The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced the development of a guideline on the health of trans and gender diverse people. A petition raising objections to the WHO’s panel selection and consultation process for the guideline has so far attracted over 7,000 signatures.
You can sign here: https://who-decides.org/.
The following is our response sent to WHO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHO guideline consultation submission
Transgender Trend was set up in 2015 to call for evidence-based healthcare for children with gender distress and for fact-based teaching about sex and gender in schools. Our widely respected website https://www.transgendertrend.com/ publishes original research and analysis into the consequences of gender identity ideas as they impact healthcare and education.
Our expertise was recognised by the High Court when we were given permission to intervene in the Bell v Tavistock Judicial Review in 2020. The outcome of this case was instrumental in exposing the lack of evidence for the use of puberty blockers, and which started a worldwide rethink about using drugs to treat gender distress. Our school resources have provided teachers and parents with legally compliant guidelines to safeguard the well-being of all children, including those who are trans identified, in UK schools. We are pleased to say that the recent draft guidance from the Department for Education, in December 2023, Gender Questioning Children, now largely reflects what we have been proposing for the last five years.
WHO announced the full guideline development group for the development of a guideline on the health of trans and gender diverse people on December 18th and has allowed only three weeks for public comment. This is over the Christmas and New Year holiday period when many people will miss the opportunity to submit their views.
WHO states as the first focus point of the guidance the “provision of gender-affirming care, including hormones”, indicating an unevidenced assumption that the affirmative, medicalised approach is the correct one. No other approach or treatment is referenced.
The guideline development group is comprised of majority trans activists, affiliated to the discredited WPATH, and proponents of “gender-affirming care,” with unmanaged conflicts of interest. There is no balance with professionals who are fully independent or who are cautious about this model of care. The WHO’s own guidance for guideline development has not been followed.
The guideline development group will meet in Geneva over three days from February 19th to interpret the evidence, formulate recommendations and suggest implementation considerations.
Based on these factors the result is a foregone conclusion. The rushed and shoddy process risks loss of credibility for WHO and a guideline that is ideologically biased, based on shaky evidence and unfit for purpose. Unfavourable comparisons will inevitably be made with the rigorous Cass Review in the UK which is ongoing and fully independent. Similarly, WHO is expected to value and uphold the highest professional standards of clinical ethics, research and process. It is only on this basis that credible guidelines can be formulated.
In an area of healthcare that is relatively new and poorly evidenced, and employing a model of care that is attracting worldwide consternation and professional re-evaluation, WHO’s motives for this exercise may be called into question. As with the WPATH Standards of Care, the WHO guideline risks failing professional, public and political scrutiny, discrediting the guideline and causing reputational damage to WHO itself.
WHO needs to go back to the drawing board or public trust will be lost.