The number of adolescents, particularly girls, presenting with gender dysphoria has risen exponentially in NZ and other countries since around 2010. Treating gender dysphoric adolescents with puberty blockers has become a "freely" available treatment option in New Zealand.
The treatment is not approved and regarded as experimental (Heneghan & Jefferson, 2019). Doctors have leeway to prescribe unapproved medicines as long as they gain informed consent. But informed consent, as the name implies, requires the medical professional to give the patient all relevant information regarding the risks, benefits and other treatment options.
We do not believe these legal responsibilities are being carried out adequately in New Zealand. The New Zealand Guidelines authored by a group based at the University of Waikato, misrepresent the evidence for puberty-blockers and omit or gloss over many of the risks - particularly risks to cognitive function.
For these reasons, we have created Fully Informed. The site acts as a resource hub for those who want an overview of the medical literature on puberty blockers. We have completed a summary and review on the psychological effects of blocking puberty.
Much of the site is still under development. Future updates will address:
- impacts on bone health,
- impacts on fertility and sexual function,
- the likelihood of gende dysphoria desisting and the needs of detransitioners,
- a comparison of the New Zealand Guidelines to similar guidelines,
- the legal issues surrounding medical misinformation.
If you'd like to find out more, please get in touch.