Norwegian Medical Watchdog Encourages Country to Ditch ‘Gender-Affirming’ Care Guidelines

The Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board (UKOM) has ruled that national guidelines on the use of puberty blockers and gender-reassignment surgeries need to be revised to reflect the lack of sufficient medical evidence supporting such procedures.

Under the new guidelines recommended by UKOM, hormone therapy and gender-reassignment surgery for minors would be restricted to research settings and not made otherwise available.

“The knowledge base, especially research-based knowledge for gender-affirming treatment (hormonal and surgical), is deficient and the long-term effects are little known,” the agency’s report argues. “This is particularly true for the teenage population where the stability of their gender incongruence is also not known.”

UKOM is an independent governmental agency charged with investigating the Norwegian health-care industry to identify “factors that could have led, or could potentially lead, to harm for patients.”

The Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine (SEGM), an international group of over 100 clinicians and researchers, wrote that the current Norwegian guidelines defining medical treatments for gender dysphoric kids were based on a “gender-affirming” care model that does not even require a psychological assessment.

The authors of the UKOM report were particularly concerned by the disproportionate rates of ADHD, autism, and Tourette’s Syndrome found amongst gender-dysphoric youth.

From 1975 to 1990, roughly four Norwegians a year were recommended for medical interventions such as hormone-replacement therapy or reassignment surgery, according to a local news report.

However, the Nordic country witnessed an explosion in medical consultations for gender dysphoria in recent years. Between 2007 and 2010, the number of individuals referred to a medical professional jumped over tenfold, ranging between 50-70 consultations per year. The record was shattered a decade later. Between 2018 and 2021, Norwegian health officials received anywhere between 400-600 referrals per year.

If Norway embraces UKOM’s recommendations, it would align the country with Sweden, Finland, and England, all of whom have recently sought to introduce new safeguards protecting minors from blindly embracing “gender-affirming” care.

“Norway has followed in the footsteps of its Nordic neighbors Sweden and Finland, as well as England, by calling out the experimental nature of youth gender transitions,” a spokesperson for SEGM told Gender Clinic News, a Substack newsletter.

“We simply do not have the evidence to support the widespread use of these risky and often irreversible interventions in general clinical settings.”

The United Kingdom shuttered the country’s only dedicated clinic treating gender dysphoric patients, the Tavistock Centre, in August 2022 following internal investigations that revealed the institution failed to keep “routine and consistent” data, disregarded other health issues, and pursued a singular and “unquestioning affirmative approach.”

The country has experienced a similar spike in gender dysphoria referrals growing from 250 in 2011 to well over 5,000 a decade later.

Jesse Singal, the American investigative journalist who has written extensively about the subject, applauded the announcement.

“That’s four countries, all with top-tier healthcare systems, where scientists have looked into the evidence, said the local equivalent of ‘Holy shit,’ and determined access to blockers and hormones needs to be more tightly regulated. In the States? Lots of heads in lots of sand,” Singal tweeted on Friday morning.

The UKOM report’s executive summary include a section on the concerning state of public discourse on the topic of transgenderism.

“We hear about fear and dread of making mistakes from all quarters,” the report notes. “There is a need to establish a constructive community for everyone who is engaged in good health care for people with gender incongruity.”

More from National Review