Canadian judge rules dad can’t stop 14-year-old daughter from transitioning into ‘boy’
VANCOUVER, B.C., March 1, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A British Columbia judge ruled a father can’t stop doctors giving his troubled 14-year-old daughter testosterone shots against his wishes.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Gregory Bowden ruled Wednesday the teen, identified in the decision as A.B., understands the risks involved in getting testosterone and might attempt suicide yet again if the treatment is put off, reported the National Post.
“The totality of the evidence regarding A.B.’s medical needs . . . leads me to conclude that his hormone treatment should not be delayed further,” wrote Bowden.
“While A.B.’s father does not consent to the treatment, I am satisfied that A.B.’s consent is sufficient for the treatment to proceed.”
He further ruled that A.B. “be referred to as male and identified by his chosen name in all legal proceedings, be allowed to change his legal name without the need for consent from his parents, is ‘exclusively entitled’ to consent to medical treatment for his gender dysphoria,” the National Post reported.
Moreover, “Any attempt to persuade A.B. to abandon treatment or references to A.B. as a girl or using female pronouns ‘shall be considered to be family violence’ under the Family Law Act,” ruled the B.C. judge.
“The father is disappointed. He intends to appeal. He believes his child does not understand the risks and consequences of the gender transition treatment, and the harm that can come to the child,” his lawyer Herb Dunton told the National Post.
“The father does not believe his case for the protection of the child was heard by the B.C. Supreme Court.”
Kari Simpson of B.C.’s Culture Guard has raised alarm about the case, warning it will have crucial and far-reaching consequences for parental rights.
In a recent Federalist report, the father, identified there with the pseudonym Clark, said he has “no problem” with his daughter “exploring the role of being male” but is disturbed by the combination of his daughter’s age and the permanent effects of testosterone treatment.
“My daughter is only 13 years old and I do believe she lacks the mental capacity and emotional maturity to make this decision… especially because many of the outcomes are irreversible,” Clark wrote in August 2018 to a social worker at B.C. Children’s Hospital, where the treatment is to take place.
“I want to go on record as saying you definitely do not have my consent to move forward with this procedure.”
Clark described his daughter as “very vulnerable” and thinks her clinging to a male identity may be caused by the mental and emotional difficulties she’s suffered since he and his wife separated in 2013, the Federalist reported.
He and his wife, identified in the article with the pseudonym Sarah, have joint custody of their daughter, it reported.
According to the court application, the daughter “suffers from depression and has attempted suicide at least four times,” and went through a “lesbian stage” in Grade 7.
She developed a crush on a male teacher that same year, as well as identifying as a boy and cutting off her long hair after she saw a pro-transgender video “Handsome and Majestic” at school, states the application.
School counselors then helped her pick out a male name and assume a male identity, but because of B.C.’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) policy -- which states students have the right to identify their gender and are entitled to confidentiality -- Clark was not told, the document states.
Nor was he advised when school counselors referred his wife and then 13-year-old daughter to Dr. Wallace Wong, an LGBTQ activist who recommended she begin hormone treatment and testosterone shots.
Clark’s daughter also developed an intense crush on her Grade 8 gym teacher, to the point where she was removed from his class, which “triggered a dramatic escalation in self-harm behaviour including suicide attempts,” the court application states.
Clark asked Wong in November 2017 to treat his daughter for depression, but Wong did not do so, it states.
Sarah told Clark in August 2018 she had signed off on testosterone shots on her and their daughter’s first visit to the gender dysphoria clinic at B.C. Children’s Hospital earlier that month, the Federalist reports.
The consent form signed by his teen daughter states that using testosterone on “young adolescents is a newer development” and that doctors are prescribing the treatment “because they believe that I will continue towards full or partial transition to a male body, perhaps including eventual surgery to remove my inner female reproductive organs (ovaries and uterus…,” according to the court application.
The form states testosterone shots can cause headaches or migraines and an increased risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases; that their effect on fertility is “not known”; that they “are generally continued lifelong” for gender dysphoria, and that “there may be long-term risks that are not known.”
When the hospital persisted in trying to get his consent, Clark told them October he was getting a lawyer, according to the court document.
In December, Dr. Brenden Hursh from B.C. Children’s Hospital sent Clark a letter telling him clinic personnel did not need his consent to give his daughter testosterone injections.
Under B.C. Infants Act, the daughter could make the decision herself if medical experts deemed her mature enough, and “neither you nor his mother can make this decision for him,” wrote Hursh, as reported by the Federalist.
The medical team “agrees that the proposed course of action is in his best interests,” he wrote.
Clark thereupon applied for an injunction at the provincial court to stop the treatment and petitioned the BC Supreme Court to have a full hearing on the case, which took place February 19 and 20.
New York psychiatrist Miriam Grossman, and Dr. Quentin Van Meter, a pediatric endocrinologist in Atlanta, Ga., gave affidavit evidence on the harmful psychological and physical effect gender transitioning can have on a child, according to the National Post.
But Bowden gave this evidence little weight in his ruling that doctors can inject A.B. with testosterone without delay, because the two experts did not write specifically about her case, the National Post added.