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Rook Irwin Sweeney acts for mother of trans-gender teen in landmark ruling on consent to treatment with puberty blockers

Judgment has been handed down in AB v CD & others [2021] EWHC 741 (Fam) in which the High Court affirmed the general right of parents to consent to medical treatment on behalf of their children and confirms that there is no general exception where the treatment is of trans-gender children with puberty blockers. Anne-Marie Irwin, Partner at Rook Irwin Sweeney, acted for the child’s mother, instructing David Lock QC of Landmark Chambers and Ceri White of 4PB.

In a significant decision in the sphere of medical law, Mrs Justice Lieven also confirmed that parents retain the right to consent to medical treatment on the child’s behalf even where the child is “Gillick” competent to make that decision, but don’t have the right to “trump” the Gillick competent child’s decision.

The case was supported by Good Law Project, which co-ordinates the Legal Defence Fund for Transgender Lives.

On behalf of Good Law Project, we have now written to NHS England to request that it reverses its requirement for an application to the High Court before puberty blockers can be prescribed to a child, and confirms that parental consent will be accepted. We will provide a further update once a response is received.

26 March 2021

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