo reviews and evaluations, particularly to inform improvements. We will be working collaboratively with sector partners, community organisations, health services, clinicians and researchers to analyse this report and synthesise information in due course.

However, we would like to highlight and communicate two major initial concerns which have been broadly identified by many health experts and trans community organisations globally.

  1. The Cass Review failed to include people of lived experience and lived expertise in the leadership and development of this review and this goes against best practice.
  2. The Cass Review failed to include significant and critical research, discarding a high number of studies which show that enabling access to gender affirming healthcare is beneficial to trans young people.

While we acknowledge the value of international efforts to continue to develop our knowledge and understanding about this critical area of care, we can only rely on robust, ethical and methodologically sound research practices and reviews. The Cass Review is not an example of that.

In reality, there are anti trans lobby groups and individuals who are actively working to ban access to gender affirming health care for trans young people. The media have already begun reporting on The Cass Review and anti trans groups and individuals are weaponising it. This may cause some alarm and distress in community here locally in Australia and we encourage people to seek support where possible. We would also like to reassure our communities that there is wide consensus and solid evidence that gender affirming health care along with family support, safe education environments and positive peer connections creates better health outcomes for trans people.

We encourage people to access all the evidence and information available and from credible and trusted sources.

For further relevant information:

Transcend Australia’s Fact Sheet on Gender Affirming Healthcare

Trans Justice Project Fact Sheet on The Cass Review

If you are in need of crisis support, please contact:

Qlife 1800 184 527

Lifeline 13 11 14

This article was originally published by Transcend Australia. You can find the original article here.

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