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The Sustainability Concerns Surrounding the Dutch Protocol in Transgender Care

The Dutch Protocol for transgender care is under scrutiny, with calls for an independent investigation into its sustainability. Journalist Jan Kuitenbrouwer and sociologist Peter Vasterman advocate for an inquiry by the Dutch Health Council to assess the state of transgender care in the Netherlands.

The investigation comes on the heels of a comprehensive review led by British paediatrician Hilary Cass, who spent four years examining current practices in transgender care. Cass’s findings raise significant concerns about the Dutch Protocol, which allows adolescents to halt puberty and undergo hormone therapy to transition. However, the scientific basis for this approach is questioned, with Cass highlighting the lack of robust evidence supporting its effectiveness and the potential health risks involved.

The surge in demand for transgender care among young people, particularly girls, has prompted a reassessment of the protocol’s suitability. Cass argues that until the underlying causes of this increased demand are understood, irreversible treatments should be approached with caution.

The Amsterdam UMC Gender Clinic, where the protocol originated, faces scrutiny for its reliance on outdated research and its resistance to external evaluation. While the clinic defends its practices, critics argue that the changing patient demographics and the prevalence of coexisting mental health conditions necessitate a more holistic approach to care.

Calls for an independent investigation underscore the need for a comprehensive review of transgender care practices in the Netherlands. With the well-being of Dutch teenagers at stake, ensuring the quality and effectiveness of transgender care is of paramount importance.

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