Young people with gender dysphoria will no longer need court approval to undergo surgery provided they have doctor and parental permission.
The Family Court of Australia will no longer force young trans people who have parental consent through court proceedings when their doctors recommend surgery as treatment for their gender dysphoria, ABC News reported.
The decision was based on the case of a 16-year-old boy pseudonymised as Matthew, who sought the court’s consent to undergo a double mastectomy.
The court found that Matthew did not require the court’s consent as he was competent to decide to have the treatment, which had the approval of his parents and treating doctors.
The decision removes a costly, time-consuming, and high-stress impediment to many young trans people’s ability to transition.
A doctor gave evidence to the court that denying the treatment would likely cause “extreme distress, low mood and the potential for worsening suicidal ideation”, saying surgical treatment could be potentially life-saving.
Another doctor giving evidence said surgery would have an “immediate and profound therapeutic benefit”.
“The individual is able to wear clothing that is congruent with their gender, has much less fear of being misgendered as a female or having their transgender status unwantedly discovered by others, and can move freely and participate in a broad range of desired social and sporting activities,” the doctor said.
This new landmark in the rights of trans youth follows a decision in the Family Court last year which struck down a requirement that the court authorise trans teens’ commencement of hormone treatment.
“Thank you to the Family Court for making the right decision. You have just changed the lives of hundreds of trans teens, for the better,” Trans advocate and Victoria’s Young Australian of the Year Georgie Stone said of last year’s case.