England: Supreme Court refuses application for appeal in puberty blockers case
The UK Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal in a high-profile case aimed at preventing the prescription of puberty-blocking drugs to transgender children under the age of 16.
In Bell v Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, lawyers for Keira Bell – a woman who said she regretted taking puberty blockers prescribed to her at 16 years old – sought to argue that children cannot consent to the treatment.
The High Court initially sided with Ms Bell, but its ruling was overturned by the Court of Appeal last September.
The case has largely focused on the landmark House of Lords ruling in Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority  AC 112, which allowed a 16-year-old girl to access contraception against her mother’s wishes.
The Supreme Court refused the application for permission to appeal on the basis it raised no arguable point of law.
Lawyers for the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust welcomed the decision as “a victory for Gillick competence”.
Irish legal academic Dr Sandra Duffy analysed the Court of Appeal ruling in a piece for Irish Legal News last year.