The Australian Psychological Society (APS) has issued the following statement regarding surgery for transgender young people. Given the complex, sensitive nature of this information, and out of respect for the transgender young people it refers to, the APS requests that media utilise the statement in full.
“Medical procedures have been authorised for transgender minors by the Family Law Court for a considerable period of time. However, it does not follow, nor does the APS advocate, that minors can consent to such procedures absent of assessment by a clinical care team and potential subsequent Court approval where required. Rather, in those instances where parents do not approve treatment, the APS believes minors should have the right to access the opinion and guidance of suitably qualified medical professionals, including psychologists. This is consistent with Australian law and international conventions. Independent assessments with regard to transgender minors should always operate from a position of respect, factual awareness and understanding – for example, what are the expressed wishes of the young person and what are the consequences and risks of treatment – and affirmation of a young person’s rights to explore and express their gender.”